The increasing complexity of electronics automotive products is driving up the complexity and cost of testing. To ensure product quality, manufacturers must invest in advanced equipment, specialized expertise, and comprehensive testing protocols, which can be expensive and time-consuming. Automated testing, including end-of-line (EOL) testing, is an important tool to improve testing efficiency and accuracy in electronics development. Improving automated test methods requires a combination of best practices, including the use of standardized procedures, high-quality equipment, automated data analysis, artificial intelligence and regular maintenance and calibration. With these methods, organizations can improve testing efficiency, reduce testing time and costs, and deliver higher-quality products to market. In this study, several of the practices referred above are being combined to perform process improvements and tooling enhancements for the automated test. Sequential, parallel, and concurrent test methods are three different approaches for testing that can be used to improve testing efficiency and effectiveness. Sequential testing is a simple and straightforward approach that ensures that tests are run in a logical order, but it can be slow and time-consuming. Parallel testing can speed up testing by running multiple tests in parallel, but it can be complex to set up and manage. Concurrent testing can be faster and more efficient than sequential testing, but it requires careful coordination to ensure that tests are run correctly, and conflicts are avoided. Thus, this study was designed as a comparative analysis of the concurrent and parallel test methods versus the traditional sequential test method. Samples of an infotainment system were considered to perform this study and were tested using both the concurrent, parallel and sequential test methods. The results can be compared in terms of: Detection rate: The percentage of faults detected by each testing method can be calculated and compared to determine which approach is more effective in identifying faults; Test time: The time taken to complete the testing using each method can be measured and compared to determine which approach is more efficient in terms of time; Cost: The cost of implementing the both test methods can be calculated, taking into consideration the cost of additional hardware and software required for concurrent testing; Resource utilization: The utilization of resources such as testing equipment, manpower, and infrastructure can be measured and compared for both testing methods. It is important to note that implementing parallel and concurrent testing methodologies require careful planning and consideration of the testing requirements and resources. For example, while parallel testing may require additional test equipment and resources, concurrent testing may require specialized testing techniques and procedures. Additionally, the use of parallel and concurrent testing may increase the risk of test conflicts or interference, which must be carefully managed to ensure accurate and reliable test results. Ultimately, the choice of the test method will depend on the specific requirements of the testing process, together with the available resources and tools. With this study, an innovative parallel and concurrent testing methodology was applied to EOL testing, by running multiple tests on different units at the same time. This approach can significantly reduce testing time and improve overall testing throughput, especially for high-volume production lines. For example, EOL testers that run 2 DUT in parallel, would reduce the total testing time by a factor of 2. A unit could be tested for electrical issues using different tests running concurrently, such as testing displays performance, and WIFI or Bluetooth testing. In this study, parallel and concurrent methodologies were applied to EOL testers to improve testing efficiency and throughput. Parallel testing involves running multiple tests simultaneously on different units, while concurrent testing involves running different tests simultaneously on the same unit. Overall, the study suggests that the concurrent test method is a more effective and efficient approach for testing electronics modules for automotive, although it may require more resources and have a higher initial cost, that can be shortly compensated. Manufacturers may need to consider trade-offs between cost and effectiveness, when deciding which testing method to implement.
Dipl.-Ing. João Queirós, RDI Manager, Controlar