QSC Streamlines Production Test with ScanExpress JET

Boundary-scan provides non-intrusive test coverage without requiring external probe access

(PresseBox) ( Cerritos, )
QSC Audio Products, LLC has been a leader and pioneer in professional audio products and systems for over four decades. At their 81,000 square foot, state-of-the-art production facility in Costa Mesa, California, the engineers at QSC develop and manufacture high reliability professional audio equipment-products proudly featured in sports stadiums, performance theaters, cinemas, and even cruise ships.

QSC's high profile clientele have high expectations, requiring dedication to quality, commitment to performance, and impeccable reliability-these products must work day in, day out. As Jonathan Sanders, Test Engineering Manager at QSC puts it, "Our market demands high reliability. Many of our products don't even include power switches; they are never meant to be powered off." Each and every product is expected to work worry-free.

Product testing plays a key role in guaranteeing that each audio system shipped maintains and solidifies QSC's reputation for quality and reliability. Take, for example, QSC's Q-Sys(TM) Integrated System Platform, a complete routing, processing, and control solution for large scale applications that require a powerful, system-wide audio solution. The Q-Sys system is built around the Q-Sys Core-a centralized processor responsible for audio routing, processing, and all control functions. As complex digital products, the populated Printed Circuit Boards (PCB) included in each Q-Sys component needs to be verified for both structural and functional integrity.

QSC has been using Corelis ScanExpress boundary-scan test systems to ensure that all manufactured products are free from defects, primarily because it is an ideal solution for QSC's digital products: boundary-scan provides non-intrusive test coverage without requiring external probe access. "Boundary-scan is our main board-level test platform," explains QSC Digital Test Engineer, Sean Summers. "Bed of nails simply isn't viable for the type of products that we build."

While board test coverage from boundary-scan was excellent, production demand continued to rise to a point where test and programming times became a bottleneck in the manufacturing process. After discussing the problem, Corelis invited QSC to attend their free three day training at Corelis Headquarters in Cerritos, California. During training, QSC learned about JTAG Embedded Test (JET) technology, a test and programming method that leverages the built-in CPU to run at-speed functional tests and In System Programming (ISP). Corelis' ScanExpress JET presented a clean solution to QSC's test time problem: by running tests at-speed using the system processor, JET drastically reduced test time.

Corelis applications engineers were quickly able to implement JET technology in QSC's process. QSC Digital Test Engineer, Jose Gutierrez comments, "As far as product support goes, Corelis gets a 1000%. We were quite pleased with the ease of JET integration. Corelis technical support really went out of their way to offer assistance with getting things up and running."

Combined with QSC's existing boundary-scan tests, JET provided blazingly fast ISP as well as complete at-speed RAM tests saving considerable time in test and programming. Exactly how much time did QSC save by deploying JET in the production test process? According to Gutierrez, "Test time per unit was reduced from 10 minutes just for programming the Flash down to around 2 minutes. This was exactly the solution we needed."
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