DfR Solutions Reliability Designed and Delivered

Why Do Lithium-Ion Batteries Swell?

My cousin recently came to me with a battery problem. He got a drone for Christmas, and he had not opened it for a while. "Last Christmas, right?", I asked. Apparently, it was the Christmas before (i.e a year and a half of being in a box). "Uh-oh," I say. I almost knew what was coming.  The drone obviously did not work, and I got to see a picture of a very bloated Lithium Ion pouch cell.  Your Lithium-Ion battery does need some attention from you every few months in the form of a periodic recharge, or you will end up with a cell that looks like the image below. (My colleagues have brought me plenty of gadgets with the plastic case popped open from a bloated battery)

Topic: Battery Reliability, Battery Safety, Battery Failure, Lithium Ion Battery

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3 Real Life Examples Of “After A Failure” Investigations

“After a failure” investigations are typically performed to identify root cause of failure, calculate risk exposure and develop mitigation and remediation solutions. Just like with “before a failure” investigation, there are two specific test methods that could be applied to either of the two categories – non-destructive physical analysis (NPA) and destructive physical analysis (DPA).

Topic: Failure Analysis, reliability testing, Reliability Physics

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Top 5 Reasons for Solder Joint Failure

Solder joint reliability is often a pain point in the design of an electronic system. A wide variety of factors affect solder joint reliability, and any one of them can drastically affect joint lifetime in a negative way. Properly identifying and mitigating potential causes of solder joint failure during the design and manufacturing process can prevent costly and difficult to solve problems later in a product lifecycle. Some of the most commonly observed solder joint failure contributors to consider are described here.

Topic: solder joint reliability, solder fatigue

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Exploring Semiconductor Reliability

A common feeling among many designers and users of military electronic systems is nostalgia.  Nostalgia for the good old days when the electronics industry was almost the exclusive supply chain of the military. While almost all aspects of integrated circuits (ICs) have improved over the past few decades (better, faster, cheaper), many in the military still long for the day when almost every semiconductor device on the market met or exceed their requirements without even asking.

Topic: Semiconductor technology, integrated circuits

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DfR Solutions is the Healthcare Provider for the Electronics Industry - Say What?

Recently I, Greg Caswell, had full knee replacement surgery on my left knee to fix a problem with osteoarthritis.  I found the overall experience interesting in that the approach the doctor’s used to assess the issue, develop a plan for improving the joints capabilities and finally performing surgery as the last possibility, was similar to the Physics of Failure approach DfR Solutions uses.  

Topic: Electronics Reliability, electronics failure, reliability testing

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3 Real Life Examples of “Before a Failure” Investigations

Performing a “before a failure” investigation on electronics is typically done for various reasons.  One reason is to identify weak components or sub-systems before committing to a full-blown production run and its associated expenses.  Comparison testing of similar component parts to reduce costs and increase reliability of existing designs, or against a competitor’s offerings is another reason.  A “before a failure” investigation can validate a design to satisfy customer or market specifications, or regulatory obligations, which is common among the aerospace and medical devices fields.    

Topic: Electronics Reliability, electronics failure, reliability testing

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Identifying Common Electronic Failures

Failure analysis is the process of identifying, and typically attempting to mitigate, the root cause of a failure. In the electronics industry, failure analysis typically involves isolating the failure to a location on a printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) before collecting more detailed data to investigate which component or board location is functioning improperly.

Topic: Failure Analysis, electronics failure

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Top 5 Blog Posts from 2017

As 2017 is coming to a close, we are taking a look at our top viewed blog posts written by the expert engineers and reliability professionals at DfR Solutions.

Along with these blog posts, we have a large selection of resource materials available on electronics reliability, failure mechanisms and failure analysis.

Thank you for subscribing. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Topic: Battery Reliability, IoT, DfR Solutions

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Flexible Electronics – Technology and Challenges

Electronic components have become more ubiquitous in the last few years. Thanks to technological advancement, they are finding their way into more product categories and industries than ever before. One such recent advancement is the Internet of Things (IoT), which is a network of interconnected systems that communicate using a network protocol. The difference between the current internet and IoT is the heterogeneity. Systems of different functionality, technology and applications will belong to the same communication environment. The mantra that every component and system manufacturer is adopting these days is to make things “smarter.” What started with smart phones is now evolving into the smart watch, smart home, smart city, smart grid, smart retail, smart farming and the list goes on.

Topic: Wearable Electronics, IoT

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Top Six Ways To Lower Warranty Costs

Warranty costs can be the bane of hardware companies. Think about it. One of the great benefits of a software company (whether it’s the old fashioned standalone software on a disk or the more common webservices) is no warranty. Facebook does not have any set asides for warranty claims, which can run into the billions of dollars for some companies. Billions of dollars doing nothing but acting as insurance.

Topic: Warranty costs

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