Test Equipment in any branch of engineering is as important as the equipment itself. It helps us in checking equipment performance and identify defects if any. In this post we will discuss about Electrical/ Electronic Test Equipment, how it works, types, importance, common application and precautions while using it.
What Do You Mean by Test Equipment
A Test Equipment is used to create signals and capture the relative responses from electrical/ electronic DUTs (Devices Under Test). By this way, we can easily prove the proper operation of the DUT and moreover trace faults in the device.
How a Test Equipment Works
A Test Equipment compares the DUT’s output with the ideal value to determine its health. A suitable voltage or current or signal is introduced to the circuit/ component of DUT being checked. It then collects the measured value and compares it with the expected result.
Test Equipments also have its own internal circuit, which does the necessary conversions and calculation to provide us the relevant data about the circuit/ component being measured.
Every Test Equipment is designed to perform specific function.
Why Test Equipments are Required
The performance of all electrical or electronic equipment tend to degrade with time due to fair wear out and component material degradation owing to its exposure to heat, shock, vibration as well as other environmental conditions. Accordingly, chances of equipment failure and electric shock increases with time. Hence, it is always advised that the periodic calibration and tests of all electrical/ electronic equipment must be conducted.
If we talk about the measurement involved with electronics, then we can not discard the measurement importance of voltage/current/capacitance/resistance/inductance etc. If the testing/fault finding of a circuit is required, then all the above mentioned electrical quantities cannot be neglected. It is why we have to consider all the electrical quantities and check for its correctness in order to determine the condition/defect of all components of a circuit.
Today, if we think about practical electrical/electronics engineering i.e the field job, we should be able to use various kinds of test equipments ranging from the very simple and inexpensive like tester (a test light consisting of just a light bulb and a test lead) to complex and sophisticated test equipments like Digital Oscilloscope.
Types of Electrical/ Electronic Test Equipments
There are different types of Test Equipments available for performing specific functions. Some of the most popular and common types of Test Equipments are listed below:
- Digital Multimeter
- Clamp Meter (Tong Tester)
- Shock Pulse Meter
- Digital Oscilloscope
- Wee Megger
- Electric Motor Checker (EMC)
- Instrumentation Amplifier
- Owen Bridge Circuit
- Analog Voltmeter
- Digital Voltmeter
- Frequency Counter
- Resistance Temperature Detector (RTD)
- Signal Generator
- Spectrum Analyzer
- Neon tester
Common Applications of Test Equipment
There are numerous applications and electrical tests that can be carried out by Electrical / Electronic Test Equipments. Here is a list of most common applications (but not limited to) of Test Equipments:
- To check basic electrical/ electronics parameters such as Voltage, Current, Resistance, Inductance, Capacitance, etc.
- To check Insulation of wire or equipment in order to avoid chances of electric shock or fire.
- To verify equipment performance.
- For identification of defects at system and component level.
- To check continuity or conductance.
General Precautions while Working with Test Equipment
General precautions while working with Test Equipments are:
- Always use the right test equipment to perform a successful test as a wrong testing equipment may lead to damage of the testing bay/ facility/ equipment and loss of life.
- The probes and leads should also be checked for suitability. An unsuitable probe or lead to generation of arc, short circuit and electric shock.
- Do not use low quality Test Equipments.
- You should be familiar with the operation of Test Equipments being used.
- Cut Off the power supply if equipment is not required to be switched on.
- Carry out a visual inspection first.
- Check the equipment grounding before switching on the system for your safety.
- Check the insulation of wire before switching on the system.
- Use electrical PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) while working on live circuit.
You can rate the importance of Test equipments by just this fact that almost all electronic/electrical equipment need them right from initially designing new products or troubleshooting the existing devices to ensure proper operation. The repairs and maintainability of almost all electronic/electrical equipment requires the checks by Test Equipment.
If we use these test equipments properly, it helps in reducing the service and maintenance at frequent intervals of time and hence results in lesser system unavailability during the period of repairs.
The familiarity with a test-equipment is a must if you need to be quick in DI/DR (defect identification and defect rectification). It will not be wrong to say that you can achieve proficiency on an electrical-equipment only when you master its relative test-equipment.
Can you identify the above test equipment(s), If not, then don’t worry. Go through our Test Equipment Module. Link is Given Below.