What is HALT?
HALT (Highly Accelerated Life Test) testing is a process that exposes defects during a products design phase and allows engineers to create more robust and reliable products. Its main objective is identifying the operational and destruct limits of a product thereby allowing improvement in the design phase before full-scale production. HALT testing can also be used at the end of an existing products life cycle in order to illuminate areas of weakness that could be improved in further revisions. During HALT/HASS screenings, products are tested while operating, and all data is monitored and collected for further analysis by your engineering and design team.
What is HASS?
HASS (Highly Accelerated Stress Screen) testing is a process that exposes problems that may occur during manufacturing or as a result of component changes to existing designs. It can be used to spot-check lots of products to verify that they are still being manufactured according to specifications and can be helpful in exposing problems that users might experience using your product in the field. Development of a HASS profile for your particular product requires data generated from HALT testing and can be informed and influenced by failures experienced in the field. During HALT/HASS screenings, products are tested while operating, and all data is monitored and collected for further analysis by your engineering and design team.
My product is manufactured overseas, how can HALT/HASS help me?
HALT/HASS is most effective as a tool that brings to light design or manufacturing flaws allowing you the opportunity to correct them before they become costly. If you use an outside manufacturer to build your products, HALT/HASS testing can illuminate problems that might exist as a result of manufacturing, allowing you the opportunity to make changes that help improve overall product reliability.
What do I need to do to prepare for HALT testing?
New customers sometimes feel overwhelmed the first time they do a HALT and have no idea where to begin. We’ve prepared a list of Pre-HALT Considerations to help you prepare things on your end. Of course, if you have questions, feel free to call us, we’re happy to help!
What is the difference between HALT/HASS testing and Qualification testing?
HALT/HASS testing is different than qualification testing in a few different ways. During HALT/HASS tests, the products are operational during testing where in qualification testing they are typically not powered and non-operational. Qualification testing also only tests the product to function within the guidelines of a certain specification. With HALT testing, the purpose of the test is to bring your product to its operational and destruction limits in order to figure out the where, why, and how a product fails. With this data, you can make tweaks to your design that helps build a more rugged and robust product.
With HASS testing, the purpose of the testing is to make sure that the product remains operational and performs as advertised within the operational limits as defined in the HALT testing and acts as a screen that can detect problems in a large population of products that might be out in the field. HASS testing is a great way to randomly sample a handful of products in a lot to make sure that they are performing the way they were intended.
Do I need to do qualification testing if I have already run a HALT test?
HALT testing does not replace qualification testing or obviate the need for it. If you plan on selling your product to a government or the military then you are probably well aware of which specifications your product needs to adhere to. HALT is a tool that lets engineers put the product through its paces and determine where and what kinds of failures will occur both on a component and system wide level. HALT is of most benefit in the design phase of a new product, or the development phase of a new product upgrade and can help engineers make changes to designs that translate into a more durable and robust final product. Quality Testing Services also provides some qualification testing services and can help in both the design phase and qualification phase of your project.
During HALT vibration, can you generate vibration levels according to a certain specification or waveform?
Our HALT chambers are specifically designed to perform a random vibration profile, often called “6 degrees of freedom”. We do have the capabilities to perform vibration using a particular specification or waveform, but those kinds of tests fall outside the parameters of a traditional HALT test and are tested as vibration only.
I notice that you do thermal cycling and vibration in HALT tests, why isn’t humidity part of the testing protocol?
Humidity testing is not part of standard HALT testing. Customer needs for humidity testing typically varies given the product they design. Humidity is also not as stressful on the internal components of your product as thermal expansion and contraction or vibration, and can also take weeks to perform instead of the 1-3 days for a traditional HALT test. We can however perform humidity tests according to your needs or specifications if that is a requirement. If you require more information on humidity testing, feel free to contact us. We’re happy to help!
When should I begin testing?
Most HALT customers typically schedule their testing early on in the development phase of a new product. Since HALT testing can begin identifying weaknesses before your product is even sold, it can help aid and in some cases expedite product design. If you are at the point in your design that you are able to prototype multiple units for testing, than it might be a good point to start HALT testing to begin identifying and eliminating problems before they make it into the final design. Many customers will put new products through HALT testing multiple times before final production begins.
Why should I use Quality Testing Services for HALT/HASS testing?
Quality Testing Services is one of the most experienced HALT/HASS labs in the country, performing HALT/HASS screening for more than a decade. We were one of the very first labs to specialize in HALT/HASS testing and have worked in close concert with engineers from many of America’s biggest manufacturers. Our facility is conveniently located in Southern California and works with many aerospace, defense, medical and commercial device manufacturers.
What kind of fixture will I need for my product?
One of the value added services Quality Testing Services provides is making a customized fixture for your product. Since each product has different sizes, dimensions, and needs for collecting data, we work with your engineers to help design and fabricate a fixture that can accommodate your desires. All we require is mechanical drawings of your product or a sample in order to begin creating a fixture. It typically takes up to a week for us to fabricate a fixture for your test, depending on the complexity of the product, the sample size you want tested and your particular data capture requirements.