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Publication Date: 07/1/2009
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Certifiable Testing for Bare Boards

One of the most critical phases of a new product introduction is making sure that your test program is doing its job. This is an area that is fraught with pitfalls and possible errors; it is truly amazing the types of mistakes that can be made in creating a program that will test circuit boards with unshakable accuracy each and every time.

With the high degree of complexity of today's PC boards and circuits, design testing is more important than ever. Multi-layer PCBs, flex circuits and connectors simply add to this complexity and difficulty of testing for the board manufacturer, making it increasingly important to have accurate and certifiable board testing.

That's where Gardien comes in — a company that has been testing and certifying PC boards and PCB test programs since 1981. That was when Gardien Services USA Inc. commenced operations by opening test centers in California and New Hampshire. Today, Gardien Services USA Inc is part of the Gardien group, a company that has 500 employees located in 16 centers around the world — in Asia, North America and Europe — making it the largest provider of this kind of service in the PCB industry. We don't just inspect and test bare boards; we make certain that the test program matches the board's design infallibly for perfect testability once it is in production.

To meet the quality, speed and economic demands of the leading PCB manufacturers for outsourced testing, Gardien Services USA Inc. (formerly Mania Technologie Outsourcing Services) has upgraded and added new test equipment solutions to several of its five North American locations.

Gardien recently installed additional Ultim8 Flying Probe Testers in the company's Anaheim and Minneapolis facilities. To create a new service of sub-lamination testing, Gardien's Anaheim facility has been upgraded with the Ultim8/Acceler8 test suite combo and now offers high-speed flying probe technology.

As a direct result of customer input, Gardien's Minneapolis test facility was also upgraded with an Acceler8 high-production scanner to reduce the need for test fixtures. In addition, Gardien added a KLG Speedstar Single-Spindle Drilling System to its Forest Grove, Oregon, facility, installing state-of-the-art drilling capacity that increases speed and accuracy for best fixture performance.

How this works for a PCB fabricator: a customer will send us raw data for design or a Gerber file. We will then design a test program using this data — a test program that will absolutely work with the PCB design. Since we operate our own test centers globally, our customers can send their boards to us for testing and certification, using the test programs that we have developed from the customer's own Gerber data.

For companies whose location makes simple logistics problematical, we will often install one of our own facilities right in the client's plant, and staff it with our own people and train the customer's employees as well. We not only will set up shop there, but perform every test that the customer needs, right on his own premises. We make it possible for the

customers to avoid the need for capital spending on special test equipment; we find what the customer needs, install it in his plant, maintain it, and keep it updated with the latest technology. This way the customer can spend his money on production.

On the accounting side, this arrangement can usually be billed as a percentage of the customer's sales. Test is only a small portion of the cost of manufacturing a PC board. Our customer wants to devote his time and resources to the actual manufacture of the bare board. Thus Electrical Test becomes a variable cost that is built into his price to the OEM or contract manufacturer who buys the PC boards.

If the PC board house eventually decides to buy the test equipment, we can arrange such a sale, and we can continue to provide technical personnel to run the equipment and/or train the customer's own employees to perform the tests.

Our main objective is to keep the customer happy and productive, while ensuring that the boards we test meet all of the desired specifications, meeting the quality and reliability standards required for MIL, aeronautical and medical applications.

Gardien Canada is registered for ISO 9001-2008, and Gardien USA is scheduled to be certified this year. The company is qualified to MIL Spec MIL-PRF 31032; MIL-PRF-55110; MIL-P-50884; and FSC 5998. It is qualified to ITAR USA (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) and for the Controlled Good Program in Canada, it has full registration with export licensing.

We routinely provide CAM services, as well as sales and maintenance for a variety of test equipment. We use special equipment and dedicated personnel to build tools, making the interface between machines as perfect as possible. Our certified testing and verification means that we can represent independent verification of the product and take full liability for the results. We take the risk so the customer's risk is zero.

Gardien Services USA Inc and Gardien Services Canada Inc. are part of the Gardien North American operation, which is a part of the global Gardien group with Offices and operations in North America, Japan, China, Singapore, Taiwan and Germany. The Gardien group is focused on providing Independent Testing to the PCB industry with the highest level of customer Service.

The company started out in June 1981 as Testerion Laboratories Inc. in San Bernardino, California. The name was changed in November 1999 to Mania Technologie, changing again in April 2006 to Mania Technologie Outsourcing Services Inc. Finally in April of this year, the name changed to Gardien Services USA Inc.

The North American organization provides 100 percent outsourcing services to some of the leading manufacturers, including Merix (Forest Grove) in the U.S. and Coretec and FTG in Canada.

In order to maintain the highest test quality yet remain transparent, we have developed a workflow system using barcodes to record the moving of products (board, fixtures) through our facilities. We have recently begun to give customers access to this system. Now our customers have the ability to check and trace their product. The system also gives access to statistical information that will help to improve manufacturing quality.

And for the customers who want testing performed in their own plant, we not only will set up shop there, but we will also sell the same kind of equipment that we use, and will provide training and service for the equipment.

Contact: Gardien, 5289 NE Elam Young Pkwy, Suite 120, Hillsboro, OR 97124 503-430-8980 fax: 503-430-8857 E-mail:, web:

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