Things to Remember When Choosing Automated Test Equipment

Automated test equipment (ATE) may refer to an instrument that is used to test a device, generating results and measurements for evaluation. Automated test equipment may range from simple digital multimeters to very complex apparatuses containing multiple instruments. Such equipment may be used across many applications, though are most common for the testing of electronic components, avionics, military radar and communication, and automobile electronic devices. Through testing, issues may be found and resolved early to prevent customers receiving defective products, or to avoid downtime from malfunctioning components by detecting such problems during inspections. As ATE provides many benefits to a manufacturer or repair station, investing in the right components and equipment can be highly beneficial. In this blog, we will discuss the various things to consider when choosing which automated test equipment parts to procure for your operations and projects.

One of the first and most important considerations that should be made when planning to invest in automated test equipment is budget and cost. One should consider the amount of expenditures that they are willing to undertake to obtain the equipment needed for the instruments that they seek to test. As automated test equipment may only be compatible with a select few instrument and equipment types, it is recommended to find the fewest number of systems that will cover the greatest number of devices i.e. compatibility. This also carries into spatial abilities and demand, which is another factor that should be thought through. Oftentimes, a repair shop may contain rooms full of automated test equipment with correlating components and test benches for operations, and finding compact test equipment can be a critical benefit.

Once the budget and space has been allocated and decided upon, a prospective buyer then should conduct research into the specific automated test equipment that they are interested in, considering the capabilities, ease of use, expandability, coverage, and more. As automated test equipment may undergo heavy use, it is important that they hold high integrity and are robust enough to handle operations without becoming damaged through normal use or by defective components. This extends into the cables, assemblies, and connectors of the automated test equipment as well. Smaller components should provide high durability to resist wear and damage that may affect the ability to properly run tests and receive reliable results and measurements.

As established beforehand, automated test equipment can be a timely and expensive investment, thus it is understandable that one would want their equipment to be usable for long periods of time. Because of this, an important consideration to make when picking what automated test equipment to procure is their ability to be expandable. Like many other electronics and technologies, avionics are rapidly evolving in capabilities and complexity. Because of this, automated equipment that cannot be modified may be quickly rendered obsolete and unable to be used with newly installed equipment over time. The same should be considered for legacy systems and components moving forward. Altogether, the most recommended automated test equipment are those that strike a balance between legacy support and expandability for newer technologies for optimal coverage of testing.

To further elaborate upon coverage of testing, research should be done into automated test equipment for their comprehensiveness and meeting of industry standards. It is recommended to invest into automated test equipment that can cover all the components of the apparatus that is being tested, including the powering, communications, signals, and more. Equipment that meets industry standards will ensure the longevity of the system’s use, and expand upon the amount of devices that may be tested in case of a company either going out of business or ceasing to support a device.

The last recommended considerations that should be made before making an investment include customer service, warranties, and reviews. In the case of an arising issue regarding your automated test equipment, having reliable customer and support service from the manufacturer can help speed up solutions. Looking into warranty services can also help one be prepared for the coverage that they will have in case of a malfunction or other problem. Lastly, looking into reviews by other customers can help the prospective buyer find the general consensus of user experience with the equipment.

When it comes time to begin sourcing the automated test equipment that you need for your next project or operation, NSN Parts Hub is the ATE supplier that has you covered with everything you are searching for. NSN Parts Hub is owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, and we can help you find the aerospace parts that you need, new or obsolete. We carry top parts, including 166891-01-01, 3S2060DC149C1A, and 285A1600-4. As a premier supplier of parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries, we're always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7x365. ASAP Semiconductor is an FAA AC 00-56B accredited and ISO 9001:2015 certified enterprise. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at +1-714-705-4780.


February 25, 2020

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