"Quality means doing it right when no one is looking." – Henry Ford
Ensuring the quality of your products is critical to maintaining strong consumer confidence in your brand and building the reputation of your company. In this endeavor, nothing compares to the knowledge you can gain from reliable HALT and HASS testing.
When it’s your objective to bring a best-in-class product to market, you need to know throughout the design, development and manufacturing stages where defects and failures will most likely occur. And not only do you need dependable test results, but you also need an experienced HALT/HASS testing facility that’s willing to work with your schedule, requirements and budget.
At Quality Testing Services, LLC, we’ve been providing precision Highly Accelerated Life Testing (HALT) and Highly Accelerated Stress Screening (HASS) services to a growing list of satisfied customers in Southern California, across the U.S. and throughout the world for more than 20 years. Helping engineers and electronics manufacturers produce best-in-class products — without having to invest in expensive, specialized testing equipment themselves — is what we do every day.
To understand the importance of both of these reliability tests, as well as how each is unique in regards to what it reveals about a product during its lifecycle, read on.
What Is HALT Testing?
HALT — Highly Accelerated Life Test — is an effective technique of high-stress testing used to discover weaknesses in the early stages of a product’s lifecycle. Consequently, HALT testing is typically employed while a product is still in its design phase or development stage.
Unlike traditional tests that make you wait for days or even months to get partial results, HALT testing uses incrementally increasing levels of stress over short intervals to ultimately exceed expected parameters of use and hasten failure in hours. Since HALT is specifically designed to uncover faults and anomalies, it should not be thought of as a test that produces pass/fail results. Instead, its strength lies in revealing those areas of a product that are weakest and/or most prone to failure while it’s still in its design phase.
This process allows you to make the necessary improvements prior to going into production. As we all know, the weakest link in any product is often what limits its usefulness. By repeating HALT testing periodically during a product’s development, you eventually wind up with a best-in-class product.
At QTS, during HALT Accelerated Life Testing, we employ a specialized HALT test chamber to put your workpiece through growing levels of stress associated with temperature and vibration. Our standard HALT test procedure includes the following five steps:
- Hot thermal step stress
- Cold thermal step stress
- Rapid thermal cycling
- Vibration step stress
- Combined environment
Especially for those on a tight deadline, it’s good to keep in mind that HALT testing offers time savings in discovering all likely failures that traditional tests like Design Verification Testing and Environmental Stress Screening simply cannot match.
What Is HASS Testing?
HASS — Highly Accelerated Stress Screening — is a crucial method of testing that’s specifically designed to uncover product defects and weaknesses that can result from production and manufacturing processes. It’s no exaggeration that through robust HASS testing, electronics manufacturers can save millions of dollars in warranty and recall costs by taking corrective action prior to a given product’s release that would otherwise suffer an early failure. This success, in turn, enables them to reinforce their customers’ satisfaction in their products.
Typically, HASS testing services are conducted on products after they’ve been HALT tested and entered into their production phases. While both forms of Accelerated Stress Testing (AST) aim to uncover weaknesses in products, the difference between HALT and HASS testing is important to note.
The benefit of having a product that has HASS reliability is that it has been tested for hidden flaws that traditional tests might not detect. HASS testing employs incremental stresses that exceed the product’s specifications but remain within the design parameters of the earlier HALT test results.
The use of thermal and vibration stresses in HASS testing finds product defects that would otherwise appear as out-of-box failures to customers — most likely costing the manufacturer in warranty fees and eroded customer confidence. Instead, with timely HASS test results, reliability engineers and manufacturers can make the necessary corrections and modifications to their product before they ship, thereby greatly reducing warranty issues and less-than-satisfactory performance for customers.
HALT and HASS Accelerated Reliability Engineering
It should be clear that HALT and HASS standards and the test results they produce serve as an integral part of reliability engineering. But still, it’s worth noting why these tests are so important to the electronics industry.
The growth of the electronics industry continues — along with the continuously growing competition of companies — to bring a wider selection of robust products to market under ever-tighter deadlines. Think about the last time you went even a week without hearing about some new smartphone, handheld device or electronic product being released — and that’s just for public consumption.
With the increase in telecommunications, electronics, power supply and other critical components used in a variety of sub-systems comes the need to measure and test the reliability of these products well before they go to market — but also in a timely manner that keeps companies ahead of their competitors and in good stead with their customers.
This high demand is why having a HALT/HASS testing lab like Quality Testing Services (QTS) that’s willing to work within your schedule to quickly get you the accurate results you need forms a cornerstone in your design, development and manufacturing processes.
Why Choose US?
Collaborating for Intelligent, Customized Results.
The QTS Difference — Reliable Testing When and How You Need It
When millions of dollars and the reputation of your company are on the line, do you really want an outside test lab to treat you with indifference? Of course not. That’s why, since Quality Testing Services was founded by the former head of the HALT/HASS testing labs at Qualmark, we’ve built our reputation on being a testing lab that treats each client with superior attention and guidance.
We offer multiple HALT/HASS test chambers with:
- -100C to +200C; > 50C/min transition rate
- Up to 60 gRMS, 6 DOF repetitive shock
- Programmable SSR’s for automation of UUT
- Six response accelerometers and 18 auxiliary thermocouples
- Test fixture fabrication services
HALT/HASS Consulting Services
Quality Testing Services also offers HALT/HASS consulting services for all of our clients. Aldo Fucinari serves as our lead consultant and has over 35 years of experience in design validation testing, electrical engineering and environmental testing. Aldo can assist in a variety of consulting services, from developing test procedures all the way through interpreting the results of a test and offering/implementing solutions. If needed, he can even be onsite to facilitate the test. He encompasses all aspects of reliability consulting from start to finish. He specializes in HALT and HASS consulting, but is far from limited to these services.
Contact QTS Today
If you have any questions about our HALT/HASS testing chambers and capabilities or would like to request a quote, contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you.