Test Expert 10.1 Now Available for Download

We are pleased to announce the availability of Test Expert 10.1. Customers who are current on maintenance can now download from the Siemens PLM Download Server.

Key Updates

CAD Recognition

The new CAD Recognition function automatically detects the CAD file that is being read into Test Expert. CAD Recognition is an optional feature for users who want to eliminate the step of finding the CAD type in the list of the supported CAD systems or are unsure of the program that was used to create the file that they are importing.

Electrical Attributes Editor

The new Electrical Attributes Editor for Takaya flying probe provides a simple consolidated user interface where all required attributes needed for creating a successful test program are available.

The new user interface simplifies data processing by providing the user with clear and concise options to select. The user interface also provides visual feedback for components not meeting the basic electrical requirements for program generation.  The new Electrical Attributes Editor provides users the feedback they need before they run the output processor. Watch the video.

OS support for Windows 8 and Server 2012

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our support team at [email protected], or fill out the online support request form.

Note: The updated apt9400.cnf file now specifies the CA8 file format. If you want to use the previously released apt9400.cnf, the file can be found in \Fab\Config\CA9 directory.



The Siemens Software Download Server Has a New Look!

In an effort to make the software download process for your electronics manufacturing solutions faster & simpler, Siemens PLM Software has changed the look and feel of their Download Center.

Simply look down the left-hand side of your screen, choose your product, and then dive in deeper to get what you need. Or, just type what you’re looking for in the search bar on the top of the screen and it will find it for you.


As always, you will need your webkey to login to the download center. For instruction on creating your webkey, as well as licensing instruction, view our licensing series here.

For step-by-step instruction on the download process, we’ve created a handy guide: Download the document

We hope you find this change helpful to your install and update process. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 855-642-2848 (option 2 for Support), or by using our handy contact form.



Introducing the Test Expert Differences Report

Have these scenarios ever happened to you?

-You get a new job to process. The CAD department says, “nothing has changed, just one part number.” (You know better.)

-You need to examine an existing test fixture to accommodate a new product revision. Can we modify the existing fixture or do we need to build a new one?

-You have two different testers on different lines. What are the trade-offs of running your job down one line or the other?

If you’re responsible for programming the testers on the shop floor, I’m guessing that one, if not all, of these have happened to you.

The ability to compare one job to another is an invaluable tool for many reasons

  • Checking for CAD to CAD version changes
  • Fixture reusability
  • Test philosophy and approach

Our new Difference Report tool permits users to compare two Test Expert jobs. Using the familiar Windows Explorer interface, the user is able to review changes to components, nets and nails and use that information to make intelligent decisions.

Operating the Difference Reporter

Starting a differences session is simple:

From the Project Manager, select the two Test Expert jobs you want to compare with CTL/Left Click, then click the Differences icon in the upper right.

Differences Report Navigation

Checking for Component Differences

Here we see that R1000 only exists in Board1, R45 exists only in Board2, and two components have moved – R44 has a different Y location (in bold) in the two boards.

Test Expert Component Differences

Checking for Net Differences

Here we see the job DIFFJOB1 has one net unique to that job – MUTEMOD. The job DIFFJOB2 has one net unique to that job – VBMODIFIED. Also, there are two nets that have differing connectivity between the two jobs. For the net RUFTON, one job has six nodes on the net, the other job has four.

Net Differences

Checking for Nail Differences

We can check for nets whose coverage has been increased or reduced on the second board:

Test Expert Nail Differences

Test Expert Nail Differences

We can check for nets whose nail count is higher or lower on the second board. Here we see net named “11.12” has two nails on the first board, and only one nail on the second board.

test expert nail differences

We can check for nets whose position has moved:

Test Expert Nail Differences

We hope this sheds some light on our new report features. Thanks for taking time to have a look.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at 855-642-2848 (Option 2 for Support), or send us an email using our contact form.


