IEC Electronics Extends Manufacturing Test Capability with Corelis Boundary-Scan Tools
IEC Electronics in Albuquerque, New Mexico offers a complete range of electronic manufacturing services, specializing in low volume, high mix manufacturing with in-house custom functional test development. With locations throughout the US including New York, New Mexico, and California, IEC manufactures high reliability electronic equipment for advanced technology companies in the industrial, medical, aerospace, and defense markets.
Specializing in low volume, high mix manufacturing presents a major obstacle for electronic product testing; in-circuit testing is traditionally accompanied by high setup costs and long development times.Faced with this issue, IEC Senior Test Engineer Butch Thornburg, a test expert with more than three decades of direct experience, set out to tackle the challenge.
With a proven track record providing test capabilities from manufacturing defect detection to system functional test and environmental stress screening (ESS), Butch has the knowledge and experience to efficiently and thoroughly test systems in environments where reliability is paramount.
Relying on his past experience, Butch understood the need to consider design factors such as reduced probe access and increased digital node counts. He immediately recognized boundary-scan as a feasible option and turned to Corelis for a solution. Once deployed, the Corelis ScanExpress system immediately reduced test development times and increased test coverage on a number of projects.
Butch elaborated on the success, “Our boundary-scan projects were so successful that our defense customers now demand that we perform boundary-scan design for test (DFT) analyses on all new designs, providing recommendations on how testability can be improved.”
The Corelis tools immediately reported the fault location, leading engineers straight to the source of the problem. “Visual inspection of the net assured that the fault was right where the ScanExpress tools said it would be,” commented Young. “A via was placed close to a series resistor on the memory address bus. Solder was being wicked away from the resistor pad to the via.” Thanks to JTAG testing, Red Lion was able to quickly isolate and resolve the issue.
Boundary-scan has since become an important component of IEC’s complete test arsenal which includes a mix of automated optical/x-ray inspection (AOI/AXI), in-circuit test (ICT), flying probe, and functional test platforms;
all to ensure the highest possible test coverage and fastest turn-around. According to Butch, “Boundary-scan tests ideally complement our flying probe tests for quick turn and low volume projects.”
Butch now includes standard boundary-scan tests, cluster tests, and memory in-system-programming (ISP) alongside an intelligent current measurement test for all low volume production runs. As Butch explains, “Boundary-scan by its nature is ideal for testing short manufacturing runs due to fast test development and low setup requirements. I can develop boundary-scan tests with Corelis tools in a matter of hours. Equivalent ICT tests take days, even weeks to develop.”
When asked why he chose Corelis as his boundary-scan vendor of choice, Butch replied, “I’ve introduced Corelis tools to several companies throughout my career because they are robust and reliable. Their technical staff is outstanding and I know I can rely on them to assist with any boundary-scan testing challenge.”