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Dual Tier SCOUT in Rack

A major manufacturer of power sources had the requirement to do parallel burn-in/life-cycle testing of large production runs of product. The requirement included the need to minimize set-up time between test runs, decrease the complexity of the physical connections between the UUTs and the ATE, and provide a repeatable and reliable solution that could be easily implemented in a high volume production environment.

Their existing test system was very cumbersome and often times resulted in set-up errors. They were utilizing traditional rack and stack instruments that required that a variety of cables to connect to the units under test. This resulted in time consuming set-ups between test and produced unacceptable test cycle times. Due to the myriad of cables and low life-cycle connectors needed to execute the test set-up, many measurement stability and quality errors were being introduced.

The customer realized that they needed to find an alternative solution in order to predictably meet their production requirements. The test strategy required massive switching and needed to be capable of withstanding repetitive set-ups without failure. The customer, recognizing the benefits of PXI modular instrumentation and mass interconnect capability, decided to engage MAC Panel to investigate a solution. Because of the large number of signals needed, it became apparent that requirements exceeded the capability of a standard PXI chassis.

During the research phase of the project, the MAC Panel engineering team analyzed the testing requirements and determined that the total signal load would require three PXI chassis. One large group of signals required frequent changes with each set-up while a smaller group required much less manipulation during the course of test set-up.

It was determined that the ideal system configuration would include one Single Tier SCOUT system along with one Dual Tier SCOUT system. The SCOUT Dual Tier system was currently in the product development phase at MAC Panel and had not been released to production. Because of this requirement, we quickly validated the Dual Tier design and incorporated it into the solution.

The system requirements also dictated that the SCOUT systems be integrated into the customer’s equipment rack on the production floor. This was needed to satisfy safety and security requirements. MAC Panel worked directly with the customer to customize the solution to meet these important design criteria.

The combination of one single tier and one dual tier SCOUT system offered a solution that met every one of the customer’s requirements for his new test system. It allowed the use of state of the art switching instrumentation, pre-wired test set-ups, minimal down time between tests sequences, long-life interconnect components, and reliable/repeatable electrical performance. It also demonstrated that complex test requirements can be met utilizing a form factor larger than one PXI chassis.


  • Up to 8,400 I/O Points
  • 8 External Wiring Slots
  • Incorporated Slide Shelves Provide Easy Access