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100 Things #100: Production Line Audio Measurement With SoundCheck

Everyone knows SoundCheck is a versatile and flexible R&D audio test system. But did you know it’s also fast and cost-effective for production line audio measurement, and offers unrivaled integration with larger factory test environments?

End of line testing is nothing new to us. We started the global trend from human listeners and expensive hardware analyzers to software-based test systems back in 1995. Many of the measurements we introduced in the 1990s are still used today. Besides introducing newer and better measurement methods like perceptual algorithms, we’re driving the integration of audio testing within a larger factory test environment. Let’s take a look at some of the things that make SoundCheck great for end-of-line tests.

Production Line Audio Measurement with SoundCheck

 

Learn More About SoundCheck’s Production Line Features

Seminar Recording: External Control of SoundCheck. Detailed information about controlling SoundCheck as part of a large factory automation system.

Video: 100 Things #85: Integrate SoundCheck with your Database.

Video: 100 Things #11: External Control Using TCP/IP

Transitioning Audio Tests from R&D to the Production Line. An article by Steve Temme, reprinted from the March 2023 edition of AudioXpress.

 

Video Script: Production Line Audio Measurement

Everyone knows SoundCheck is a versatile and flexible R&D audio test system. But did you know it’s also fast and cost-effective for production line testing, and offers unrivaled integration with larger factory test environments?

End of line testing is nothing new to us. We started the global trend from human listeners and expensive hardware analyzers to software-based test systems back in 1995. Many of the measurements we introduced in the 1990s are still used today. Besides introducing newer and better measurement methods like perceptual algorithms, we’re driving the integration of audio testing within a larger factory test environment. Let’s take a look at some of the things that make SoundCheck great for end-of-line tests.

Most importantly, SoundCheck’s fast and reliable. Every test algorithm we’ve designed has speed and noise immunity at the forefront, from our unique stepped sine wave stimulus, Stweep, and Harmonictrak analysis back in 1995 to the second generation of perceptual distortion measurements in more recent years. And all our production line measurements, use the same stimulus to ensure fast throughput with simultaneous measurement of all parameters.

Soundcheck is hardware-agnostic, and compatible with many audio interfaces from our own custom designed all-in-one hardware to off the shelf soundcards. It even supports audio over IP with Dante. It works with any brand of amplifiers, microphones, couplers and test jigs. It’s also easy to control footswitches, PLCs, barcode readers and other production line equipment through a custom step in a test sequence. This gives you total flexibility, whether you are re-using existing hardware or building a system from scratch.

Both hardware and software are modular, so you can get the production functionality you need, without paying for anything that you don’t. Although a production system is significantly cheaper than an R&D SoundCheck system, it’s still fully compatible – you can create tests on an R&D system and send them to your production systems, or bring results from your production system back into an R&D system for detailed analysis.

However, it’s the seamless integration with custom factory test systems that really differentiates SoundCheck.

Full TCP/IP control lets SoundCheck communicate on any operating system, via any TCP/IP-supportive language including python, c-sharp and Labview. TCP/IP commands can trigger a test, pass the output back to an external program, or even pull in externally stored sequence parameters such as limits and stimuli. This allows the same test sequence to be used for many different products, reducing the sequence maintenance burden.

SoundCheck is just as flexible for saving data. Standard data formats include text, csv, Excel, TDMS, Matlab and SoundCheck’s open source binary file format. There’s also a plugin for WATS Test Data Management software. You can use an autosave step in your sequence to write curves, values, results, or waveforms directly to an SQL database each time a sequence is run, and industry standard tools can then be harnessed to run analytics over large data sets. If these options aren’t enough, all the data, curves, and other  items saved in SoundCheck’s memory list, can always be accessed directly via TCP/IP, so you can write your own customized program to collect exactly the SoundCheck data you need.

SoundCheck’s built-in security features provide peace of mind if you share your tests with manufacturing partners. Sequence protection locks and hides all the information in a sequence so that it can be run, but not viewed or altered. So you have confidence that your products are tested exactly how you intended. No-one can adjust the limits to achieve higher yield, and it removes the risk of  your tests being modified and re-purposed for use on other product lines. To add further security and measurement confidence, a sequence can even be configured to only run on a particular SoundCheck system, or block of system hardware keys.

These features let you bring the power of SoundCheck into pretty much any large automated test platform, no matter what software and operating system it is running on. Talk to your sales engineer to learn more.