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      Do more, with less: the challenges of maintenance in a digital & wireless world (02/02/2018)

      As the IoT continues to proliferate and touch nearly every point in our lives, the need to manage the maintenance of millions of wired and wireless endpoints in hugely complex networks becomes a daunting task. This piece outlines some of the key challenges and potential solutions.

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      The benefits of cloud computing in the manufacturing industry (16/01/2018)

      The domestic canary isn’t what many of us would consider an obvious tool for industrial labour. Today, connectivity advancements and cloud computing are making industrial environment monitoring much more sophisticated than the former. As we enter the era of the smart factory, COPA-DATA discusses the benefits of cloud computing for the manufacturing industry.

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      Challenges in wireless test system design (10/11/2017)

      People are increasingly relying on their wireless and mobile devices to manage email and banking – and even to download or stream music, on-demand TV and movies. With consumers demanding ever higher mobile data rates and better signal integrity, wireless providers are developing new techniques to improve connectivity and achieve higher peak mobile data rates.

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      Scoping portable requirements (25/10/2017)

      All products need testing, both in the design and development phase, as well as once they move into production – with different requirements at each phase. Another consideration sometimes overlooked is the need for engineers to test products post-manufacturing in the field.

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      Laser-based PCB assembly inspection (20/09/2017)

      Electronic products typically have stringent testing requirements, particularly as the PCBs that power them have become more complex, miniaturised and mass-produced. Accurately and repeatedly inspecting PCB assemblies improves product quality and ensures reliability in use, helping to reduce the negative impact of field failures and product recall events, ultimately improving brand reputation. But doing so has traditionally been both difficult and costly.

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      Q&A: the pros and cons of renting T&M equipment (13/09/2017)

      As technology evolves, even everyday devices are becoming ever more complex, with electronics, connectivity and intelligence being built into ‘smart’ versions of virtually everything we own or use. This increases demands on R&D and test functions, necessitating a wide range of specialist test equipment and making it vital that it is kept up to date and fit for purpose. This can be a challenge for companies investing in T&M kit – and renting can provide an alternative option.

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      Experience solves legacy test problems (25/08/2017)

      The test function has always been among the most challenging processes in electronics manufacturing. How can test equipment keep ahead of the sub-assemblies it needs to validate? In theory, it should be easier when testing legacy products, but successfully developing futureproof solutions requires not only knowledge of the new, but also experience of the old.

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      Are you in safe hands? (17/08/2017)

      If you had to nominate a safe pair of hands, healthcare and medical practitioners might rank at the top of your list. However, the medical technology (MedTech) they rely on is in a vulnerable state.

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      Identifying RF interference sources with automatic IQ capture (17/08/2017)

      IQ (in-phase/quadrature) capture is a feature of modern spectrum analysers that helps engineers with in-depth analysis of RF signals. However, while it allows engineers to analyse the signal type being captured, it doesn’t always easily meet user requirements for triggering the capture in an automated way. This article explains how SCPI programming can be used to capture signals that exceed specified thresholds to help identify sources of interference.