I'm currently working for a company where I design and implement an automated test program to test our products. Currently our tests take quite a bit of time (several minutes per unit) and need to optimize it in the future as the volume will increase (1000+). The tests take that long as the product is quite advanced with many feature that needs time to be evaluated properly (GSM/3G/GPS/Battery charging etc).
We use a PC application that loads the a special test firmware into the device and performs various measurements; While the test firmware communicates with and tests all on board chips and their functionary one step at a time as the PC application controls it via a USB terminal interface.
Our current thoughts are to:
Have test pads underneath the boards so that the operator doesn't need to plug in/out any cables during the PCB test. Just place it on a bed of needles
Perhaps parallelize the system to test several objects at a time
Me and the others at our company are not very familiar with how to do things other than low--volume tests. So I ask for advice from you experience people on what the proper way to do medium/high-volume tests of a fairly complex product?
Thanks for your time, Kind regards