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BED OF NAILS

A bed of nails test fixture is a type of printed circuit board (PCB) testing jig equipped with an array of spring-loaded “nails” to establish electrical connections during quality control functional testing. These fixtures enable engineers to quickly validate assembled PCBs for manufacturing defects and verify proper performance before shipment.

A bed of nails tester is an electronic test fixture used to test Unit Under Test (UUT) and printed circuit boards (PCBs). It consists of numerous spring-loaded pogo pins inserted into a G-10 laminated sheet and aligned with tooling pins. These pogo pins make contact with test points on the PCB and connect to a measuring unit via wires. Pressing the device under test (DUT) against the bed ensures quick, reliable contact with multiple test points simultaneously.

Bed of Nails for Test Fixtures
Bed of Nails for Test Fixtures

Keypoints to note:

  • Detects errors such as opens and shorts
  • Verifies circuit logic functionality
  • Crucial tool for PCB quality control

Manufacturing and programming such fixtures typically take four to six weeks. There are two main types: vacuum and press-down fixtures. Vacuum fixtures provide better signal readings but are more expensive due to their complex manufacturing process.

Bed of Nail Test Fixtures and Their Uses

End-of-Line Quality Testing

Critical for end-of-line quality control in PCB assembly lines to catch errors before shipping products to clients.

Design Verification

Provides rapid connectivity during PCB prototyping and design verification to ensure circuit integrity, functionality, and performance meet specifications.

Troubleshooting

Aids engineers in diagnosing problems with faulty boards pulled from production or returned from field failures by investigating the root causes of bugs.

Focused Functional Test

Often used in tandem with flying probe testers to access targeted test nodes for extensive PCB testing needs.

Typical Bed of Nails Configurations for PCB Testing

Bed of Nails Fixture Designs

Utilize a wide array of spring-loaded pins to contact test points on PCBs. Beyond the basic pogo pin bed, several tester designs are tailored to specific application needs:

Standard Grid Array

The most common design, housing pogo pins in a regular grid array of rows and columns in a plate, suitable for many boards.

Custom Layouts

Tailored nail placements for odd board shapes and sizes or tricky access points, optimizing test coverage by matching PCB test pad locations.

Clamshell Fixtures

Utilize hinged top and bottom pogo pin jig plates that close over boards like a clamping cradle, allowing access to both sides of the boards.

Flying Probe Hybrids

Integrate movable flying probes on x-y axes to reach difficult test nodes that would be impractical to access with fixed nail positions.

Minimal Fixtures

For simple boards, “micro” bed of nail fixtures with small matrices of pogo pins reduce setup costs when only a few nodes require validation.

Mirotech manufactures bed of nails test fixtures in the Greater Toronto Area, providing high-quality solutions for efficient and accurate PCB testing.

Unparalleled Service

At our test fixture company, we specialize in providing comprehensive testing solutions across the Greater Toronto Area, Ontario. Our expert test engineers visit your site to thoroughly assess your unique needs and develop tailored solutions that ensure optimal performance and reliability. From initial consultation to implementation, we are committed to delivering high-quality, efficient services that meet the specific requirements of your projects. Trust us to be your partner in achieving excellence in testing and development.

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