Alfamation launches functional tester for automotive wireless chargers

A test system for manufacturing quality control of in-car wireless chargers has been launched by Alfamation. The  tester supports different charging standards, including Qi and PMA, as well as near field communications

The in-line tester can perform parallel, or multi-site, functional test 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 which helps simplify maintenance, says Alfamation.

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, as well as testing the actual power transfer, chargers and batteries are smart and they communicate with each other to optimise charging, so this communication protocol must also be tested. Alfamation says its system handles all this complexity with ease.

“Alfamation has strong experience in building complicated automated testing machines for the car industry,” said Mauro Arigossi, chief executive officer of Alfamation. “The new system is an excellent example of bringing innovative test solutions to market, combining Alfamation’s extensive industry knowledge with customer requirements.”

“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 fully automated flexible production line, and can 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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