Electrical testing is as essential to cable and wire harness assembly as eating is to staying alive. If you don’t eat you’ll die, and if a company doesn’t check the quality of electrical assemblies it won’t last long either. Just like different people have different diets, how do you know which test method works best for your company?
When deciding what to eat there are usually three different things you could consider to help with your choice –
Typically, each food option is a tradeoff between these different values. Going through the drive through will be quick, but it will cost money and if you’re trying to be healthy it’s probably the wrong choice. Making a home cooked meal is most likely the cheapest and healthiest choice, but it will take a lot of time.
Choosing an electrical test method is not much different than selecting a food choice. You have a tradeoff between a set of values. In this case it is probably –
A manual test with an ohm meter doesn’t cost much in equipment, but it will take a long time and the quality assurance is low. Automated test equipment gives you the best quality assurance and the test will be extremely fast, but the equipment will cost some money.
When deciding on which test method is right for you it is important to have a good understanding of what you are trying to achieve. If quality assurance is most important then don’t select a test method that focuses on saving money at the expense of quality assurance. If you are trying to reduce total testing time then spending a bit more money may get you what you need and may even increase your quality assurance too.
It’s also worth remembering that just like most people don’t always eat out or always cook at home, there may be situations where different test methods are appropriate within the same company. If you are building a one-off cable that you will never build again it may deserve a different test method than a cable you are going to build hundreds of each month. Each situation deserves to be looked at individually. The important part is making sure that the test method you choose supports the values you care about the most.