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functional testers for electronics

How the new generation of ACTIA functional testers is helping to reinforce the group’s industriel excellence

ACTIA electronics production lines are being equipped with a new-gen platform of functional testers for electronics under the code name ANGSTROM (Actia Next Generation System Tester ROadMap).
This project, which was two years in the making, is a powerful way of boosting the efficiency and competitiveness of the group’s production test equipment. It is also revolutionising the functional test platform by making it fully scalable and versatile yet standardised.
Let’s take a closer look at how this new key production equipment is securing the ACTIA group’s industrial excellence.

SECURING THE ACTIA GROUP’S INDUSTRIAL EXCELLENCE

ACTIA boasts long-standing expertise in the design of functional testers for electronics.
This expertise is pivotal to product industrialisation, between the maturity phase of their development and the start of the production phase.

Testers are key elements for ensuring product reliability. The testers installed on the electronics production lines in the group’s manufacturing facilities perform compliance checks on the hardware and software of PCBs and electronics.

During the final stage of production, they provide a way of configuring cyber security products and components, bearing in mind that some products are connected to customer servers.

They constitute an essential lever for ensuring a high level of quality in terms of production, keeping scraps to a minimum and overseeing industrial control.

KEEPING INDUSTRIAL CONTROL OVER PRODUCTS

Did you know?
ACTIA is one of a very small number of EMS providers which develop their own production test equipment for their products and those of their customers.

ACTIA employees use this equipment for all types of production, extending far beyond the electronics sector (EVs, batteries, and more).

By developing its production test equipment in-house, ACTIA keeps industrial control over the products made in the group’s plants. Having built-in test equipment is a sure sign of the efficiency and reliability of ACTIA’s industrial capabilities in the eyes of the customer.

The functional test department oversees the entire tester creation process:

  • – specification;
  • – production;
  • – validation and qualification;
  • – handling of technical upgrades.

POOLING NEEDS AND COSTS

Creating functional testers is a process that could easily become long and costly. Acutely aware of the need for efficiency and competitiveness, ACTIA focused on developing comprehensive equipment that would be flexible and easy to upgrade to take account of the needs of other production services, such as those of the Technology and Innovation Department (DTI).
Work will begin on each of these testers right from the initial product design phases. The design office will carry out initial tests on a platform that is identical to that to be implemented in the manufacturing facility.

  • Crucially, this latest tester – in addition to the standard functions – also meets the engineering requirements of the design office and, specifically, those of the DTI:
  • – hardware validation;
  • – ongoing validation;
  • – development and validation of embedded test software;
  • – aftermarket services, during series production.

The clear aim is to create comprehensive, scalable testers. ACTIA has therefore focused efforts on pooling needs and design costs, with the goal of developing more efficient, competitive test equipment that can be integrated into production in record time.

SPEEDING UP THE MANUFACTURING PROCESS

The major benefit for customers is the speed at which products can be manufactured. Test implementation is more agile.

“The new functional tester for electronics allows us to support customers with regard to the specification of their products, resulting in faster developments. In addition, we secure products’ maturity and make it easier to interact with our customers’ employees in terms of support. Time is money for our customers as well as for ACTIA. All of these efficiency boosters help us control the cost of development, production and in-service support,”explained Arnaud Viard, Director of Industrial Studies at ACTIA.

Functionnal tester

SECURING REAL-TIME DATA TRANSMISSION

The software platform is made up of a standard test sequencer combined with programme bricks developed specifically by the ACTIA test teams and designed to cover all needs, including those of the group’s subsidiaries.

This sequencer uses built-in EtherCAT secure communications technology, which provides the tester’s multiplexed fieldbus system with speed, high overall productivity and secure real-time transmission. Special attention was also paid to the ANGSTROM man/machine interface, which has proved to be easy to use for operators.

“These testers have been deployed on a first series of products, with a target production rate of 20,000 products per week. ANGSTROM marks a turning point in our offering of functional testing services, and it also strengthens ACTIA’s competitive advantage by providing all the flexibility we need in this particularly difficult context: for ACTIA Automotive as well as for our production subsidiaries,” 
summed up Eric Le Bozec, Group Industrialisation Director.

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