• 1304 Brookfield Court, High point, NC 27262

About our Automation

The Quality of Santa Barbara Automation products have been proven over years of successful production line use. We can support your requirements, whether for small, low-volume test and assembly machines, or for larger, fully automated equipment.

Smaller, lower cost, and manually-loaded machines may be perfect to prove a new product or while ramping to higher production rates and greater market penetration. Our experience and wide range of expertise can help you to be successful by delivering quality, reliable equipment.

Higher production demands may force more efficient operation, dictating automatic assembly and test operations. Even automatic processing may not be adequate to achieve the lowest delivered cost, as feedback from assembly and test equipment must be used to maintain your manufacturing process at the point of highest yield. Our automation equipment provides a complete database of assembly and testing parameters and statistics accessible over Ethernet for this purpose. We design and build systems that cover a range of smaller to large, specific to general purpose. All equipment is designed to be reliable, easy to use and maintainable. We build quality equipment.

Types of Automation

FET C Automatic Test StationThe FET-C Final Electrical Test station is the baseline model for the C series of automated production line test stations. With a very small facilities footprint and high-speed, unattended operation, this is truly an economical machine to operate.

Airbag initiators to be tested (either Amphenol or exposed pin types) are loaded “loose” into a vibratory feed bowl. The initiators are then automatically aligned and loaded onto a precision timing-belt conveyor for testing.

The FET-C test station then performs a complete series of tests on each part; 4-wire (Kelvin) bridgewire resistance, thermal transient, series impedance and insulation resistance testing. A unique test parameters file allows pass/fail limits to be associated with individual part numbers, and all test results (both pass and fail) are archived to disk.

Defective parts are automatically removed to one of 8 user selectable reject bins. Good parts are then automatically ink-jet marked using a Videojet high-resolution printer and are then removed from the conveyor and placed into a large capacity acceptance bin.

Our signature operator/maintenance console provides full machine control for alignment and troubleshooting, allowing the technician to test all portions of the equipment. Bar-code input is standard, reducing operator error.

Download FET-C brochure

FET CV Vision Test StationWith the addition of the height and vision inspection options, the FET-CV additionally evaluates airbag initiators for header length, pin spacing, bend and twist. All the standard test features of the FET-C are also present on this machine, and are fully integrated. Each initiator is inspected to adjustable pass/fail limits and defective parts are automatically removed to one of 8 selectable bins. Two separate monitors are used; one for display of testing results and machine status, and one for real-time viewing of initiators during production test.

With the FET-CV, an additional option may also be selected… automatic polarity correction is available for those initiators whose orientation during resistance and thermal testing produces different results (polarity sensitive devices). During polarity test, this option will cause the vision station to examine each part and automatically adjust the applied test polarity to achieve uniform test results

Download FET-C vision brochure

FET C X-Ray Test StationThe FET-CX is the most capable initiator test machine on the market today. With all the features of the FET-C and the options of the FET-CV, this version adds realtime X-Ray analysis for Amphenol and exposed-pin initiators, and at a cost substantially lower than many stand-alone X-Ray systems.

X-Ray source options include instruments from Hamamatsu and Kevex with power supply ratings from 80KV to 160KV. The X-Ray option is fully integrated into the system, with testing parameters defined in a standard test parameters file by part number. Source KV and mA values are automatically adjusted for each individual part number, consistantly providing the greatest image contrast and resolution.

Testing may include determination of ground pin location, powder presence, charge sleeve orientation and overall defect examination. Additional testing requirements may be added for compliance with customer specifications.

Download FET-C X-Ray brochure

D-501 Front ViewOur newest machine is intended for manually loaded test and assembly operations. This is an incredibly small, semiautomatic desktop design that is packed with features such as precision pin height test, bridgewire resistance and insulation resistance test, automatic reject and automatic accept – all in a 44 inch wide frame.

Parts with single or multiple bridgewires are manually loaded into a unique split nest that is easily changed for different types of parts. A safety door closes to ensure operator safety before the timing belt conveyor moves the part to the height test, electrical test, reject and accept stations in turn.

DT-501 Configurable Split NestThe ‘wobble head’ precision height station removes errors caused by part placement or tilt and provides 4 independent channels of dimensional measurement with .001 inch or better resolution.

Both resistance and insulation resistance testing may be performed at the electrical test station using the integral multiplexer and high voltage source.

Defective parts are automatically removed from the conveyor at the reject station and placed into a front panel accessible bin, while parts that pass all testing are placed into a chute that exits the front panel for subsequent processing. An optical sensor on the chute exit confirms proper part removal.

For limited space assembly or specialized testing applications this is a reliable, low-cost machine designed for years of operation.

