ITW (Harwood Heights, IL) manufactures I/O protection modules. The modules are 2-to-1 multiplexers with 32 inputs, 16 outputs. The modules have transient voltage suppressors on the inputs and outputs. The suppressors on the inputs handle both differential and common-mode transients; the suppressors on the outputs handle only differential-mode transients.

The test system used to develop the modules was a complicated array of power supplies, multimeters and oscilloscopes, requiring highly skilled technicians. Also, testing an entire module for continuity and compliance with voltage suppression levels took 30 minutes. It was clear a 30-minute test cycle, along with a high skill-level requirement, would erode the company's competitive edge. A faster, simpler test setup was needed.

Eddy Voltaire, plant manager, saw Cirris System Corp.'s (Salt Lake City) Signal Touch 1 in operation on an automated connector production line at his company's insert molded products division. He realized his test requirements were similar to those performed in a hipot test on a Signature Touch 1, and that the tester would fit comfortably into the existing production process.

ITW now uses the tester to test continuity and compliance of the modules. However, this application is more complex due to the relays used to multiplex the inputs. Each relay must be tested in both the unenergized and energized states. The tester's scripting features allow the company to switch relays that control the switches during testing. The module's changing configuration is managed with the parent-child wirelist component of the Signature Touch 1. Four separate child wirelists are used to complete the continuity test requirements of the module.

The tester combines an integrated Pentium-class PC and a large, graphical touch-screen display. The testers use instructions to guide the operator through every step. A built-in help system provides immediate answers to user-interface questions on the touch-screen display. The testers can also provide SPC data collection, error reporting, networking, upload and download of test files, onboard editing of wire lists, test point labeling and custom reporting.

By using the Signature Touch 1, the company has improved its throughput. The testing procedure was also simplified, allowing assembly workers to perform in-process and final testing of the module. Voltaire says, "We found that by using the scripting and custom components of a Touch 1, we could create a fast, accurate test for our product. The tester helped reduce the test time for each module from 30 minutes to less than 2 minutes."

For more information on wire harness testers, call Cirris at 800-441-9910, visit or Reply 1.