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Production Validation Tests

PVT is the “last build” — the units you are building are intended to be sold to customers, if they pass all of your test stations.

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Production validation testing, PVT, is the “last build” in electronics manufacturing — the units you are building are supposedly intended to be sold to customers, if they pass all of your test stations. Production validation testing takes place after design validation testing and typically transitions directly into Ramp and Mass Production, or a Pilot build with no time gap.

What is the purpose of Production Validation?

The purpose of PVT is to verify mass production yields at mass production speeds. During production validation testing additional tools are also qualified in order to support larger quantities for early ramp. Also, no parallel experimental units are allowed (While we have never seen this actually happen, but it is a goal that should be driven to for as long as possible).

What is the typical quantity produced during PVT?

Production validation testing runs typically involve between 1,000 and 20,000 units. All of these units are intended to be sold to customers.

The PVT build is sometimes phased — red, yellow, green is common — indicating “maturity” of the production process, which includes a combination of operator training level, line speed, and line yield.

What types of things might go wrong during PVT?

While engineering teams do their best to find and fix as many issues as possible before this build, some issues persist. There is almost always at least one issue that is still outstanding at the start of PVT — this is likely the item at highest risk of impacting your schedule.

In addition to issues, there is usually at least one vendor whose yields are way lower than expected. When they cannot produce at the quantities promised, input is gated by their deliveries.

Lastly, if you have a high cosmetic standard, your cosmetic yield likely starts at
0%. Unless you decide to loosen your standard, the conventional way to improve it is to knowingly input units to a 0% yield line and painstakingly seek places where damage occurs and improve them. This process can take weeks and hundreds or thousands
of units. Instrumental can streamline and significantly accelerate this process, saving time and units.

When is PVT complete?

Production validation is complete when there are mass production yields at mass production speeds on at least one line, and replication to other lines already started.

Additional resources for engineering validation testing:

Accelerate development builds remotely.

Instrumental captures images on the assembly line and leverages AI to detect defects and enable manufacturing optimization from anywhere.