Test equipment’s modular approach offers a range of prog

Peak will be using the Test 98 exhibition in Birmingham (14 15 October) to show its relatively low-cost test equipment for a broad range of functional tests.

Its modular approach allows customers to select from a range of test programs and measurement modes, suitable for circuit boards and sub-assemblies such as telephone keypads.

A vision system on the equipment can verify the correct operation of LEDs and other devices, as well as provide dynamic highlighting of specific areas being tested.

The PC-based system has an RFI-screened fixture for monitoring weak signals from, say, mobile communications equipment, in noisy environments.

Modules of the equipment, originally developed for the maker of TrafficMaster, can include hydraulically operated fingers for mechanical tests on keypads.

Other facilities include XYZ platforms, analogue/digital and thermal measurement.


A new oscilloscope on Tektronix’s Test 98 stand is said to be more accurate, but no more expensive, than digital storage oscilloscopes when working with complex electronic signals.

The Digital Phosphor Oscilloscope provides real-time capture and analysis of three dimensions of signal information. As well as amplitude and time, it records the distribution of amplitude over time. This can be used to interpret signal dynamics including instantaneous changes in signal and how often they occur.

Models with up to 2GHz bandwidth on four channels retain the popular Tektronix DSO user interface.


Leak test company Ai Qualitek has extended its range of non-destructive leak detectors based on pressure decay and trace gas detection.

Helitest is said to provide excellent sensitivity and selectivity using helium as a trace gas for automotive and aerospace component testing.

The portable unit can also be used to find leaks in pressurised underground telephone cables and in refrigeration systems during manufacture.

The H-10, on the other hand, detects CFC-type propellant and refrigeration gases.


Nikon claims its CNC video system offers better performance than conventional measuring microscopes or standard profile projectors.

The system is designed to improve inspection workflow in a variety of measurement applications. Multiple edges can make accurate measurement difficult. The NEXIV series overcomes this by allowing the user to define an edge using just one of 256 greyscale levels.

The grid system avoids the usual distortion from varying illumination. High magnification models are suitable for measuring ceramic packages and boards as well as PCBs. Final measurement results shown on the monitor display the roundness, flatness and straightness of a sample against ISO and JIS standards.


Simplicity, but with a full range of features, is the theme of Pruftechnik’s portable machine condition monitoring instrument, the Vibrocord.

It has two operation levels trend mode and expert route mode. The latter switches in automatically when the instrument detects a signal above the alarm level. A predefined test route then directs the operator to collect data so that the cause of machine deterioration can be assessed.

Proven Vibcode ‘smartstud’ technology ensures the operator correctly identifies test points.

The instrument can also be used as a fast Fourier transform analyser. A knowledge-based menu enables inexperienced operators to set up the Vibrocord.


Cadcam vendor Matra Datavision has joined forces with CMM supplier Mitutoyo to develop a new generation of Cad-driven part inspection software.

The Windows 95 product will be available exclusively on Mitutoyo CMMs, providing on-line as well as off-line programming capabilities and in-built collision detection routines.

By interfacing the 3D Cad definition directly with the CMM’s Geopak-Win program, the software aims to avoid problems of incomplete or corrupted data exchange caused by software translators.

Future developments will include complementary PC-based 3D surface modelling, reverse engineering and rapid prototyping.


Investment in new test equipment is enabling electrical engineering company Gravatom to provide pre-compliance testing to other companies.

The service covers the requirements of the low voltage directive, the machinery directive and the EMC directive. The company believes it will be particularly attractive to smaller firms, which may baulk at the charges of some accredited test houses.