Understanding Electronic Test and Measurement Equipment

For many electronic engineering and assembly industries, most of their work is practical hence the need for an electronic test, measurement and diagnostic equipment. The equipment usually varies from the most basic inexpensive ones like test lights that only has a bulb and a test lead to more sophisticated and costly machines. A good example of such complex equipment is Automatic Test Equipment (ATE) that is a combination of real test and measurement equipment and in simulated form.

For the development of circuits and systems, the industries involved use more advanced test gear. They use less advanced equipment when testing during production and diagnosing units that are already in the field. Due to the availability of a wide range of test and measuring equipment in the market, one should ensure to work with professionals and experts with actual experience. These people would know what equipment to use for a specific purpose.

Since this equipment are used for quality control and product effectiveness, there is a need to regularly deal with equipment calibration as recommended by auditors from within the organization, accreditation body, or a government department like the FDA. Most of the regulators have rules and regulations that must be followed and consequences when instruments are not up to code during an inspection.

How to Select Test and Measurement Equipment for the users need

  1. Cost

For a big institution, the price of the equipment may be justified by the downtime reduced by the equipment. For smaller institutions and individuals, it would be a mistake to invest in expensive machines when the output is low.

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     2. Test all equipment over time

It is common for measuring equipment to drift after a while, therefore, prompting the need to recalibrate to ensure the same recommended specifications every time the equipment is in use. Ensure the intervals of review follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, process requirement, history of the equipment and risk requirements within appropriate limits.

      3. The longevity of the equipment

With much emphasis being placed on the manufacturer’s specifications, how an equipment performs, in the long run, is overlooked many times. The accuracy of the equipment can be short term until the next calibration. One should consider the drift of the instrument over a period of time, say one year. The equipment can also be suited for small operations otherwise, it breaks down.

      4. Determining the right tool for the job

Depending on the manufacturer’s specification on the manual, some equipment comes with a clear set of instructions on their purpose, specifications and calibration instructions. An example is a digital multimeter that is a measurement and diagnostic tool for maintenance crews, electricians on the move, laboratory technicians to mention a few. In contrast, tools such as a relative humidity meter don’t have a specified operating environment. The conditions for use vary thus making it hard for the manufacturer to specify the specific tool to use for different applications.

How To Use Test And Measurement Equipment Safely

Test and measuring equipment backed by a solid brand name is safe to use since they consider safety, reliability, and accuracy when manufacturing this equipment. Because of that, one should remember that any equipment using electricity can be dangerous thus the emphasis on safety.

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The manual for all electric equipment contains all safety instructions and should be read before using the said equipment. Big manufacturers also offer training classes to users and impart skills that can improve productivity and also safety recommendations.

Whether the test and manufacturing equipment is contact or non-contact, there are certain risks that come with using both types. Think of a thermographic camera which is non-contact. To handle the camera, the user needs to remove the covers of energized equipment. The infrared can cause harm to the user thus the need to install infrared ports on the equipment. Another way to make it even safer is to fix it on the wall eliminating the need to touch or move it. That is with proper guidance from the manufacturer of course.

The uses of test and measuring equipment cannot be ignored which makes the selection and safety considerations very important for the end user. For a person that is considering buying the equipment, they can look into used test and measuring equipment information online to find reputable dealers.

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