Electronics must be reliable and, in many cases, have a long or at least predictable lifetime. Designing for quality and reliability is essential for manufacturing reliable products of good quality.
Design for Reliability (DfR) makes use of several methods of analysis and verifications, such as Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) , the application of design rules and various modelling and verification techniques.
Testing, prediction models and failure reports from the field give information on reliability
Following methods can be used to get information on the reliability, failure mechanisms and lifetime of electronics
- Collection and analysis of field data on failures
- Reliability and life testing
- Theoretical predictive models on failure rates, such as MIL-HDBK-217F, Notice 2.
Reliability is influenced by several factors
The reliability of electronics is influenced only by design, but also by the parts, components and materials used in their manufacture, manufacturing processes and the stresses the products will be exposed during their lifetime. It is, therefore, important to determine of be familiar with the factors relating to the technology used for the product. and the conditions under which the product will be used.
Testing for reliability and lifetime in a nutshell
- The technology, structures, components, and materials along with their possible failure mechanisms are determined
- Operating conditions during the different phases of the product's lifetime are determined
- A test or combination of tests that will ensure conformity to reliability requirements is designed
- The tests, including initial, interim and final measurements, are carried out
- The failures that occurred during testing are analyzed
- Based on the results, conclusions on the product's failure mechanisms and reliability parameters (e.g. failure rate, lifetime) are calculated and presented