Elements for Measurement System Integration

Editor : Sapien

Standing at the cross roads
Trying to read the signs
To tell me which way I should go
To find the answer
And all the time I know
Plant your love and let it grow.

– From Let It Grow, sung by Eric Clapton

 Carrying out an experiment requires a test system comprising basic components for measurement, equipment to control test environment, and control elements for sequential or automatic process as system operations.

 The experiment automation using computers is essential to guarantee measurement accuracy and reproducibility and to avoid human errors and limitations. A series of experimental steps, such as setting test conditions, operating instrument and performing measurement at right timing, data acquisition and processing into meaningful information, and outputting final results in various forms, are programmed by user-interface software. The sequence builder is very useful when experimental steps are quite complicated or sequences are repeated over many different conditions. Numerical analysis algorithms are applied in various ways in order to extract meaningful parameters from measured data, and these functions are provided from the user-interface software.

 Systems for maintaining test environment are able to auto-control various experimental conditions such as temperature, humidity, gas, pressure, etc.. Constant temperature control for standard measurement as well as high, low, and ultralow temperature control is possible, and tests are performed either in a thermal chamber with many test samples at the same time, or in a Thermostation, a special test jig which controls each test sample’s temperature individually.

 A test jig is a fixture for samples to the system, indispensable as an experimental component to apply experimental stimulation and to measure the response, which usually includes probing units for electrical contacts and mechanical positioning. Depending on test purpose and sample structure test jigs are custom-designed in various forms, and McScience classifies and standardizes the most frequently used test jigs into application types and provides them as a special brand called DeJign™.

 In case of testing multiple samples at the same time, a multi-channel test system is required for operation of multiple samples as well as for data acquisition and management. Especially in association with long-term tests for measurement of device lifetime or evaluation of reliability, system designs fitting on test scale, instrument stability and efficient data management systems are necessary.

 In case for inspecting products at manufacturing facilities, automated testing systems are available for precise and efficient quality control. McScience provides a series of automated product evaluation systems, operated by system software in combination with automated machines and various measurement apparatus, as in-line test equipment with custom design works and manufacturing, and also provides technical services to handle any customer query or issue coming in.

 As information technologies develop, and in line with miniaturization trends of communication module and measurement devices, traditional measurement techniques are also facing the times for new change. In particular, recognizing that recent development of IT technology is an attempt to escape from constraints of space and human interface, McScience is planning to release new measurement systems based on wireless communication.