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Product Development

Product reliability is increasingly important in today’s markets and is often the differentiating factor between manufacturers brands. High reliability needs to be incorporated at the design stage, with thorough testing to ensure that targets are achieved. Environmental Test chambers, Life Test system and HALT systems can all be used to achieve these targets. Testing can be carried out at component, sub-assembly and final assembly levels, and is recommended at all three stages for optimum reliability. test jigs

Characterisation

The characteristics of new or modified products should be checked to establish a level of performance that can be reliably achieved. Testing needs to cover all of the specified performance and will include parametric measurements over the complete environmental operating range.

Sharetree products are able to simulate a wide range of temperature and humidity conditions. In addition, computer control may be used to vary and monitor power supplies, input signals and output loading to simulate every possible combination of operating conditions.

Evaluation

New or modified products should be evaluated to ensure the product(s) meet full specification. Storage conditions also need to be simulated, and usually have wider parameters than the operating range.

Products may be evaluated in both operating and non-operating states, over the range of environmental conditions expected during normal use. More extreme conditions may also be applied to determine the safety margin (or robustness) of the product. These are usually referred to as accelerated tests (see HALT and HASS test for more information).

Life Test

Testing over an extended period is used to determine the usable life of the product under the specified worst case operating conditions. Statistically significant sample sizes are necessary to obtain accurate results.

The majority of Life Testing is carried out under operating conditions and therefore a means of connecting electrical power is necessary. Additional connections for drive signals, monitoring, and output loading may also be required.

Sharetree can offer a number of suitable Life Test system solutions, depending on the size and complexity of the products. These include Tray, Carrier and Trolley loading systems and chambers.

HALT - Highly Accelerated Life Testing

Traditional Life Testing is a long-term test and therefore any problems may take a long time to become apparent. This extends product development times, since the Life Test may need to be repeated several times.

HALT testing was developed as a method of obtaining faster feedback to the development process. This is achieved by controlled application of higher stress levels (exceeding the product specification limits) to precipitate faults. Rapid thermal cycling and vibration are the main stress methods used, though voltage, power and frequency variations, etc. can also be effective.

Sharetree offer Thermal Stress chambers specifically designed for HALT testing/ HASS testing; these feature rapid temperature change rates, wide temperature ranges, and powerful air flow. Complete systems can also be supplied, with product fixturing, power supplies, and computer control and monitoring.