Download DT501 brochure

ESD Test Front ViewThis desktop electrostatic discharge test instrument has features that will reduce test time and avoid operator error. Built as a rugged cabinet from 3/4 inch acrylic plastic with an integral test chamber, this system may be used for aerospace or automotive initiator test or for product testing at adjustable voltages to 30KV. Included are a reliable high voltage power supply, programmable logic controller (PLC) and all-pneumatic switching elements.

The tooling and wiring to the part under test may easily be removed and exchanged to reconfigure the equipment for other part types.

The charge capacitor and series resistance may be changed as determined by testing requirements. The discharge path is designed for low inductance.

Test chamber features include a magnetically closed, massive door latch with interlock switch.

Each pin (up to 4) and the body of the part under test may be independently programmed for connection to + high voltage, high voltage return or no connection using a unique binary switch.

The testing sequence and dwell times are fully programable. Up to 12 independent programs may be stored in memory and quickly selected with a front panel rotary switch. When started, the equipment will automatically cycle through all programmed combinitions.

ESD Test Rear ViewA sample test series might include (for a 4-pin aerospace initiator):

1) shorted pins connected to +HV and initiator body connected to HV return.

2) pin 1 to +HV and pin 2 to HV return, no connections to other pins and the body.

3) pin 1 to +HV and pin 3 to HV return, no connections to other pins and the body.

4) pin 1 to +HV and pin 4 to HV return, no connections to other pins and the body.

5) pin 2 to +HV and pin 3 to HV return, no connections to other pins and the body.

6) pin 2 to +HV and pin 4 to HV return, no connections to other pins and the body.

7) pin 3 to +HV and pin 4 to HV return, no connections to other pins and the body.

8) reverse the polarity and repeat the tests above.

A keyswitch controlled, fully functional maintenance mode will allow actuation of any air cylinder for troubleshooting and alignment.

Download ESD-804 brochure

FET-20 Test StationFor high speed test, a conveyor-based system such as the FET-20 may be used. With either manual or automatic loading, and as many as 20 parts per cassette, this type of machine can test both wire-lead and pin-lead initiators at rates up to 3000 parts per hour. Testing parameters are maintained by part number in our standard parameters file.

Defective parts are manually removed at the reject station. When all parts have been removed, an optical scan array confirms proper removal before the cassette is allowed to leave the station.

The linear format of this equipment provides the opportunity to easily integrate the test section into other elements of a production line. Available options include X-Ray analysis, ink-jet or laser marking, and vision inspection. Bar-code input is standard, reducing operator error

Download FET-20 brochure

FET-16 Test StationManual testing may be necessary for those parts with larger dimensions, longer leadwires or other specialized test requirements. The FET-16 is a versatile and economical test system, intended to serve this purpose. It is designed for manual testing of automotive and aerospace initiators at rates up to 900 parts per hour. With removable inserts for each type of part to be tested, it is quickly adaptable to either pin-lead or wire-lead initiators, single or multiple bridgewire parts.

This equipment is highly agile, and designed for a full spectrum of testing; 4-wire (Kelvin) resistance, thermal transient, impedance, and insulation resistance. Specialized variations on this system also allow ESD, polarity and capacitance testing.

Download FET-16 brochure

Laser MarkerLaser Marking a circular pattern on stainless steel or aluminum product with character heights of .020 inches requires great positioning accuracy. This machine accepts larger parts from a vibratory feed track and moves them to the marking position with a precision walking beam. Once marked all product is placed into a large capacity bin, accessible through the front panel.

Operator and maintenance controls are provided on the touch screen monitor. The high power, diode-pumped laser provides reliable, long-term use for your production line.

The modular design of this machine allows the laser power supply or complete walking beam to be removed as an assembly for maintenance.

Production statistics and machine information are available on the operator screen. Handshake lines and controls for upstream equipment are available.

Download Laser Marker brochure

Sealant ApplicatorThis small machine combines many useful and desirable features for your intermediate assembly operation. The Sealant Applicator accepts bulk parts loaded into a large capacity vibratory feed bowl. The parts are automatically aligned and delivered to a precision walking beam. The walking beam precisely moves product from the load point to the dispense, verify and offload stations.

Providing reliable, low-maintenance delivery of a wide range of fluids, the EFD regulated pressure-pot dispense valve carefully controls the amount of fluid placed into each part.

Once parts are filled and the presence of fluid confirmed at the fluid detect station they are placed into a removable, multi-level cassette.

Each removable cassette is designed to hold about 1000 parts. The control system maintains a status count for each cassette level, automatically moving the cassette from level to level in turn and stopping when full. The cassette may then be removed for curing and an empty cassette placed into the machine.

A full display of machine status and production count are provided on the touch screen monitor. For troubleshooting and alignment a maintenance mode is standard.

Download Sealant Applicator brochure