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Test Is Not Someone Else’s Problem

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You can say THAT again!
LouisY..Ungar   2/23/2016 2:38:10 PM
Very nicely stated, George.  There are those manufacturing considerations that you point out and all of that can result in mitigating problems that can cause costly redesign - or worst even costlier no redesign.

Manufacturing test, however, is only one of many test obstacles the product will experience.  There is environmental test, functional board test, subsystem test, system level test, built-in test, embedded test, support test, field return tests and considerations for diagnostics (perhaps prognostics as well) and resolving False Alarms and No Fault Founds.  All of these issues will ask the same question:  "What was the designer thinking?"  Unfortunately, the answer is often that he/she wasn't thinking about the life cycle of an electronics product - only the realization of a functional specification.  Therein lies the problem.  Design for Testability (DFT) is the Designer's problem.  Who else can make the product testable and if not early, when?  Test and testability (DFT) engineers need to be involved - and involved early - but ultimately the buck stops with the designer... and probably most importantly with his/her manager who has to think about the product's lifetime performance.  As DFT consultants and educators we are trying to convince designers and managers not to forego this vital activity for boards and systems.  We should learn from our IC colleagues who go out of their way to include DFT in their designs.  We need to do this, and before it is too late!

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