Companies routinely ask us how they can be sure that their product will meet reliability targets. We explain that it is always more effective to proactively design reliability into the product than to retroactively test for it. Virtual qualification using simulation is a great way to assess whether your design will meet reliability targets under specific environments.
With today’s rapid product development cycles and time-to-market pressures, there’s not always time to perform reliability testing. This situation leaves many manufacturers with the question of how to ensure their products will be dependable when reliability testing and the possible resulting re-engineering are too time consuming or expensive.
Defined as the probability that a device will perform its required function under specific conditions for a defined period of time, MTBF is used broadly across industries. Reliability in avionic and automotive applications hinges on predicting failure — specifically the expected time between two failures for a repairable system. This meantime between failure (MTBF) serves as a basis for a number of formulaic calculations:
In our last article, we wrote about the basics of test plan development, and the value of defining test objectives, developing a justification checklist of specific test elements and identifying testing types and protocols.
Product test plans are critical to the success of a new product or technology, provided the tests are stressful enough to identify defects and correlate to a realistic environment so they are ultimately acceptable to management and customers.
The evolving complexity of components and technologies makes ensuring reliability of electronics designs increasingly difficult and drives the need for Design for Reliability (DfR).