Over the past 10-20 years, counterfeit electronic components have become a serious problem. Counterfeit components are parts that have somehow been misrepresented as to their origins or quality. Because counterfeit parts are often of lower quality than what are called “franchise” parts, they may represent a hazard if used in critical systems such as automobiles, aircraft of any kind, military equipment, or space vehicles.
Designing equipment to be operated onboard Navy vessels is not like designing a consumer product that plugs into a three-prong wall socket. That being said, it’s important to know the characteristics of the on-board power source and test to make sure that equipment can reliably use that power.
Testing AC power sources, such as uninterruptible power supplies, can be a real challenge. These products are often tested with resistive load banks, but this approach does not simulate real-world conditions such as switching DC/AC converters found in many AC powered products.
When performing functional tests, keeping test times as short as possible is often a critical requirement. Time is money, after all. One way to reduce test times is to reduce the latency in setting up signal switch paths, stimulus devices, and measurements. These can all have a significant impact on the overall time it takes to complete a full functional test of a particular DUT.
Manufacturing and test environments can be very demanding, and most manufacturers need test equipment that is both accurate and reliable to meet increasing product throughput demands. To meet these demands, AMETEK Programmable Power has introduced the VTI EX1403 16-channel bridge and strain gauge instrument. The EX1403 sets the standard for stress and fatigue testing, delivering the highest performance measurements possible while keeping overall test hardware costs low and maximizing system uptime.
Calibration is not an option. While today's instruments are more accurate and drift less than previous generations, you still need to periodically check and calibrate your equipment. The way you do this, however, is changing.
In the past, manufacturers would recommend calibration intervals. A digital multimeter manufacturer might, for example, recommend that you calibrate the instrument once a year. When that year was up, you sent the DMM to your company's cal lab or to a third party.
That paradigm is changing. The current trend in metrology is not to blindly follow a manufacturer’s stated calibration interval, but to determine your own interval based on how much each instrument drifts over time and how much risk you're willing to take.