Embedded system is a combination of both hardware and software, the testing and development of which calls also for other things than just software and the device itself. It is often necessary to measure the signals of the device, simulate the input signals or otherwise control the device from the outside during its testing. Without an appropriate testing environment, testing a device becomes slow, laborious and unreliable.
”Inadequate or completely missing device testing environments, mechanically and electronically product-dependent testing adapters and manually conducted measurements and controls slow the testing down and increase its cost. Unfortunately, in too many cases testing is also still seen as a necessary evil, which is even neglected or deferred to an unnecessarily late stage of the project”, regrets Chief Test Engineer Esa Kivioja from the Embedded Systems & IoT unit of Etteplan Tampere . Fortunately, there are valid alternatives available also for product development and testing of more challenging systems.
Procket Rapid saves time and money
Procket Rapid testing environment belongs to the family of Etteplan’s Procket testers. Procket Rapid is low-budget, light and flexible, and it is suitable for product development of all sizes of enterprises. Procket Rapid is also applicable for testing of smaller scale production series, because the test probes stay still while the circuit board to be tested is changed. Procket Rapid saves time and money, as individual adapters are not needed to be designed for each circuit board to be tested. Due to its versatility, the very same Procket Rapid testing environment can be re-used from one project to another. For larger scale production testing, the Procket tester family includes also a more efficient alternatives.
The circuit board to be tested is set inside Procket Rapid’s hinged frame, which is closed as easily as a car hood. Test probes are simultaneously pressed against selected test points of the board. The test probes are easy to move and position, because they and their arms have been attached to the frame using finger screws. For a more permanent solution, nut fastening can be applied.
The probes have been wired into an electronic board which can be controlled using a computer and data acquisition card (DAQ) by National Instruments. Both analogue and digital information can be read from and written into the test points. Several individual tests can be combined into test sequences which allow easy, fast and efficient testing of a product.
We offer various types of general purpose software libraries for building tests and sequences. Software libraries based on both NI tools (LabVIEW/TestStand) and Python are available.
Into a part of a bigger entity
Upon building test sequences, one may come to think about taking the level of automatization even further. What if Procket Rapid worked as part of an automatic test system? What if one could create automatically programmable software into a device directly from the program code, program the device with a new software version and run the planned tests within a test sequence - getting also reports for the results?
All above is feasible using Procket Rapid, its libraries, Robot Framework and Jenkins tools.
”Procket Rapid testing environment enables product development and efficient testing using Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) principle. As routine tasks are automated, software developers and testers can focus on more important design tasks. A frequent and automated testing loop reveals errors and regressions as early as possible. The product’s quality becomes better and its maintenance easier than what would be achieved with manual testing carried out by a human without proper testing environment”, tells Kivioja.