Licensing Tips Part 3: Auto-LogOut Feature

UniCam Security now supports an Auto-Logout feature for both UniCam FX v9.2+ and Test Expert v9.3+. By default, the auto-logout is set to enabled, with a value of 10 minutes. This is a User level setting found in the Properties dialog for each user when in the “Security and Licensing” tool.

Auto-LogOut Feature

If you want to disable all users (or enable all users), you can use the “Secset.exe” utility found in folder where the security software is installed on the license server, (by default “C:\Unicam Security”).  To do this:

1. Open an Administrative Command Prompt on the license server.

2. Navigate to your Unicam Security” folder. CD C:\Unicam Security

3. The possible command lines for the utility are:

SECSET AUTOLOGOUT ON : Enable autologout for all users

SECSET AUTOLOGOUT OFF : Disable autologout for all users

You can also now use this command line:

SECSET AUTOLOGOUT ON 60 : This will enable auto-logout for all users, and set to 60 minutes (or whatever you specify).

If Security & Licensing Admin tool is open when you run the SECSET utility, you will need to close and re-open the Security Admin tool to see the changes.

Have more licensing questions? Be sure to read Part 1 (Installing a New License) and Part 2 (Replacing a License File).

Increase Coverage with the Test Expert Nail Status Report

If you’ve been using Test Expert for awhile, you are likely familiar with the status.asc text report. Test Expert now includes a graphical Nail Status Report which displays an interactive accessibility report listing all non-accessible nets and the reason for the inaccessibility. Simply click on a net in the report and the net is highlighted in the Test Expert main view. This makes it quite easy to identify the causes for non-access and increase your test coverage.

There is a lot of information in the report, so we’ve created this handy chart to help you navigate all the details and improve your test coverage. Feel free to print it out for quick reference!

Download the Test Expert Nail Status Legend here.

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact us using our support request form, or by calling 855-642-2848 (option 2).

Thanks for reading!

Tech Tip: Convert Cadence .BRD File from Binary to ASCII for UniCam & Test Expert

Are you having trouble importing a Cadence .BRD file into UniCam FX or Test Expert? If so, this post is for you.

First, a quick explanation on file types:

ASCII vs. Binary

There are 2 types of file formats: ASCII and Binary. (Read more about the differences here.) UniCam and Test Expert accept the ASCII format, and Cadence .BRD files are Binary files. In short, the two are incompatible. However, we have a solution to convert from binary to ASCII.

Change Binary to ASCII with Siemens Extract Script

Lucky for us, Siemens knows that this is a real headache for our customers, and they have made an Extract Script utility freely available. This utility must be run on a Cadence Workstation against the BRD file in order to create the necessary ASCII file format.

Find the Installer & Send Folder to Your Customer

The installers are located in default locations:

For UniCam: “C:\Users\Public\Documents\UniCam\CFG\fab_ini\Cadence\EXTRACT”

For Test Expert: “C:\Users\Public\Documents\Siemens\UniCam\TestExpert\FAB\INPUT\Cadence\EXTRACT”

Send your customer a Zip file containing the Extract Folder and have them follow the following steps.

Action Steps for Your Customer

  1. Install utility on the Cadence workstation using the “Cdc2Fab Setup.msi” file found in the EXTRACT folder.
    1. For UNIX based Cadence workstations, extract the appropriate zip file for your UNIX version and follow the instructions in the provided “readme” file.
  2. Launch the utility and from the File menu, select Configure.

BRD binary to ASCII 1

3. Set the paths for the 3 fields (see below)

  1. Extraction Tool: points to where the “Extracta.exe” is located on the Cadence workstation
  2. Script Files: should already be set correctly by the installer
  3. Output: points to where you want it to create the ASCII output file. Usually a temporary location like “C:\Temp” where you can grab it and move it from there easily to a permanent location.

BRD binary to ASCII 2

4. From File menu, select Export Board and select the .BRD file you want to export.

We hope you found this helpful. If you need further assistance or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We look forward to serving you.

