Test Systems

Test fixtures with integrated automated test equipment and software. Designing a test system requires a comprehensive process to complete the system-level architecture and electrical design work and define and execute a final validation plan.

With some additional effort, test systems can be designed to test multiple circuit boards.
Mechanical-only All-in-one Multi-cartridge Things to Consider...
Unique DUTs? Single Single Multiple Multi-cartridge topologies are efficient if product run-rates are medium to low, costly to duplicate when run-rates increase.
Requires Blueprint? No Yes Yes Complex designs integrating test instrumentation and software require a FixturFab Blueprint phase to define a Test System.
Cost to Design? $ $$ $$$ Mechanical-only fixtures require minimal design knowledge transfer to fixture design team, saving time & money.
Cost to Replicate? $ $$ $$$ Instrumentation costs in a multi-cartridge approach can make it expensive to replicate.
Ease of Deployment? Easy Medium Hard The multi-cartridge approach is difficult to bring up and qualify across the full scope of DUT variants.
Ease of Re-use? Easy Hard Medium All-in-one fixture customization makes the reuse of system components unlikely. Mechanical-only fixtures are easy to reuse.
Design Time? Fast Medium Long Explaining testing schemas is difficult, the more the design team owns the process the faster it happens.

FixturFab Test Systems typically include:

  • A central CPU resource responsible for running Test Software, determining the test outcome, and reporting test results.
  • Integrated automated test equipment that is programmatically controlled.
  • A Turnkey Test Point Carrier Board (TPCB) that electrically connects the Device Under Test (DUT) to the Test Fixture via a multitude of test points. "Turnkey" TPCBs typically include a combination of support circuits and integrate other ATE devices like power injectors, analog multiplexers, voltage translators, GPIO control, and many others.
Generic Test System Block Diagram

Estimated Starting Prices and Lead Times

Estimated starting prices and lead times for Test Systems vary widely and are highly dependent on specific Device Under Test (DUT) features and test requirements. Because of this, all Turnkey Test System and most Test System quotes will start with a paid Test System Blueprint Phase to provide a detailed plan to the customer to avoid any costly mistakes late during the development or manufacturing processes.

FixturFab Test System Blueprints are designed to be useful, even if a customer would like to proceed with a different designer or manufacturer. The primary deliverables consist of the following.

  • Test System Block Diagram and Cabling Plan
  • Automated Test Equipment Selection
  • Test Matrix (Test Plan mapping to test hardware and/or API resources)
  • Test System Qualification and Acceptance Plan
  • Bill of Materials
  • Milestone Schedule
  • Detailed project quotation, price, and lead-time.

Test System Type

Starting Price

Starting Lead Time

Test System Blueprints


2 weeks

Test Systems


10 weeks

Turnkey Test Systems


16 weeks

Process to Deliver a Test System

Test Systems are designed to execute complex Functional Test Plans, and are most often implemented in production-level fixtures (although development-level fixtures also occasionally fall into this category). Fixture designs that are very simple (e.g., mechanical-only Test Fixtures) do not require this level of design effort.

FixturFab has developed a standard, comprehensive process for designing Test Systems, summarized in the following flowchart.

fixturfab-test-system-process (560 x 850 px)
Typical process for Turnkey Test Systems