Quest for Continuous Improvement Demands “Bed of Nails” Quality Testing

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Wahsega rigorous testing

Meeting Wahsega Quality Standards Requires Rigorous Custom Hardware Testing

A guiding principle of Wahsega Labs is insisting on rigorous quality standards for its products. It is a customer-first philosophy that allows Wahsega to continuously improve their quality as it is presented to their customers. In order to root out those needed improvements, it is imperative that product testing be specific and thorough. Generic hardware testing solutions will only verify broad, general areas of functionality and might miss key features that are designed into Wahsega’s product lines.

Thus, “Bed of Nails” testing was adopted. The key concept in BON testing is creating unique testers for each circuit board and component. Each tester is designed to cover 100% functionality of each circuit on the board. This is an important distinction because although you might assume that normal testing platforms cover all circuits in a device, this is not the case at all. Typical testers (called flying probe testers) can miss critical areas in the hardware that are responsible for the enhanced functionality and reliability that Wahsega has come to be known for. And, much like the insistence on local manufacturing, BON testing is done because of the customers and their expectations.

What is the downside to this degree of testing? Certainly, for this kind of validation, testing development time increases. But the advantages outweigh the increased testing development time. Consider these factors when thinking of “Bed of Nails” testing:

  1. Reduced chance of shipping defective hardware to the customer
  2. The test time is faster which allows for a lower overall testing cost per board (creating cost savings for the customer)
  3. It also doubles as a programmer for the unit under test, allowing for manufacturing optimization and customization during the product manufacturing cycle
  4. Hardware functional block test results per board are tracked and should a field failure crop up, it is possible to go back and see how the unit tested and further improve the testing methods to eliminate future failures.

To compete for customer loyalty and increase market share in an industry like IP audio devices, Wahsega Labs understands that the best path forward is to build in noticeably higher quality than the rest of the market. And because resources are always at a premium, getting extra help in any area has a great influence on product quality. With enhanced testing, the extra level of thoroughness in development shows in the final products. It is a philosophy in line with the old adage repeated by fine woodworkers: “Measure twice, cut once.”