Reliability Test Plan Development
A reliability test plan is the high level plan that calls out all of the reliability testing that is to be performed on a product, including Design Verification Tests (DVT), Highly Accelerated Life Tests (HALT), Reliability Demonstration Tests (RDT), Accelerated Life Tests (ALT), and On-Going Reliability Tests (ORT).
With all of the reliability testing that goes on and all of the choices that people have for their testing, many test programs wind up being fragmented and disjointed. A good reliability test plan can tie all of these together.
The objective of a reliability test plan is to tie all of the different reliability test activities together to assure that all of the testing needs are satisfied and that there is no duplication between tests. We will answer your question: “How do I test for reliability”.
VALUE TO YOUR ORGANIZATION
There is tremendous value in developing a comprehensive test plan that outlines all of the reliability testing activities. This can aid in comparing against marketing specs, helps to satisfy customer requirements and expectations, and is helpful for test labs that may be utilized to help perform some of the tests.
Test plans often point out overlooked areas such as how to test a product, how to fixture, what constitutes a failure, and many other contingency plans necessary for successful test activities.
An example of Reliability Integration during Reliability Test Plan Development is as follows:
Reliability Test Plan Development can enhance HALT
Many HALTs begin with just a generic test plan or no test plan at all. The problem we run into here is when issues arise, it is not clear how to deal with them. A comprehensive HALT Plan can be invaluable because in this test plan, we discuss not only the stress conditions to apply but contingencies at times of failure, required test equipment, definitions of failures, and alternative fixtures to use to continue testing after experiencing a failure.
The first step in developing a reliability test plan is to determine the reliability goals of the product and then to choose the tests that will help satisfy these goals. Next, we must look at what industry the product is in and what required tests must be carried out.
The following case studies and options provide example approaches. We shall tailor our approach to meet your specific situation.
Writing a Test Plan Based on Industry Standards and Marketing Specs
A Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment company had industry standards specified and marketing specs defined. For them, we wrote a test plan based on these specs, assuring that we covered all requirements called out. We also assured that we removed the duplication of tests, combining these to come up with the smallest subset of tests that satisfied the requirements.
Writing a Plan and Deriving Marketing Specs Based on Industry Standards
A Networking company had a list of industry standards they needed to comply with but their marketing specs were not defined as to the required testing. In this scenario, we wrote a test plan based on the industry standard, tailored to their specific industry and their specific application.
Writing a Plan in an Industry without Standards
A Consumer Electronic manufacturer in a non-regulated industry had no specific marketing goals or industry standards to follow. For them, we benchmarked their product against other similar products in the industry to come up with acceptable testing practices for their industry and environment.