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Evaluating CAE Tools For Predicting MEMS Reliability

Posted by James McLeish on Oct 12, 2016 9:30:00 AM

Predicting-MEMS-Reliability.jpgComputer Aided Engineering (CAE) tools are comprehensive, making them exceptional options for determining design properties and performance through an array of engineering analysis tasks, including:

  • Stress analysis using Finite Element Analysis (FEA)
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) for thermal/fluid flow
  • Kinematics and Mechanical Event Simulation (MES)
  • Process simulation (casting, molding and die press forming)
  • Product optimization
  • Circuits and electromagnetics analysis

CAE Program Limitations

It’s exciting to have these tools available, but most CAE programs aren’t structured for ease in applying scientific principles or analyzing data. In fact, most work like a blank spreadsheet in that users must create every element prior to running tests. This process is long and cumbersome, and places certain advanced requirements upon users, specifically:

  • Considerable proficiency with the CAE modeling program
  • Deep and broad-based knowledge of the specific physics and engineering discipline of the item being analyzed
  • PhD-level expertise

The expense and narrow availability of such skillsets has often been pointed to as a reason for the limited expansion of CAE methods into areas where they would be beneficial. This prompted development of application-specific, CAE analysis templates that are off-the-shelf ready and similar to smartphone applications in design and functionality. However, the upside of rapid, economical and expert-level CAE analysis provided by such a solution is essentially negated by its frequent need for product optimization and usability/access problems.

Design for Reliability (DfR)

Cutting corners has proven to be unsuccessful, and perhaps rightly so when you consider how CAE modeling and analysis factors into the testing of safety-critical components like Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) sensors in vehicles.

What, then, is the right approach? Design for Reliability (DfR) is the most effective and efficient way to achieve functional safety levels of reliability and durability in MEMS and similar electronic components and devices. To that end, Sherlock Automated Design Analysis™ software combines dynamic stress analysis of usage and environmental conditions with failure mechanism models to perform a durability simulation.

Sherlock identifies failure susceptibilities and calculates reliability behavior over time, accounting for wearout and excessive stresses like:

  • Thermal
  • Electrical
  • Chemical
  • Moisture
  • Vibration
  • Shock
  • Mechanical loads

This inclusive testing makes Sherlock the best choice for rapidly evaluating the durability and reliability impact of design choices, particularly as they relate to essential MEMS safety-critical vehicle functions. What’s more, Sherlock does away with operators having to be PhD-level CAE experts. Unlike the majority of CAE tools, Sherlock is fast, semi-automated and user-friendly.

To learn more about CAE tools, DfR, Sherlock and what they mean to MEMS reliability, download Predicting MEMS Package Level Failure Modes in Automotive Applications. Click the button below for your free copy.

Predict MEMS Failure in automotive apps CTA

Topics: Sherlock, Design for Reliability