Increase engineering productivity through prototype validation

A quick recap: Why this webinar matters to you 

Supply chains and lead times may still be volatile, but engineering goals remain constant and non-negotiable: Meet project timelines by optimizing for efficiency every step of the way.

But this can’t happen if engineers are held back by validation and functional testing. Even with proper planning, spending your limited engineering resources on quality control and testing can cause significant delays and unexpected costs.

One McKinsey survey discovered that testing and validation efforts could take up 50% of your project’s design cycle ― which is far from ideal if you factor in the complexities of PCB development and testing. 

In this webinar, Tempo Automation was joined by long-time fabrication and validation experts Gil White (Director of Operations at APCT) and Klaus Koziol (VP Sales for Americas, Korea, SE Asia at ATG) to discuss the value of testing during prototyping and early NPI from the perspective of contract manufacturers.

Watch the full webinar as they dive into the specifics of audience questions, including: 

  • What are the examples of standard testing and those driven by customer demand?
  • How much do testing procedures impact the cost of a build?
  • Do engineers or contract manufacturers determine the best type of testing for boards?

In the recap below, we’ll also review the overarching discussion on improving engineering productivity with software-accelerated prototype testing. 

The benefits of minimizing in-house validation and testing

At Tempo Automation, we’ve seen customers delegate their engineering bandwidth differently.

Some customers spend just as much time validating and testing their prototypes as they do designing them. On the other hand of the spectrum, some customers are able to dedicate their engineering resources to focus on the design process while contract manufacturers take charge of validating designs and functional testing. 

Working with CMs to explore testing options during the fabrication and assembly process can keep product timelines on track, even if you discover that boards aren’t performing as expected, 

More importantly, building a solid relationship with contract manufacturing (CM) partners allows engineering teams to do what only they can do. They don’t have to split their focus trying to figure out exactly what tests are most suitable depending on timelines, the design of the board, and industry standards. 

In the webinar, our speakers discussed the common occurrence of clients spending weeks trying to uncover issues and abnormalities after discovering that the board they’re receiving isn’t what they expected. 

“What you don’t want is to set up multiple days on your calendar that only exist for incoming board validation,” says Ryan Saul, Director of Sales Engineering at Tempo Automation. “You’re blocking out that time that could potentially be used for functional experimentation and design improvements — for real engineering work.”

What quality measures should you look for in contract manufacturers?

Contract manufacturers that help companies routinely perform functional testing will typically have different tests to help you analyze your board’s ability to work as intended. 

Most CMs don’t have the capabilities for complex functional testing, like processor evaluation. However, designing within the capabilities of your CMs can help you maximize the robust quality assurance and testing measures they have in place.

In the webinar, our expert speakers explore the specifics of different types of functional testing that CMs provide customers. A brief overview is listed below: 


Test Type

Function(s) or Condition(s) Tested

Result Format

Flying Probe In-Circuit Test (ICT) Component input/output voltages and currents, resistance, capacitance, continuity, open/shorts Parameter value
Bed of Nails In-Circuit Test (ICT) Analog/Digital data, IC data, component input/output voltages and currents, resistance, capacitance, continuity, open/shorts Parameter value
Bend Test Board flexibility or degree of bendability Value

For example, our speakers talked about the benefits of being able to help clients conduct the flying probe in-circuit test for more robust testing. With lower board counts and higher technologies in today’s manufacturing environment, the flying probe method is the most common platform CM customers use. 

Flying probe testing gives you advanced measurement options not readily available on bed of nails testing. Engineering teams can work with CMs to use flying probe technology for wire testing, high-powered testing, inductance testing, latent defect testing, and more. 

Although flying probes tests require software programming and can be a cost adder, it’s an incremental cost instead of the dramatic cost increase associated with developing a classic bed of nails test fixture — which can potentially cost tens of thousands of dollars. 

Tempo enables smooth and seamless PCB functional testing

Tempo’s custom PCB manufacturing service helps engineering teams maximize productivity by performing automated inspections during PCB assembly for prototyping. 

We support organizations throughout the PCB manufacturing process, from design to prototyping and production. Our software-driven platform accelerates design iterations and allows you to view and download DRC files using Altium Designer, Cadence Allegro, Mentor Pads, or other design packages. Tempo Automation also offers:

  • ISO-9001, IPC-600 and IPC-610 commitment to quality certifications.
  • Accurate quotes in less than 1 day.
  • Entire turnkey processes in as fast as 3 days
  • A network of trusted brokers to help secure hard-to-find or  end-of-lifecycle components

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