Robotic electronic circuit board testing equipment

Competency Group: Electrical Engineering

Type: Hardware Manufacture Tool

Description: Circuit board test equipment falls into two categories. The first tester type is In-Circuit-Test (ICT) and typically uses a bed-of-nails type interface to contact individual test points (a.k.a. nodes). The ICT tests individual components and circuit traces. The second type of test equipment is called Automatic Functional Test (AFT). AFT typically uses the circuit board connectors to interface test equipment that will emulate the external input and output signals to the unit under test (UUT). Most manufacturers use ICT equipment in their assembly process. Depending on the product, functional test or some combination of ICT and functional test may be used. Some ICT equipment has functional test capability built in but additional programming is required. From the circuit designs - there is a set of criteria employed to measure voltages and currents and connections which can be programmed into a highly complex machine.

Citation for Description: Unidec: Electronic Repair Service. (2010). Retrieved from

Units: Percentage success of manufacturing process

Advantages: This can be done by hand, but if there is a huge volume of boards involved this task becomes very virtually impossible. High cost reliable method of testing boards.

Limitations: For most applications — will be outsourced — equipment costs very high. Required the machines to be programmed for individual board designs which can be expensive.

Regulations: IPC. (2012). Retrieved from

Target Audience: Engineering

Relevant to Universal Design: No

Stages and Steps: 7.1

Free Resource: EIIT3T. (2011, February 10). PCB In Line Test Systems Solutions [Video file]. Retrieved from

Purchase Resource: European Circuits Limited. (n.d.). Retrieved from