Delserro Engineering Solutions Featured in Assembly Magazine

Assembly Magazine logo

DES president Gary Delserro is featured in an article published in Assembly Magazine on July 9, 2021.  Titled “Accelerated Life Testing,” the article discusses different types of manufacturing life testing and quotes Gary with reference to highly accelerated life testing (HALT):

“Companies have reported savings in the millions after using HALT,” claims Delserro. “The test can accelerate a product’s aging process from actual months into test minutes, and it can help you discover weaknesses in your product during the design stage. Combined vibration, temperature and electrical stress variables, as well as internal fluid pressure, are typically used during HALT to induce failures and uncover fault points. By using combinations of loads, we can uncover design or manufacturing process flaws before they reach your customer.”

The entire article can be found on Assembly’s website

Share This:

HALT Testing: When Should You Perform It?

Highly Accelerated Life Testing, or HALT, is a technique used in the industry to speed up the design and test phases of product development, as well as limit the number of field failures and thus reduce warranty costs incurred by the manufacturer. 

HALT Testing can be a competitive advantage for companies when performed correctly and at the right time. 

The best time to begin HALT testing during the product development process is when prototypes first become available. HALT is designed to expose product flaws and weaknesses, therefore, a successful test will produce areas for product improvement.  A lot of designers and manufacturers tend to wait until the product design is mature.  At that time, further process improvements or design changes become too costly or timely.  Ideally, HALT should be performed while the product is still fluid and moderate changes don’t become setbacks.  This allows product design to move much more rapidly and efficiently, saving the company time and money.  HALT testing can also eliminate the need for further verification if the product has proven reliable at the much more extreme conditions exposed to in HALT. 

Delserro Engineering Solutions, Inc. (DES) has the knowledge and experience to provide HALT testing services for your product.  We offer both standard and customized test solutions depending on your testing needs.  For more information on HASS, HALT or other testing services, contact DES or call 610.253.6637.

Share This:

Circuit Board HALT Testing Case Study

HALT Test Setup on Circuit Boards
HALT Test Setup on Circuit Boards

Customer Goal

A customer approached DES looking to perform Highly Accelerated Life Testing (HALT) on a new circuit board design.  DES and the customer agreed to test the circuit boards using DES’s traditional HALT test procedure which calls for hot/cold temperature steps followed by rapid temperature ramping, vibration steps and combined temperature and vibration stresses.  HALT testing on electrical componentry is quite common across industry to expose design weaknesses; both mechanical and electrical (What is HALT and Why Perform HALT?).  Typical failures include poor solder connections, overheating, component failure, etc. (What Kind Of Failures Occur During HALT?)

Continue reading Circuit Board HALT Testing Case Study

Share This:

Rapid HALT – A Cost Effective Alternative to HALT

Rapid Highly Accelerated Life Testing or Rapid HALT is a reliability test method that is used to expose product weaknesses.  A Rapid HALT procedure is a modification of a Classical HALT procedure.  For more information about Classical HALT procedures, refer to the following blog articles:

A Rapid HALT is an abbreviated HALT, typically one day of tests, making it a great cost-effective solution for those seeking faster qualitative results.  Exposing a product to a Rapid HALT early in the design process can help reduce product development time and cost by enabling manufacturers to identify flaws or areas of improvement before it’s too late.

Rapid HALT’s are a good tool for assessing the reliability of different suppliers of components but can also be used to assess the reliability of less complicated products.  For example, DES has performed Rapid HALT’s to evaluate the reliability of different suppliers of power supplies, cooling fans, and LED’s.  DES has also performed a Rapid HALT to study different fastening methods in order to determine which was more robust.

DES Rapid HALT Profile
Figure 1. DES Rapid HALT Profile

Continue reading Rapid HALT – A Cost Effective Alternative to HALT

Share This:

What Kind Of Failures Occur During HALT?

Product failures in HALT testing are defined as either the cessation of any functions or an out-of-specification condition for any performance characteristic. When a failure occurs, it is documented in DES’s HALT log. The exact time and test condition when each failure occurred is noted.

If the product fails to operate, the temperature or vibration will be changed toward ambient room conditions followed by a short dwell period to see if the product recovers. If the product is non-operational after dwelling at ambient conditions, trouble shooting will take place to find the failed component. The failed component will then be removed, repaired or replaced with a new component (as is practical) in an effort to expand the test stresses.

Relevant Failures

Figure 1 - Failure of Improperly Designed Mounting Tabs
Figure 1 – Failure of Improperly Designed Mounting Tabs

Continue reading What Kind Of Failures Occur During HALT?

Share This:

What Equipment Is Used For HALT?

HALT Chambers

Figure 1 - DES’s HALT Chambers
Figure 1 – DES’s HALT Chambers

Specialized test chambers are needed to perform a HALT. Typical HALT chambers are shown in Figure 1. The specification for HALT chambers is typically the following:

Liquid nitrogen (LN2) is used to cool the air temperature in HALT chambers. This allows for very rapid temperature changes of 60°C per minute and a cold temperature extreme of -100°C.

HALT chamber heating is provided by high power resistive heating elements that can produce changes of 60°C per minute and a hot temperature limit of +200°C.

Continue reading What Equipment Is Used For HALT?

Share This:

What Is A Typical HALT Procedure?

HALT procedures vary from lab to lab but are typically performed similar to DES’s procedure which is summarized below. DES’s HALT procedure is divided into 5 Stages: Stage 1 – Temperature Step Stresses, Stage 2 – Temperature Ramps, Stage 3 – Vibration Step Stresses, Stage 4 – Combined Temperature &Vibration Stresses, and Stage 5 – Temperature Destruct Limits.

Stage 1 is used to determine the HALT Operational Limits for temperature. The goal is not to cause destruction in Stage 1, but sometimes the operational and destruct limits occur simultaneously. The HALT Destruct Limits for temperature and vibration are typically found in Stages 3 to 5.

Temperature Step Stresses – Stage 1 (Figure 1)

Figure 1. Stage 1 Temperature Steps
Figure 1 – Stage 1 Temperature Steps

Continue reading What Is A Typical HALT Procedure?

Share This:

What Is HALT (Highly Accelerated Life Testing) And Why Perform HALT?

Highly Accelerated Life Testing (HALT) is a rigorous reliability test method that is used to expose product weaknesses. The goal of HALT is to proactively find weaknesses and fix them, thereby increasing product reliability. Because of its accelerated nature, HALT is typically faster and less expensive than traditional testing techniques.

HALT of circuit boards in one of DES’s HALT chambers
HALT of circuit boards in one of DES’s HALT chambers

HALT can be effectively used multiple times over a product’s life time. During product development, it can find design weakness when changes are much less costly to make. By finding weaknesses and making changes early, HALT can lower product development costs and compress time to market. When HALT is used at the time a product is being introduced into the market, it can expose problems caused by new manufacturing processes. When used after a product has been introduced into the market, HALT can be used to audit product reliability caused by changes in components, manufacturing or suppliers etc. The bottom line is that HALT can reduce product development time and cost, reduce warranty costs, improve customer satisfaction, gain market share, and increase profits.

Continue reading What Is HALT (Highly Accelerated Life Testing) And Why Perform HALT?

Share This:

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.

Continue reading How a HALT Test Shows The Future

Share This: