Tests and trials are fundamental moments in any activity of design, development, production, and maintenance of electronic components. Only by properly testing electronic equipment can you ascertain if the item is working properly and, if not, what is not. To be able to test electronic components, a variety of tests are available today:
- visual test: a first evaluation of the component and of the packaging in order to verify possible non-conformities
- solderability test: determines the solderability of the component pins
- de-cap inspection: verifies the originality of a component
- functionality test: verifies the functioning of the component
- X-ray inspection: detects any anomalies and defects, thanks to the ability to see inside the component without disassembling the assembled parts. Very useful for detecting problems that escape the visual test.
- programming test
- test with acetone
- ROHS test: verifies compliance with the ROHS regulation, which establishes restrictions on the use of certain hazardous substances in the construction of electronic equipment
- electrical tests with multimeters to measure voltage and current inside an integrated circuit and with oscilloscopes to show the variation of the electrical signal over time
Who performs these tests
The question that arises, however, is who performs these tests? The answer is very simple, but unfortunately often hidden from the eyes of the customer. In fact, the pieces must be tested by laboratories, called test houses, which have an adequate certification to demonstrate that they are not only competent but that the work can be used as an evidential tool in case of malfunction.
Unfortunately, instead, when you buy from retailers who are not ultra-specialized, in most cases, the tests are conducted by private laboratories and the paper confirmation is issued only and exclusively in case of subsequent problems. Almost never is it indicated if and which test has been carried out to verify the functionality, certifying the passage for example with a paper document. The only element of “proof” is therefore the word of the seller to which you have to believe by putting a Czech trust.
So if I later have problems with the component, what can I do? Who can I turn to?
Accredited test houses, such as White Horse or Top Test, guarantee the execution of qualified tests and, in case of subsequent problems, the possibility to interface with the customer service of a specialized company that takes care of customer care. The supplier’s small private lab, on the other hand, besides not providing certification on the tests performed, will offer you a Chinese technician who speaks a few words of English as mere customer service, providing zero help.
Why use an independent distributor
Buying from an independent distributor like Electronic Partner you are guaranteed a punctual and performing service in every respect. Parts are guaranteed as well as answers to questions about the number of tests performed. If, for example, you plan to purchase MPS 500 MP2483DQ-LF-Z or MP2483DQ-LF-Z from an independent distributor, you will be able to know whether all of the parts in your lot have been tested or whether a spot check has been performed, and so on. What’s more, you’ll also be able to contact the parent company directly if there are any issues.
You should always keep in mind that certain types of tests are destructive to the component being analyzed, and therefore very expensive. So it is necessary to understand if this procedure is already included in the agreed price. More in general, it must be clear if it will be a “complete” examination or for example only visual, a test that obviously is not destructive and therefore less expensive.
When buying electronic components is, therefore, necessary to rely on professionals who can give all the guarantees and valid pre and post-sales assistance.