Building on Destruction: The Quest for Product Perfection

Product TestingProducts need to be tested thoroughly before being shipped to customers to minimize the risk of having them recalled when defects are found. Such situation can be very costly both in money and company reputation.

You may have heard of the phrase “in order to build, you must first destroy.” Although Pablo Picasso may have meant another thing when he uttered this famous quote, it also applies to stress testing of products. You see some products like the motherboard of smartphones and computers go through a demanding accelerated test to see how they would fare after a period of mishandling. What is this test and how do they relate to the popular phrase?

Accelerated Stress Test

The two most popular test methods usually used by manufacturers are the Highly Accelerated Stress Screening (HASS) and highly accelerated life test (HALT). The aim of these two tests is to find defects in a product, such as a fully assembled motherboard, and to check its reliability. By detecting and pinpointing defects at an early stage, manufacturers can make the necessary adjustments in their processes which may have contributed to the weakness or defect.

What happens during HALT test?

HALT machines are designed to expose the weakness of a product. Using accelerated stress settings, it subjects the product to extreme temperature, humidity, violent tremors and shaking to see which of its implements will fail. If there are weaknesses in the design, you might see some of the attached gizmos fall out, crack or sometimes explode. This way, manufacturers are able to determine how much heat, humidity, and vibration their product can handle until its breaking point.

The HASS

When manufacturers already have found the limits of a product, HASS machines will test it beyond its specifications. This test is designed to test the limits of the product to the point of destroying some of its implements so manufacturers can make corrective measures. In a way, it is like you are destroying a product and building on that destruction.

These methods are being utilized by manufacturers today to detect defects in a product before they are released to the market. In fact, COTSJournalOnline.com states that these tests are a necessity because they minimize the risk of having these products recalled when found to be defective by customers. With these tests, manufacturers can heave a sigh of relief, knowing full well that the products shipped have been fully tested under extreme conditions and have passed.