Types of test benches
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.