Thanks for reading,


Licensing Tips Part 1: Installing a New License

Licensing is one of the most common support topics to come through our support line.  Now that we have a vehicle for sharing information with the world, I have put together a 4-part series on common licensing questions and their answers. This article is the first in the series, and will guide you through your initial licensing experience.

Step 1: Create a Siemens Webkey Account

In order to access our web tools and services available at Siemens PLM Software, you will need to create a WEBKEY account. A WebKey account allows you to control the username and password used to associate you with your company. Through this authentication scheme, we can control access to services, information and also guarantee the privacy of all customer data.

Let’s get started:

  1. Follow this link to create your WebKey account
  2. Enter your Sold-to ID. Your Sold-to ID is directly under the Sold-to information on your shipping order. (You may have also received an email from your CSR with an attached file containing this info.)
  3. Enter your WebKey Access Code (WAC). The Webkey Access Code can be found on the upper right corner of your shipping order that came with your CD. (You may have also received an email from your CSR with an attached file containing this info.)
  4. Fill in required info and create a User Name and Password
  5. This will trigger an activation email from Siemens PLM Software- once you have received the email and activated your webkey, follow the steps below.

Note: You must have a WebKey to log onto the Siemens UGS Support web site. If you do not have a WebKey and have trouble using the process defined above for creating one, please contact the Global Technical Access Center (GTAC) at 800-955-0000 or 714-952-5444 (North America or South America) or your local support office (all other world locations).

Step 2: Install UniCam Licensing Tools

  1. From the UniCam FX CD setup menu install Microsoft .NET 3.5 SP1.
  2. From the UniCam FX CD launch the Setup.exe then select “Security & Licensing” option from the Setup Wizard menu and click Install.
    1. Accept the default settings and click to “Agree” to the licensing terms.
  3. When the installation is complete it will create a file named “challenge.nlc”. This file is saved in the folder where you installed the license server, “C:\Unicam Security” by default. (Make note of this location for step 11 below.)
  4. Browse to the Siemens Support web site at
  5. Log in using the Webkey information you just created
  6. License Management->
  7. Licenses->
  8. Enter your Sold-To ID (if requested)
  9. Click Passwords and License File
  10. Select “Unicam products” from the Product drop list field and click Continue
  11. Upload your Challenge.nlc file when prompted. Locate your “Challenge.nlc” file in the folder where you installed the license server, (by default “C:\Unicam Security”).
  12. You are prompted to download a file namedlicense.nlf”. Download and save this file in the folder where you installed the security and licensing server, (by default “C:\Unicam Security”). Overwrite existing license file if prompted.
  13. Start the Unicam Security and Licensing server. You can do this by simply rebooting the PC/Server, but a reboot is not required. You can also:
    1. Open Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Services
    2. Locate and start “Unicam Security and Licensing server

 Licensing is Now Installed and Ready for Test

For UniCam

  1. Open a UniCam FX client that is pointed to your security server
  2. If you are launching a newly installed client for the first time you may receive an error that no security server could be found. If this happens, close the error message and click on the Options menu in Unicam and select Security Server IP Address and then enter the IP address or hostname for the server where you installed the licensing. Click OK and close Unicam, then re-open UniCam again.

For Test Expert

  1. Open a Test Expert client that is pointed to your security server
  2. If you are launching a newly installed client for the first time you may receive an error that the Server did not respond. If this happens, close the error message and click YES on the next Warning message box. A message box will appear asking you to enter the Security Server IP Address or hostname for the server where you installed the licensing. Enter the address or hostname and click OK. Close and restart Test Expert.

Congratulations! You have successfully installed your UniCam License server and your users can now begin to use the software. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us using our support form or by calling 855-64ACUITY, Option 2.

In Part 2, we will cover “Replacing an Existing License File”. Read Part 2 HERE.

Thanks for reading,