Thursday, 17 of August of 2017

Five Key Factors When Choosing Between Automated Test Equipment

For many companies designing and implementing products with highly complicated and intricate electronic components, automated test equipment (ATE) can make or break the cost-effectiveness of both products and post-sale support.

Modern integrated circuits and systems are often far too complex for manual testing and debugging.  A partnership with automated test equipment  companies can make it possible to quickly and easily determine faults in a component.  This is vital both for ensuring the integrity of a product before launch, as well as providing critical support to customers in a timely fashion afterwards.

The challenge is choosing the right automated test equipment companies that can meet your needs and your budget.  These are some of the most critical factors to consider.

Five Key Factors When Choosing ATE Vendors

  1. Multi-functionality.

Broadly speaking, the more systems a single ATE can diagnose, the better.  Single-purpose systems can be challenging to make cost-effective, particularly when aspects such as power and space usage are considered.

  1. Modularity / Expandability

Being able to expand the functionality of an ATE after purchase is one of the easiest ways to guarantee a good ROI on your investment.  In particular, it allows you to keep costs lower up-front, while minimizing later costs to add new modules or functions.

  1. Durability

You need high levels of reliability in your ATEs – particularly if you plan on using them for many years.  Beware of automated test equipment companies who cut corners on their build quality for the sake of lowering prices.

  1. Adherence to Industry Standards

What happens if, 5-10 years down the line, the company who made your ATE goes under?  If it’s full of custom components and connectors, it may be difficult or impossible to keep it operational.  Look for products which are as standardized as possible for extra reliability.

  1. Warranties and Technical Support

Investigate any potential ATE vendor you are considering and find out about their track record on customer support.  A product might seem perfect for your purposes, but if they have short warranties or little technical support, it could end up being too costly in the long run.

Choose the Right Automated Test Equipment Company for Your Needs

In short, ATEs should not be selected based on price alone. Their functionality and long-term value should be a much higher priority.

For a full consultation on your ATE needs, contact AB Controls today.


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