If you’re a first time product designer and you're spending all your time on the product itself, you might forget just how much time and effort it can take to set up a good test jig. A test jig is essentially a contraption that allows you to test many components of a board all at once.
There are a lot of things to consider when creating a test jig, ranging from test coverage to operator fatigue, and of course throughput and reliability. In some cases, a product designer may spend even more time designing a test jig than they spend designing the product itself!
This guide will take you through the basics of soldering a generic type of electronics testing fixture and serves as an update to this original How to Make a Pogo Pin Test Jig guide.
This guide provides a more in depth description of the process and how to get things right the first time.
The impact that a well-designed test jig can have on manufacturing efficiency is huge. These are extremely important for large scale manufacturing, as reputable factories will test 100% of every product shipped. It is easy to lose sight of the potential pitfalls of hardware manufacturing and the magnification of those issues at scale; if you can cut a product's testing time from 4 minutes to 1 minute the time savings will pay off exponentially as thousands of units are tested.
For this project you will need:
- Soldering iron
- Pogo pins
- Rubber feet for metro
- Through-hole LED
- Piezo buzzer
- Tweezers or needle nose pliers
- Kapton tape
- Tactile button
- Panavise or PCB holder
- Flush diagonal cutters
- Standoffs and screws
- 9V power and power switch