A major global manufacturer of military communications systems and electronics approached MK Test Systems with a challenging request for a modular, repeatable test solution suitable for several manufacturing sites.


The customer required a modular test system capable of testing a variety of different sub-assemblies.  They required minimal disruption to production rate or manufacturing process. They needed to deploy identical systems to 3 unique sites testing any one of 9 ELMS (Electrical Load Management System) sub-assemblies.

Each site had the ability to manufacture any one of the assemblies.  Due to the modular nature of the end-product, the customer needed to change the mix of items being manufactured and tested at short notice.

The previous approach would have been to provide 9 test stations to each of the 3 locations. This wasn’t suitable for several reasons including cost, time to build and floor space limitations. A better proposal was therefore required, and MK Test Systems turned to MAC Panel to help create the best solution.


The customer wanted to build multiple ATE systems using a “copy-exact” methodology, with each system maintaining the same high performance specifications.

The system had to be standardised on a 19” subrack system coupled with an interconnection system that leveraged modularity, scalability and flexibility.

Wiring test requirements:

  • Continuity resistance down to 1mΩ
  • Low voltage isolation / shorts test
  • High voltage 1500VDC insulation test
  • Insulation resistance up to 1GΩ
  • High voltage dielectric HiPot up to 1500VAC
  • Capacitance measurement from 0pF to 5uF

Function test resource supplies:

  • 0-2000VDC at up to 1A
  • 0-50VDC at up to 30A
  • 0-1500VAC at up to 20mA
  • 0-270VAC 1000W
  • Split across various stimulus switch points


The end user already had existing working relationships with both MK Test Systems and MAC Panel, so had identified them both as preferred suppliers for this project.

MK knew that sourcing interfacing which could eliminate error-prone custom cabling and ensure signal integrity was vital. As the recommended experts in high performance mechanical test interface technologies for ATE, MAC Panel were an ideal partner for this project.

An additional task for MAC Panel was ensuring that customer instruments could also be utilized in a particular chassis slot with only minimal disruption to the connectivity for the product being tested. This was achieved with particular care taken to ensure that signal mapping for different instruments of a particular style was consistent.

SCOUT Mass Interconnect

Each site needed to be able to change between testing different sub-assemblies on a regular basis, and it was envisaged that future product enhancements would require rapid system upgrades using additional instrumentation.

Only SCOUT could offer this built-in flexibility and modularity.

High Performance Connection Modules (DAKs)

MAC Panel’s DAK technology eliminated the need for traditional cabling between the instrumentation and interface by way of dedicated PCB and flex circuit connections.



The architecture of the test systems – a 19” subrack system with modular slot-in boards, combined with MAC Panel’s SCOUT mechanical interconnect – enabled MK Test to deploy the 3 test systems with confidence.

Each high performing test station delivered repeatable measurement results whichever system was used. The test system architecture enabled seamless integration,  reduced test hookup time and increased test system flexibility.

The modularity and scalability of this approach allowed a core  test station strategy to be used in conjunction with individual customisation.

Since implementation, the success of the new adaptable core  tester strategy has been adopted on additional projects with even greater cost and time savings.

MAC panel logo

Customer: A global contractor of military communications systems and electronics. The end customer is a major US aerospace and defence OEM

Solution: 3 x MK Test Automeg M2000 systems with Multibus functional testing module, and MAC Panel Scout Mass Interconnect connector

Application:  Repeatable multisite testing of a variety of military sub-assemblies


  • Seamless integration to
    production line
  • Reduced testing time
  • Increased flexibility
  • Repeatable testing
Mac panel system modular test system

“Harmonising the skills and experience of MK Test Systems and MAC Panel resulted in a truly high performance, future proof test system.”

Gary Clayton, Sales Director EU, MAC Panel Company

More information

This case study is available as a PDF download.  Choose your preferred language format from the list on the right to start your download.


To learn more about the Automeg system or functional testing, visit the product overview page.


For more information about our work in the aerospace and defence sectors, visit our industry overview page.

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