Applications for advanced continuity testing
Continuity testing is often used to ensure parts are correctly connected during manufacture of sub-assemblies, prior to final assembly, to reduce final test rework issues.
When employing continuity testing, advanced continuity offers many advantages over simple continuity.
In the case of advanced continuity testing, not only are the basics of electrical circuit continuity checked but certain tests may also be performed, such as powering up electronic control units (ECUs) to check for correct operational current draw. This process may also include looking for delays in current draw, current pulses or checking for an acceptable range of values.
Often, trapped wires can cause shorts to the metalwork of the sub-assembly which would not show up until final test, whereas this deeper level of test will show the issue earlier.
Another important factor to consider is whether you are happy for an operator to take a measurement or whether the production line programmable logic controller (PLC) should interact with the test equipment to ensure only measurements within a preset range are considered acceptable.
Depending on the assembly and Takt time for a particular sub-assembly it is worth considering whether you require low force or touch probe contacts to extend the life of the test equipment setup.
Often connectors that are part of the sub-assembly have a very limited life, and it is preferable not to use up this limited life while performing tests during manufacture.
Most advanced continuity test units would be expected to operate for hundreds of thousands of tests, while many forms of abuse are inadvertently applied.
Examples such as wire shorts to chassis, inter-harness shorts and intermittent supplies, along with static electricity applied during part handling, are all likely scenarios and should be designed in from the beginning during the test equipment selection process. One system that can support this type of testing is the Genix Test Unit.
The Genix Test Unit helps engineers to ensure that the correct components are present, of the correct engineering revision and that they function as designed.
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