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"Samantha" Production Assistance System


How to use the “Samantha Switch Lamp” test system

If you use switches and lamps to test your product then Samantha will allow you to test the product much faster. Replace those switches and lamps by a Samantha interface card and then use a PC to set the switch state and display state of the Lamp.

The Samantha interface card uses relays to simulate switches and opto couplers to simulate lamps.

Below is an example to make this clearer.

There is a company that makes sophisticated hospital beds that can be electronically adjusted. They need to test the electronics at the end of the production line. Their previous method was to connect the electronics to a bed and then push buttons on the membrane switch panel to adjust the bed position. This works but it is slow and takes up a lot of space.

Manual Operation

They now use a Samantha switch box to automatically carry out the test. A picture of the membrane switch panel was uploaded to the Samantha software and the picture then marked (with yellow squares). Clicking on the yellow square now operates the switch matrix on the Samantha as shown below.

Visual Screen

It is now possible to control the bed electronics from the computer screen.

The output from the electronics was then connected to dummy loads and these then connected to the inputs on the Samantha card. The output of the electronics can now be seen on the screen. The picture below shows the operation on a matrix. The electronics are controlled by “Switch settings” and the results shown in “Lamps Detected”.

Test Screen

This is now operating in a similar way to the traditional “Switch Lamp” box but with the added advantages.

  • The same set of electronics can be used for different products.
  • A visual can be used to make operation clearer, in this example we used a picture of the membrane panel but a circuit diagram could also be used.
  • All switches and lamps are neatly labeled.
  • The system can be set up in a very short time compared to a traditional switch lamp

Automatic Operation

The full power of Samantha can be seen when it is used in automatic mode. After first setting up the tester for manual operation it is then possible to store sets of switch settings and lamp results. These sets are stored in a database and will then be stepped through automatically.

The expected Lamp results are compared with the actual results and a fault is recorded if the expected results are not detected.

A certificate can then be printed out showing that the test has been completed. All the results are stored in an Access database.