New wireless test system

Jon Lawson

Alfamation has launched a new test system for manufacturing quality control of in-car wireless chargers. The new tester supports different charging standards, including Qi, PMA and more, as well as Near Field Communications (NFC).

Due to its architecture, the new in-line tester can perform parallel, or multi-site, functional tests of up to four devices at the same time. This enables it to have a high throughput as required for automotive mass production, ensuring productivity is high and costs are minimised. The system is a standardised platform, thus simplifying maintenance.

Wireless charging will soon be present in nearly all smartphones, so cars will have to support it. This means that the automotive industry will need to thoroughly test chargers integrated into vehicles.

Car manufacturers will need to support multiple standards used for wireless charging, and to handle the complexities of testing all variants quickly, reliably and cost-effectively. Additionally, not just the actual power transfer must be tested. Nowadays, chargers and batteries are smart and they communicate with each other to optimise charging, so this communication protocol must also be tested. 

“Alfamation has strong experience in building complicated automated testing machines for the car industry," said Mauro Arigossi, CEO of Alfamation. 

“We’ve been working closely with our customers to develop a completely automated solution based upon their use cases, capable of performing multiple tests with a pass/fail sorting control,” added Arigossi. “The tester will continue to be developed, and will soon be able to accommodate new features for higher test capabilities and wider standards coverage.”

The new tester includes integrated infeed and outfeed conveyors, with integrated load/unload robot handling. It has up to four smart fixtures, which are quickly interchangeable and require only Ethernet, power and compressed air connections.

The tester simulates the charging cycle and loading, and allows for controlled antennas shift testing. A QR reader aids management and tracking, ensuring the tester can be integrated in a modern full automated flexible production line, and be used in Industry 4.0 applications.

The new system integrates automotive DUT communication, including CAN and LIN. It includes 64-bit Supernova 4.0 /NI TestStand test executive software, and test application development is possible by configuration and scripting.


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