PCB Tester

CLIENT: Electronic Assistive Technology Company

INDUSTRY: Assistive Living

The client is a long-standing UK based technology company that has been designing and supplying products that enhance the independence and quality of life for people with special needs for over 50 years. They required a custom testing fixture to streamline their in-house PCB testing which would in turn increase confidence in their PCB assemblies.

The fixture needed to hold a small multi-layer surface mount PCB, in such a way that a series of spring pins can make precise contact with various terminals, so that a check programme could be run to highlight any faults in the PCB assembly.

HPDL had previously designed several similar fixtures and understood the challenges of using static dissipative materials. These types of materials are used to prevent any static electrical damage to the PCBs on test. Traditionally this would mean a metal-only build and would result in an expensive solution. To avoid this, HPDL utilised our in-house 3D printing capabilities by using an electrically conductive filament. This enabled the fixture to be designed, tested, and adjusted quickly and efficiently.

The final test fixture incorporates a pop-up PCB carrier that drops down into the test position. This positions the PCB very quickly and accurately before two sets of spring pins are moved into position to make contact with the PCB. Once both sets of spring pins are correctly positioned the test runs automatically.

The client installed the fixture and has since successfully tested thousands of PCBs with it.