How a HALT Test Shows The Future

Circuit Board HALT
HALT of Circuit Boards
Highly Accelerated Life Testing Procedures

Speeding up the process of device or circuit failure requires extreme inputs, those that are unlikely to occur during real-world use by customers regardless of the environment. Three common testing inputs are high and low temperatures, rapid cycling of the same and vibration along six-axes. In some cases, a highly accelerated life test (HALT) will incorporate combined temperature and vibration stresses. These inputs can result in component failure in the span of days, hours, or even minutes compared to months or years of typical usage.

 

Benefits of HALT Testing

While the percentages of failure based on the stress applied to a product can vary significantly, highly accelerated life testing can typically expose weaknesses faster than other means of testing. For example, of the above inputs, roughly two-thirds of failures will only come after the introduction of vibration alone or combined vibration and temperature tests. This means that during the product development process, a significant number of potential flaws would not be identified through testing that did not include these two stresses.

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Sinusoidal and Random Vibration Testing Primer

The most common types of vibration testing services conducted by vibration test labs are Sinusoidal and Random.  This primer is an explanation of the typical requirements found in vibration test specifications and the parameters used to control the vibration tests.  Both types of vibration tests are used to evaluate products for ruggedness, durability and to expose vibration defects.

See Sinusoidal Vibration Basics to learn more about vibration fundamentals.

See Sinusoidal Vibration Testing to learn more about the different types of sinusoidal vibration testing.

Examples of vibration test videos can be found on our YouTube page.

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An Informational Guide to HALT and HASS

Product reliability is essential to success in today’s competitive global market.  HALT and HASS are intensive methods used to expose and then improve design and process weaknesses.  HALT and HASS are faster, less expensive and more accurate than traditional testing techniques.  HALT and HASS are proven processes used to lower product development and manufacturing costs, compress time to market, reduce warranty costs, improve customer satisfaction, gain market share and increase profits. Some companies have reported savings in the millions after using HALT and HASS.

HALT and HASS can accelerate a product’s aging process from actual months into test minutes much faster than traditional testing!

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Lead Free Solder Reliability Issues and Test Methods

This article discusses the reliability challenges of switching over to lead-free solder and the test methods used to demonstrate reliability, written by Gary Delserro and published in Evaluation Engineering Magazine.  Click on the link to download the article in PDF, Lead Free Solder Reliability Issues & Test Methods.

Environmentally friendly is a term rapidly invading the electronics industry.

The electronic industry will be facing great challenges over the next few years as the solder used in electronic products is migrating toward lead-free.  This is being driven by mandates in Europe such as Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and Restrictions of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) and similar ones in Japan.  There also is a great deal of pressure in the US to do the same.

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Exposing Hard to Find Defects

This article discusses an abbreviated technique that uses the tools of HALT to expose hard-to-find defects in products returned by customers, written by Gary Delserro and published in Evaluation Engineering Magazine.  Click on the link to view the article in PDF, Exposing Hard to Find Defects.

How many times have your customers returned products or circuit boards with reported defects that you can’t find?  Every manufacturer experiences this situation at some time.  Your customer reports a problem in your product and sends it back to you.  You test the faulty product in your lab and the problem doesn’t occur. Sometimes you try to bend it or tap it against the table.  You may even try heating it in a chamber or with a heat gun or using a freeze spray.  Still the problem does not expose itself.

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