A heuristic algorithm to generate test program sequences for moving probe electronic test equipment
Master of Science (MS)
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The electronics industry, is experiencing two trends one of which is the drive towards miniaturization of electronic products. The in-circuit testing predominantly used for continuity testing of printed circuit boards (PCB) can no longer meet the demands of smaller size circuits. This has lead to the development of moving probe testing equipment. Moving Probe Test opens up the opportunity to test PCBs where the test points are on a small pitch (distance between points). However, since the test uses probes that move sequentially to perform the test, the total test time is much greater than traditional in-circuit test. While significant effort has concentrated on the equipment design and development, little work has examined algorithms for efficient test sequencing. The test sequence has the greatest impact on total test time, which will determine the production cycle time of the product. Minimizing total test time is a NP-hard problem similar to the traveling salesman problem, except with two traveling salesmen that must coordinate their movements.
The main goal of this thesis was to develop a heuristic algorithm to minimize the Flying Probe test time and evaluate the algorithm against a "Nearest Neighbor" algorithm. The algorithm was implemented with Visual Basic and MS Access database. The algorithm was evaluated with actual PCB test data taken from Industry. A statistical analysis with 95% C.C. was performed to test the hypothesis that the proposed algorithm finds a sequence which has a total test time less than the total test time found by the "Nearest Neighbor" approach. Findings demonstrated that the proposed heuristic algorithm reduces the total test time of the test and, therefore, production cycle time can be reduced through proper sequencing.
Arteta, Bertha M., "A heuristic algorithm to generate test program sequences for moving probe electronic test equipment" (2001). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1317.
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