Tag Archives: HALT

HALT: An Accelerated Reliability Testing

Reliability TestingHighly Accelerated Life Testing (HALT) is a reliability testing technique used during the engineering development phase of a product for finding predominant design weaknesses and failures before they become expensive field issues. HALT is unique in a sense that it has different procedures, goals, stresses, and results from traditional design verification testing.

How it works

It is important to note that HALT is not a compliance test, rather it is a discovery test. The goal is to find and fix weaknesses, explains an expert from Qualmark.com. It does not replace any existing reliability and environmental testing; it only complements them. Hence, it is not attempting to mimic the product’s environment. HALT should only be viewed as a supplementary tool.

Higher levels of thermal and mechanical stress, exceeding the expected operating levels the products are expected to experience, are incrementally applied to the product cyclically. These procedures reveal product failures in an accelerated timeframe in just a matter of hours or days against more traditional test methods that could take weeks and even months.

Soft and hard failure points are identified by stimulating and monitoring the product. A soft failure is when a product that crashes under test but works properly again when the stressing factors are removed. A hard failure, on the other hand, is when the product does not work properly even under normal operation.

Weaknesses revealed by HALT

  • Thermal design weakness
  • Mechanical design weakness
  • Operational component limitations
  • Gap between the product’s required operating limits and the actual maximum limits

Benefits of HALT

  • Reduced development time and cost due to early identification of weaknesses.
  • A design that is more robust and rugged with greater reliability.
  • Reduced warranty costs due to a more reliable product and in turn improves customer confidence and satisfaction.
  • An opportunity to improve the design presents itself on every weakness found.
  • Operational and destruct limits are determined by stressing the product beyond its limits. Hence, the results of the test prompt an early resolution on how to address and increase these margins.

HALT is a Process, Not a Piece of Equipment

HALT is a Process and Not a Piece of EquipmentSources say that “HALT is not a chamber or type of stress or combinations of stress; it is a basic method of using an applied stress to for empirical design or manufacturing weakness discovery.”

A Method Rather than a Piece of Equipment

Qualmark Corporation shares that most people, especially those who have only encountered HALT once or twice in their lives, would think that it is a piece of equipment that tests the reliability of a product. If you are a company that would want to upgrade the way you test the quality of your products, then implementing this would be a game changer.

The techniques used for this process are essential in revealing the imperfections in a new product. These fast and efficient tests uncover the areas that need improvement before they are dispatched into the market.

It is recommended that manufacturers perform these during the initial phases of product development, as these tests lessen the risks of expensive development costs or even worse, recalls, which can gravely harm the reputation of your company.

Companies also use these techniques to gauge the operating limits of their products to compare it to the designer’s specifications and assess the destruct limits, as well. This pertains to how much an item can take before it loses its functionality and recovery or repair is impossible.

Various Equipment Used for HALT

This process uses environmental stress factors to test the reliability of products. The most commonly used factors are vibration, temperature, and humidity. Others include power cycling, current, and voltage.

These equipment need to be under surveillance as well, which is why it has data loggers, multimeters, thermocouple sensors, and vibration accelerators to monitor the way they process the products.

In conclusion, this is essential in the manufacturing process because it tests the products to its limits before it reaches the market. HALT is a process that detects the flaws in the design that need an immediate response, increasing product reliability, making long-term savings, and reducing the number of returns. Using various chambers can prove to benefit the company’s ROI in the long run.