PCB Test Fixtures2022-01-13T04:43:21-08:00

PCB TEST FIXTURES

Whether you’re testing a single PCB sub assembly or a full panel of PCB modules, RTI’s PCB test fixtures are custom designed and manufactured to address your test challenges and work with your PCB layout.

DESIGNED FOR IN-CIRCUIT, FUNCTIONAL, & ENGINEERING TESTING

Our engineers begin with a GERBER or STEP file of your UUT and work with you to identify test points, keep out areas, and other aspects of your test configuration. Bed-of-Nails-style test fixtures provide precise alignment to the UUT to test points or connectors of choice, even in multi-board stack-ups where the UUT is only one of many components. Clean, streamlined, and robust designs can be made adaptable to accommodate a multitude of standard and custom printed circuit board footprints.

Design PCB Test Fixtures to Your Needs

Our robust and reliable designs come in a variety of sizes and footprints to suit your PCB scale and test application. Fixtures can accommodate standard PCB footprints such as Raspberry Pi and other single-board computers and fully custom PCBs. Most designs offer a bed of nails interface, but other interfaces are available. We specialize in designing and manufacturing custom test fixtures to meet unique test challenges.

Here are some features that make our large PCB test fixtures popular:

  • Inclusion of a single-board-computer for proprietary test-related software and system monitoring
  • Isolated compartments within the system include RF shielding to separate internal components
  • Total inclusion of all test related hardware and software for a truly stand-alone solution
  • Cams distributed across the lid ensure high force and even pressure as the fixture is closed
  • Calibrated Vertical and horizontal guides to ensure precise motion of internal components during test
  • Controllers with LEDs or LCD displays on the front of the texture provide information to the operator
    • Operating temperature(s)
    • Data transfer rates and voltages
    • Pass/Fail status or error codes
    • Data collected from internal sensors

We offer PCB design for all signal routing and breakout boards incorporated into the test fixture to provide an out-of-the-box test solution. These boards route all signals between the pogo pins contacting the DUT and your outbound connector(s) of choice. If you require that the test fixture include board(s) of your own design and fabrication, please contact us.

Frequent Questions About PCB Test Fixtures

How do you ensure the board is correctly positioned and aligned to the test points?2022-01-12T11:53:34-08:00

There are multiple ways to do it. These are the common ways RTI uses:

  • Precise alignment to test points using design features of the UUT such as non-plated through holes
  • Internal board to board connections through cable interfaces, RTI’s connector savers, or high-speed mating connectors soldered to PCB
Can I add physical components like thermal, contamination, shock and vibrations, etc., to the process?2022-01-12T11:39:41-08:00

Yes. These are only a few examples:

  • Heatsinks, heat spreaders, water blocks, air cooling, and other thermal management systems
  • Passive and active vibration dampening measures for sensitive components
If I want to test a switch, does a robot actuate it? If I’m testing an LED is the operator or the machine the detector?2022-01-12T11:38:53-08:00

We can make pneumatic components within the fixture to engage. We’re also capable of including sensors for feedback and/or functionality.

  • Pneumatics within the fixture can engage buttons, switches, or connectors on the UUT during test
  • Inclusion of light, pressure, and temperature sensors for operator feedback and/or test functionality
What if I need connections that require high-speed/integrity?2022-01-12T11:38:09-08:00

There are multiple ways to create connections depending on your DUT and test requirements. These are a few:

  • High speed and low inductance mating connectors for direct board-to-board interfacing
  • Coaxial shielded contacts and wire-wrapped pins contact test points on the UUT
  • Interposer PCBs in the fixture with controlled impedance and high-speed routing design practices
  • Integration of high-speed coax and fiber connectors and custom cabling within the fixture.

PCB Test Fixtures for Mass Interconnect Systems

Back panel featuring MIP Interface

PCB test fixtures interface with mass interconnect systems such as Virgina Panel’s “Mass Interconnect Panels” (MIPs) using sets of configurable ITA modules positioned on the front or back of the test fixture. This allows the fixture to interface with a variety of common PXI and VXI based instruments, each having their own unique configurations. Each mating connector I/O can be wired directly to its respective test probe for reliable signal integrity or interface with other components such as a device programmer or adapter board within the enclosure.

