Q: Can you list some of the ways in which the test systems are developing the way the industries want them to?
A. Smartphones get smarter and smarter and require even more testing than before. To keep the costs of testing on an acceptable level it is very important to have all the parties involved in development work. Many of the decisions regarding the efficiency of production testing are already made by chipset providers.
Q: What flaws which are caused during the manufacturing process?
A. In the board assembly, you can have problems with components or with the assembly process of components. In product assembly, you don’t necessarily get smartphone screen exactly to place where you want to. Or maybe the screen wasn’t glued perfectly because of some dirt. Did we download the latest software release approved? Did we download the latest software release approved by this specific operator customer? A lot of things go wrong, and the sooner you detect the flaw in the process the better. When designing production testing it is very important to understand the big picture. Product design and its quality is one thing, quality of the incoming components is another thing and quality of the manufacturing process as such is still another thing. However, everything is related and each manufacturer has its own strategy on what to test and where, and we can see major differences amongst them.
Q: What features on a phone are amongst the most challenging to test?
A. Many electromechanical features can be tricky ones. One example could be the exact functionality of push buttons. Human fingers are very sensitive but every finger is different. Automating that touch sensitiveness is pretty challenging. Another example of the challenging testing is the testing of antennas in production environment. Again, the sensitivity involved can be quite tricky when a few variables in production environment are considered.
Q: Could you enlist the major challenges that you face in testing for mobile phone manufacturing? How do you circumvent the same?
A. Every major company has their unique way of both developing and manufacturing mobile phones. This means that production test strategies are somewhat different as well. For us this means providing customized solutions for each customer. To be able to do that, we always try to have our people close to our customers R&D and factory network. This is major challenge for any company providing automated production test solutions. However, we’ve been building our global network for past 25 years and have presence in 13 countries today. This is one of our major competitive advantages today along the comprehensive knowledge about different manufacturing processes and test strategies. In India we’ve been for more than 10 years
Q: What are some of the technological advances you expect to see in this field? How will they change the way testing is done for mobile phone manufacturing?
A. One of the advances is that the very same test solutions are being taken from R&D to production to secure efficient and swift production ramp ups. The other advance is modular system architectures, which enables solutions to easily adapt to production volume variations during a product’s life cycle, and also between the production lines and factories.