Now that your board has moved from prototyping to manufacturing, things are humming along until…there is a snag in manufacturing. Suddenly an entire run of boards is failing for unknown reasons, and you’re already dangerously close to being behind schedule.
What to do: Switch lines and let that busted run accumulate in the bone pile? Or diagnose the faults, and track down the culprit, make the fix and get back on track, possibly even ahead of schedule?
Well, both options will work, and both options will probably be employed. But, you’ll still be left with a bone pile of boards that could be fixed and deployed to market, rather than be written off as manufacturing expense. If boundary scan testing is employed in the manufacturing phase, you will be able to pin-point the problem, quickly diagnose the cause of the problem, save the run of “bad” boards, and quickly ramp up production.
High volume manufacturing has a number of complexities, and, even with precision engineering and manufacturing tools, errors do occur. The classic functional test on the manufacturing line is great for knowing whether or not the board will even power up and work. But, what about the undetected problems that functional test can’t account for? What about finding potential faults on boards that could cause problems once the boards are in the field? Could running a series of tests, with some JTAG tools and a few mouse clicks actually prevent costly problems downstream?
In our experience of supporting full projects from design through manufacturing, we can tell you that the answer is an emphatic yes. By adding JTAG boundary scan testing to your manufacturing process, you have the ability to save money by preventing problems before they happen.