Flying probe test equipment expands capabilities

Southern Electronics 2016 exhibitor G & B Electronics showcased its answer to a dilemma facing manufacturers outsourcing PCB assembly – how to test it effectively.

Flying_probe_tester_vision_system Sub-contractors are typically not geared-up for specialist testing of the subassemblies they are making, potentially introducing delays and additional costs into the manufacturing process. Some manufacturers develop a functional test rig and provide this to the sub-contractor, or ask the sub-contractor to do so. More traditionally, it might go down the in-circuit test route and manufacture a “bed of nails” test to check manufacturing quality.

However G & B Electronics highlighted a more versatile approach – choosing a sub-contractor who offers a flying probe test capability.

Flying probe testers work by in-circuit testing the board via a number of moving test probes. They have the advantage over traditional In-circuit testers of not requiring a dedicated bed of nails test fixture, thus reducing the price for each different board being tested. They also offer more than just In-circuit testing. They enable the user to combine in-circuit, AOI, functional, device programming and boundary scan testing, in one test system. They work from CAD data and can quickly and easily be programed to take into account customer board changes and revisions. Flying probe requires little design modification to allow test access. With the ability to probe on component pads, vias and IC legs flying probe can access parts that even the best in-circuit testes are unable to access. DFT analysis can mean design changes, if required, can be done long before the product reaches production. Couple this with quick change over times and the ability to be used in-line and flying probe makes the test question quicker and easier to overcome.

More information on flying probe systems can be found at

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