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Kitron’s significant capabilities for testing

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02 May 2022 Technical services

For 60 years, Kitron has been working with high-reliability products for high-value sectors. That means that many of our customer's products come with very little room for error, be a defence industry product or medical devices. Testing the product, simulating, and verifying functionality under load and stress has always been at the core of what we do. For this reason, Kitron has developed a proprietary test platform called SATS.

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SATS (STANDARD AUTOMATED TEST SYSTEM) is a Kitron-developed, high-quality test platform targeting mid-range applications. For us and our customers, standardized hardware and software components provide effective test development and a short lead time. Basically, it is a collection of instruments enclosed in a rack with a standard interface. It contains almost everything to test a product of varying complexity. If something is missing for a complex or demanding project, there is enough space to add anything additional.

Every test equipment contains two main parts: SATS (standard part) and a test fixture (custom part). SATS is the brain and heart of the system, and fixture… well, it is simply a fixture. It serves as a mediator between a product and SATS. But the key part is the standard interface.

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Think about it as a USB connector. You can connect anything you want to your computer, as long as it has a USB connection. It doesn't matter if it's a new headset or your coffee cup heater - you can use it and control it anyway. SATS standard interface works similarly. Basically, it's a vast connector with more than a thousand pins. Project-specific test fixtures can be connected to SATS in one swift move of the interface handle. All products' electrical signals can then be analyzed by the measurement and control equipment in the SATS system. The measurements are performed, evaluated, and stored in the server automatically. Everything is done without any actions by the operator.

Because of the standard interface, many different test fixtures of other products can be used with any SATS platform, so we can offer significant testing opportunities for our customers.

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SATS is a universal platform – we are proud of being able to offer it. Although it still requires test fixtures for each product, still, it takes much less space on the production floor. SATS and ten test fixtures (conveniently placed on a storage shelf) take roughly as much space as two workplaces with custom test equipment.

We can confidently say, that SATS is perfect even for products with low annual volume. As a standard platform, it can be used for many different projects that different customers often own. Project switching takes only a few minutes. You can test the control board of the industrial controller in the morning, a dental-care instrument after the lunch break, and a mainboard of construction equipment in the evening. So SATS never runs out of the job.

As mentioned before, automation requires many different types of equipment. The advantage we offer with SATS is that it already has all the needed equipment, and every, even the smallest and budget-sensitive project, can use it without buying it. All available instruments make it easy to automate the test procedure, removing any need for the operator to observe, interact, perform manual measurements, write down test results, and decide if the test result is acceptable.

For our customers, this simply means reduced equipment prices. Moreover, all the expensive instrumentation is owned by Kitron. It reduces investment costs and makes it easy to move production as SATS is used across all Kitron sites and among many of our customers.

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Standardization always leads to cost savings, which is true when it comes to SATS. It can be used for many different products, making it a very valuable and desired solution.

SATS allows our customers to use quite expensive measurement equipment and opens the possibilities of automation that otherwise would be not economical and not worthwhile. At Kitron, it allows us to utilize owned equipment and production space efficiently.

Kitron has been a solid, long-term partner in electronics for years, typically manufacturing and delivering anything from fully assembled electronic circuit boards to complete end products for customers globally. The services and technology we offer are a result of our 60 years' experience. Test development is only one of the many key competencies offered by Kitron.