Test Benches (Rigs), Test Racks & Test Facilities
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Test bench, test rig or test facility based on test racks

What are test benches, test racks and test facilities?

Test benches (also test rigs) are quality assurance stations in manufacturing or product design. Components or complete products are replicably inspected for predefined features. In small to medium-sized test benches, the test equipment is often mounted to test racks, which might even be mobile. Complex test rigs, on the other hand, are also referred to as test facilities and usually have a very high level of automation.

(Good) reasons for test benches:

  • Testing and optimisation of prototypes in the product design phase

  • Early detection (and correction) of faulty products in manufacturing

  • Assurance of sufficient product quality and security before distribution

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Types of test benches

In-line testing

In-line test benches are placed between or integrated into other manufacturing stations. Typically, unfinished products are inspected for physical characteristics like electrical resistances (e. g. in circuit testing) or visually inspected. Functional tests are, by definition, not possible for unfinished products.

In-line testing allows for the early detection (and correction) of production faults, especially in complex production environments. Moreover, the setup of in-line test rigs is reasonable when quality assurance tasks cannot be performed later during the production process, for example because test points will not be accessible anymore.

End of line test rigs (EOL test rigs)

In contrast to in-line test rigs, the term end of line testing refers to test benches placed after the last manufacturing station of a product or at least of a functional unit (component). EOL test benches usually emphasise functional tests, possibly under varying environmental conditions (e. g. low temperatures, high humidity). Of course, other test types like checking the correct placement of labels by automatic optical inspection can be performed as well. Learn more about EOL test benches…

Fatigue/endurance test rigs

Fatigue test benches can be found in product design as well as in manufacturing. During endurance testing, finished products are exposed to an application-specific stress until they break. Thus, product designers can test and compare the resilience of different prototypes. In manufacturing, fatigue testing for quality control is only performed on a sample basis because the device under test will not be usable afterwards.

Product design test rigs

As the name suggests, the term product design test bench refers to test rigs used for prototype testing and comparison in new product development. As prototype designs are subject to change, product design test benches need to be more flexible than their counterparts in manufacturing. This results inevitably in a lower level of automation.

Are you looking for an experienced partner for test benches or test facilities?

Our competent and creative team gladly helps and consults you. Our test equipment and test rig design team elaborates and integrates turnkey solutions for your use case, either based on our in-house products or hardware from third-party manufacturers (like National Instruments, Keysight or Rohde & Schwarz). We are looking forward to your contact enquiry!

Frequently asked questions

Test benches (test rigs) are quality assurance stations in manufacturing or product design. Components or complete products are replicably inspected for predefined features. Complex test rigs are also referred to as test facilities and usually have a very high level of automation.
Test rigs and test benches are used to...
  • ... test and evaluate prototypes in product design.
  • ... detect and possibly correct faulty products in manufacturing as early as possible.
  • ... ensure product quality and security before distribution. Consequently, customer satisfaction is improved, and warranty costs are minimised.