GPS Tracker may still seem to be a privilege of an action movie but today anyone can perform the tracking of vehicles, people and valuables. These devices are placed next to the objects of interest and using GPS satellite signal collects location information, routed to a central and / or monitor server device such as a mobile phone or tablet.
The use possibilities are multiple:
- Recover your stolen vehicle by discovering the place where it is.
- Monitor a valuable object to retrieve in case of theft.
- Know if your children went and returned safely to school.
- Make real-time management of a field sales team.
- Track criminals on conditional freedom sentence.
Many other uses for all variety of situations are also possible.
A theft stole your stuffs or an accident happens, for example. It may turn out to be only a defect in the tracker.
It will result in your clients’ dissatisfaction with your product and can seriously affect your reputation as a company. Avoid this type of situation by ensuring the quality of your products.
How does a GPS Tracker work?
Before we go into the quality control approach for a GPS tracker, it is good to understand how his basic operation and functionalities.
Each movement of the car will be recorded record as a separate file (called a track). The data is recorded in several formats, such as Google Earth KML format, GPS Exchange GPX format or NMEA data (in TXT extension).
The SD card is the regular ones avaliable on market, but it is important to mention that files format should be correctly confugred according the format and the recorder settings.
All components are mounted on a single PCB which fits in a standard instrument case. The circuit for the GPS Tracker consists of three main sections.
The first is the power supply which uses a high efficiency buck converter from Microchip. The other is the GPS module, with a backup supply to keep its memory alive when the power is removed. The third section of the circuit is the micro controller and the SD card. A firmware should be configured in a proper and updated version, according to the micro controller used.
GPS Inspection and Quality Control
As explained above, the device is basically a PCB with different modules assembled in a case. This fact already indicates that the functional quality of the product will largely depend on a reliable card, and of course all features functioning according the promise.
PCB and External Case’s Quality Control
First thing, manufacturers should ensure is a visual inspection. It may consist in checking the characteristic dimensions of the PCB like hole diameters, milled forms, etc, according the design documentation requirements.
The next stage should verify the bending and twisting of the PCB. It is also extremely critical that the PCB surface must be free of any kind of contamination.
Another parameter of control is the quality of the solder mask (resist) layer, that must be uniform in appearance and free of scratches. Blisters, bulging, delamination or entrapment of contaminants in the solder mask is unacceptable.
In addition to the board, the external case should not be left aside. Although not directly interfere in functionality, it will protect the device from any impact, it gives the final design of the product.
Dimensions, material quality (hardness, color, etc) and correct assembly with the plate should be secured in the inspection plan.
A Production Monitoring in China and Asia service can be performed focusing on this approach. It aims to monitor and keep an eye on your production directly on-site with an inspector acting as your QC staff.
Finally functional tests are recommended. Power supply in relation to the correct voltage and power plug connection quality should be checked. Network signal and GPS regarding its compatibility with the systems to be used have to be ensured, including to the signal quality (no flash).
Last but not least, the main parameter to be guaranteed is the accuracy of the location relative to GPS network. Any deviation must be eliminated with the correct signal calibration.
SD Card Connection is another point to be tested as an assembly failure for example can result in poor connection, and thus result in card connection failure.
A Full Quality Inspection in China and Asia would be a recommended service for ensure no defective product will be delivered. Here the inspection methodology is not based on statistic methodology and not based on random selection but on checking every single product one by one.
Helping You to Track Your Quality Control
A GPS tracker has become accessible to anyone, for its various applications as mentioned in the first paragraph. Obviously it is not a device for recreational purposes, and its use usually has plenty of important reasons related to safety and trace ability of valuable assets.
Final consumers are betting largely on the safety of this value, on the reliability of your tracker. This should be the mark of your brand, and failures should not be accepted.
After all, you can have thousands of hits, but the only flaw that causes a valuable loss to a consumer will be sufficient for its reputation for reliability goes down.
In the same way your customers track their personal property, count on us to track defects and failures in your production line with our services properly formatted as your needs.