Tag Archives: MTTF

Why is Early Life Reliability more important than MTTF for consumer products ?

The Electronics Industry has grown so quickly over the last 10 years providing a challenge to the Reliability experts in defining the appropriate types of accelerated testing to induce inherent weaknesses in design and manufacture.

The ‘Bathtub Curve’ is still accepted within the industry as a means of separating Early Life Reliability from Long Life and Wear Out , though many Consumer Products such as LCD TV’s, Smart Phones, etc never reach the wear out stage as product life cycle is less than the time to reach the wear out point of the Product.

Most engineers make the mistake of assuming an MTTF or MTBF figure is the critical Reliability Measurement and therefore target Accelerated Testing at proving this measure can be achieved with a confidence level of 80% or 90%

What they forget is the more important Early Life Reliability measure which is more critical to Customer Satisfaction and also involves a lot ‘smarter’ thinking to set up a suitable Accelerated Stress Test that will have a High Defect Detectability level.

The problem with the old fashioned steady temperature Life Tests is they seldom induce the type of weaknesses experienced in the field as the strength of the Accelerated Test is low and there is insufficient Defect Stimulation due to the fact that the stresses imposed are insufficient

Reliability Solutions provides unique support and solutions to wide range of clients facing the challenge to reduce field failure rates without adding to cost through higher performance design or components. These solutions are based on developing the shortest and most effective Early Life Accelerated Stress Tests to stimulate typical Early Life field weaknesses which are most often related to manufacturing process issues.

The beauty of Early Life testing is that the units tested can of course be shipped as suitable product to the customer as very short period of the product lifespan is consumed in the Early Life test.

Defects found can then be analysed and ongoing improvements can be made as different vintages of product are tested and differing process related Early Life defects are stimulated and subsequently resolved

Why not have a FREE discussion with Martin Shaw, MD of Reliability Solutions to discuss how Reliability Solutions may be able to assist your company REDUCE field failures and minimise product warranty costs.