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What’s Missing from Design for Testability?

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Cortland Richmond
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What's missing from DESIGN?
Cortland Richmond   1/6/2016 11:53:30 AM

I retired from full-time work some years ago, but since retiring from the Army in 1983 I had been working in EMC and related engineering position, and I've on more than one occasion had reason to note that test and verification wasn't integrated into design processes and goals, it being assumed (ask any soldier what "a s s u m e" means) everything would meet customer requirements, standards and applicable regulations.

Design for test should include more than "is it there." I recall that ATE used for QC on one (anonymous, eh?) product's assembly line took advantage of DC coupled video stages to check that they were present and working – at DC. Much time might have been saved (and perhaps also delay in shipping) had it been tested with video. A GREAT deal of time might have been saved were assembly line ATE not used for EMC verification or had its use taken into consideration the rigors of emissions and susceptibility testing.

At this point we are entering what might be called systems design, which, if done properly, extends from realistic risk assessment and bidding, sandbox , component selection, electrical, environmental, mechanical and human factors, operating firmware and software, and test hardware, firmware and software ... all of which are too often the concern of a few departments worried about only their own schedules and budgets. Perhaps DFT, as all of systems design, needs to start with who gets hired to run things.

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