Major factors responsible for the development of Test and Measurement techniques are an increase in the adoption of modular instruments, the easy adoption of electronic devices, the development of communication technology, and the increase in R&D activity. Test and measurement devices are powered by embedded processors. The test and measurement equipment are different depending on the domain such as general-purpose electronics, electrical, wireless/microwave/optical communication test, and measurement equipment. The test and measurement equipment enables its users to create as well as capture responses from the respective devices under test. This helps in tracing the faults in any of the devices under test. Test and measurement is a method of ensuring that the device meets the expected functionality. The test and measurement equipment can be considered as a combination of a number of components functioning together to achieve the task of analyzing the accuracy of results obtained from the device. 

Types of Equipment

  • Test and measurement equipment are mostly used in research laboratories, electronics, and manufacturing units. They are also used to analyze material or particles of any material. 
  • Depending on the purpose, the test and measurement equipment are of different types. Some of them are: voltmeter, ammeter, ohmmeter, signal generators, capacitor meters, pattern generators pulse code generators, and electromotive force meters. These type of test and measurement equipment meters are used in the electronics industry.
  • For particle analysis, another set of testing devices are used, such as particle counter, surface energy analyzer, shape analyzer, potential analyzer, and size analyzer.
  • The technique of test and measurement seems to have a steady rise in the U.S. mainly attributed to technological advancement and easy adoption of the newly developed technology The contribution of the R&D dept., to a great extent has helped in the development of this technique.

Some Key Uses of Test & Measurement Equipment

The test and measurement equipment finds its utility in almost all sectors of work, wherein these devices serve different purposes. They are used to ensure safety in health care diagnostics and treatments. It also ensures the safe operation of the aircraft. The sustainability of the supplied food is also kept in check using the test and measurement equipment. The quality of the emissions from the greenhouse gasses is also checked using this equipment. 
These devices can be used for weighing machinery, which includes railway scales, heavy-duty scales, truck scales, and so on. These devices also finds its application in process weighing, which includes bag filling, bottle filling, and conveyor scales. Such devices also find its application in the automotive sector, wherein they are installed in oil well pumps, inventory control system, and electronic assembly devices.

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Application by End-User Industry

Depending on the end-user industry, following are the applications:

  • Telecommunication: Enterprise switching, telecom infrastructure, and wireless infrastructure
  • Automotive: Advanced driver assistant system, body electronics and lightening, and industrial transport
  • Aerospace and Defence: High energy laser weapons and light tactical combat vehicles
  • Semiconductor/Electronics: LED test equipment and semiconductor tests
  • Medical: Infusion pump, hospital beds, infant incubators, baby scales, and exercise machines
Of all the end-user industries, one of the most important contributors in the development and the ever-increasing demand of the test and measurement devices is the automotive industry. The increase in the demand and the rise in the production of the automotive industry in the developed economies of the world, such as the U.S. and China are the major reasons for the rise in the technological advancement of test and measurement devices.

Challenges Faced

Despite having a number of benefits, some of which are the ease of analysis, dynamic and individualized assessment, immediate grading, as well as application in different sectors of work, there are some major reasons, which hinders the growth and development of the technology used for test and measurement. One of which is an increase in the complexity of the design and the technique of employing the equipment. This has led to the fall of the test and measurement equipment manufacturing companies. In order to use the equipment, the user must have enough idea of the method of using the equipment, which is not possible due to the complexity of the design.

Some of the Key Developments

Tektronix, being one of the largest manufacturers of test and measurement equipment offers “Tektronix 5 series MSO –Mixed Signal Oscilloscope” with its largest display. The wide channels provide the best testing experience ever.
Another major player, OMEGA has recently launched an 8-channel oven data logger, which is thermally insulated, consists of battery power, oven temperature recorder, and offers a wonderful measuring experience.
Elcometer, one of the largest suppliers of inspection products has recently opened a new North American headquarter in order to accommodate the ever-increasing demands.

Despite being stuck with the challenge of having a complex design, it is expected the technology will pursue a steady growth in near future. The major key producers being consistent with the new ideas are constantly trying their level best to reduce the complexity. Moreover, the R&D teams seems to take major interest in overcoming the hurdles, which might further lead to the growth and development of the technology.   

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