Improving reliability with accelerated testing

Monday, 20 November, 2006

An electronics company in Brisbane is one of three firms that have recently installed HALT (highly accelerated life testing) chambers. The other installations are in New Zealand.

Base2 in Queensland is responsible for designing, developing and manufacturing products in fire protection, security, monitoring, communications and train control. The other two installations are in Christchurch and Auckland.

Supplied by Qualmark, HALT and HASS (highly accelerated stress screen) systems are designed to improved product reliability. HALT takes place during the prototype and engineering stages to expose design weaknesses. HASS takes place during the production stages to verify that the product has been made above the design margin.

HALT is extreme vibration combined with extreme temperatures and temperature change. It exposes failures in hours rather than weeks. HASS uses the same stresses and equipment but at lower levels to avoid product damage. Both techniques are aimed at rapidly identifying failure modes and saving the manufacturers warranty costs and reliability problems.

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