Stresses and Mechanism
Dianna and Fred discussing a listener question about understanding stresses and mechanism of failures of a new design.
Join Dianna and Fred as they discuss a listener question: Is there a listing of all failure mechanisms and their stresses that I can reference? When I’m looking at a product design and developing reliability test plans, how do I identify which stresses I should pay attention to, that would give me an idea of which set of mechanisms could be involved?
- Talking with the design team to get a sense of stresses and mechanisms that they designed against.
- Collecting data from other products to inform us about our new design.
- Consider the “day in the life” of the product to uncover ideas.
- Looking at listings of tests required by industry as a source of stresses and their failure mechanism.
- Satellites, HALT tests, keyboard covers, and game controllers.
Enjoy an episode of Speaking of Reliability. Where you can join friends as they discuss reliability topics. Join us as we discuss topics ranging from design for reliability techniques to field data analysis approaches.
When developing an environmental test, we pick stresses based on which one is the most important based on the mechanism of failure. Which stresses cause the most damage?
We may rely on cumulative knowledge and experience, but that doesn’t help people new to reliability!
How do we figure out what stresses matter? Some ideas:
- Talk with the design team. Which feature is most robust or the weakest? Where did you design with a safety margin? Ask ‘why’ a few times to get to the root of their answer. Also, look at what’s new and unknown.
- How do other or similar products fail? Do you have a similar product within your company that has field or test data? Or is there a competitor product? Sometimes we can find data on competitor products, depending on the industry. Getting our hands on a competitor product can also be a source of information because it allows us to ask, “Why did they do it that way?” We might uncover an idea about a failure mechanism.
- What’s the real “day in the life” of the product? Sometimes what we start designing isn’t how customers ultimately use it. Do a beta test with customers or otherwise understand how the product will really be used.
- Some industries have listings of tests that should or must be performed to meet a standard. These tests can be a source of information about stresses and mechanisms.
Finally, know that all of this is to try to uncover the things that we don’t think about or miss. Be prepared to be surprised. Break stuff and have fun!
Let us know the unique ways you damage your products.
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