How Does Automated Test Equipment Differ From Manual Testing?

Automated testing involves instructing a computer how to test a thing logically. In these tests, measurement-taking instrumentation gear transmits data to a computer running test executive software. This software determines whether the product passed or failed by comparing the measured data to previously established limitations. The test technique can be carried out rapidly, reliably, and repeatedly with automated test equipment with little chance of human error. Nowadays, automated testing is employed in every aspect of electronics, and the number of automated testers is rapidly expanding.

The Application of Automated Testing in Daily Life

At the neighborhood car shop, you can frequently observe the transition from manual tests to computerized tests. People used to bring their cars to mechanics when fixing them was simple, so they could examine the distributor, spark plugs, and other parts by hand.

Until the issue was identified and corrected, each check would be performed independently. The modern mechanic connects the vehicle to a computer, activates a button, and then reviews the test results that appear when the computer performs a more extensive set of measurements.

For instance, various tests can be performed on an Engine Control Unit (ECU) without the mechanic’s awareness of what is happening. This technique, known as an automated test, involves subjecting a product to a series of tests one at a time.

What Does ATE History Say?

There are numerous methods for testing automated test products, which have been around for a while. A product’s cost to produce and test tends to increase with complexity. At every stage of product development, from creating the prototype to testing the first batch to total production, automated test equipment is used (ATE).

Therefore, the identical testing apparatus is frequently utilized in repair facilities or factories that produce goods for other businesses (CMs). Test equipment is typically developed and produced close to the company’s research and development center, regardless of location. This can assist engineers in sharing early testing ideas and developing low-cost testing methods.

Testing Methods: Manual Vs. Automated

One or more individuals oversee the manual test procedure, measuring each item separately until the testing is complete. Businesses frequently use operators to spend the entire day in front of test equipment, monitoring the instruments and recording the results. When salaries are low, this strategy, which has been around for a while, is still employed. Manual tests are also performed when testing a product are straightforward and can be completed quickly by an operator.

On the other side, an automated test is when a product is tested using a computer-based test system. The majority of automated test instruments were formerly made for the telecommunications, automobile, and defense industries, and they were both expensive and challenging to use. Computers were more costly than labor from the 1970s through the early 1990s, and automated test equipment was significantly more expensive than labor.

Test Strategies And Tools For Conducting Tests

Individual tests, often known as “test modules,” carry out specific duties and checks. A test sequence is created when these individual tests are combined. Examples of steps in a test sequence are the voltage check, the current test, and the power-on test.

Using automated test equipment, you can build up several test sequences that make it simpler to test numerous products in the same system. Different computer languages can create test modules, but test sequences are often created using an executive test program.

The individual test sequences may be set up using a test executive tool, measurements can be limited to establish pass/fail conditions, and scenarios can be created where new test sequences can be invoked based on measurements. Additionally, this form of software offers a structure for the output of test data, enabling uploading results for additional analysis to databases. 

Quality testing of a product is crucial, but it is expensive. All of these considerations must be made carefully when selecting whether product testing should be carried out manually or mechanically. Careful planning will result in good outcomes, quicker output, and better overall outcomes.

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