Each fixture can be customized internally for use across multiple applications throughout your test program. From characterization to validation to production test, each fixture is scalable to address various requirements at each stage. The low-profile bed-of-nails interface and two stage clamshell lid provide ample working distance while keeping 100% vertical compression force across the PCB. Swappable standoffs on the lid allow the fixture to test both bare boards and fully populated boards with strict keep out areas.

More Resources

Contact an Engineer

    Custom Contact Methods

    • Contact test points on the top, bottom, and sides of your UUT
    • Custom pin blocks can contact top and bottom of pads on an edge connector
    • Heatsinks and air cooling at specific areas on the UUT
    • Shielded Coaxial and high-speed cables
    • Manual lever and pneumatic pump actuation for ease of use provide consistent and repeatable force

    RF Shielded Fixtures

    • Keep EMI/RF signals generated by your UUT or other components from disturbing your test setup.
    • Alodine plated aluminum panels are electrically conductive and passivated
    • Faraday cage design principals applied
    • EMI/RF gasketing at seams, shielding or baffles at ports and openings, and other absorbing materials used.

    Connector Savers

    • Pogo pins contact leads within a connector, removing the need for low lifespan mating connectors on driver boards.
    • Beveled edges on the surrounding nest guide the mating connector into alignment with pogo pins.
    • Very fine pitch pin arrays available for many high-speed connector types
    • Compatible with a variety of docking and blind mate connectors when used in a tray-based solution

    Custom Contact Methods

    • Contact test points on the top, bottom, and sides of your UUT
    • Custom pin blocks can contact top and bottom of pads on an edge connector
    • Heatsinks and air cooling at specific areas on the UUT
    • Shielded Coaxial and high-speed cables
    • Manual lever and pneumatic pump actuation for ease of use provide consistent and repeatable force

    RF Shielded Fixtures

    • Keep EMI/RF signals generated by your UUT or other components from disturbing your test setup.
    • Alodine plated aluminum panels are electrically conductive and passivated
    • Faraday cage design principals applied
    • EMI/RF gasketing at seams, shielding or baffles at ports and openings, and other absorbing materials used.

    Connector Savers

    • Pogo pins contact leads within a connector, removing the need for low lifespan mating connectors on driver boards.
    • Beveled edges on the surrounding nest guide the mating connector into alignment with pogo pins.
    • Very fine pitch pin arrays available for many high-speed connector types
    • Compatible with a variety of docking and blind mate connectors when used in a tray-based solution

    Design & Concept Gallery

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    MORE FIXTURE SOLUTIONS

    PCB Test Fixtures

    High-performance at a compact scale, our PCB test fixtures are built for singular and panelized PCB testing. Fixtures align and contact test points on your UUT(s) then route signals out to connectors of your choice.

    READ MORE

    Benchtop Test Presses

    Manual or pneumatic presses for PCB, hybrid module, and device-level testing. Single-site or multi-site configurations offer rapid device loading and unloading. Test Presses ensure evenly distributed vertical compression force is applied to the UUT.

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    Customization

    When a more customized test solution is required to meet your applications, device(s) and requirements. For PCB-based subassemblies and complex components.

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    custom pogo pin blocks

    Pogo Pin Blocks

    Breakout test fixtures typically include a test socket and DUT board that route signals from your DUT to a connector or interface of choice. Transform your dedicated DUT board into a universal motherboard-daughterboard solution with pogo pin blocks that provide a board to board interface.

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    950 Series Test Fixture

    950 Series is capable of testing topside and backside, including micro-probing, backside emission microscopy, heated sockets for temperature testing, and curve tracing.

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    Remote Docking

    Cable based interfaces that sit between your tester and your DUT board allowing you greater flexibility in where your DUT sits on your bench. Ideal for failure analysis, fault localization, or for use under a microscope.

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    QUALITY GUARANTEE

    Robson Technologies, Inc. interconnects, fixtures and systems are carefully designed, manufactured, inspected, and individually tested prior to shipment. In the unlikely case you find a defect in materials or workmanship, we will promptly repair or replace the component.

    CONTACT US

    Do you need help finding a test solution? Get in touch with an RTI Engineer!

    GET IN TOUCH

    OFFICE LINE

    1.408.779.8008

    OFFICE HOURS

    8:00am – 5:00pm PST

    OFFICE LINE

    OFFICE HOURS

    8:00am – 5:00pm PST

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