Systems are often an integration of custom electronics and software in addition to off-the-shelf components.
Test equipment divides into 2 types.
Production line test equipment is designed to verify the function of all products reaching the end of a manufacturing process. Most commonly the equipment forms the last stage in the production line prior to final inspection and packing. Calibration is often included as part of the test process.
Typically the test equipment is highly automated and designed to allow maximum product throughput with minimum operator intervention.
Where test parameters can be changed, it is normal to password protect the programme areas that allow this.
Certificates and labels can be generated when a product successfully passes the test.
Results can be logged and emailed and reports generated.
Normally intended for use by a skilled operator; investigative test equipment is a tool for in-depth testing. A typical application is to validate the behaviour of a control system against a large set of conditions. Such validation is often required before revised software for a control system can be released. When manual testing is very time consuming; automated test equipment can greatly speed the process.