Commercial HALT Test Consulting

HALT – Highly Accelerated Life Test

When you get to towards the end of a product development cycle, defining the operating limits of the design is needed to verify that a particular product will have a sufficient life to meet customer expectations.  There are two practical methods to do this.  One is to simulate actual use of the product, which depending on the item may take many days or months. The other is to run simulated actual use tests at an accelerated pace.  When processes are delayed or problems occur (which they often do) testing suffers because the time allotted for testing has been eaten up fixing some other problem.

One way to handle this problem that everyone faces is to explore the use of accelerated test methods, which can drastically cut testing time but still provide crucial product data.  This process was developed in the 1980s accelerated methods speed up the testing process by using more intense test variables such as higher temperatures, pressures and humidity, and harsher vibration schedules.

Unlike DVT (Design Verification Testing), the purpose of HALT is to determine the operating and destruct limits of a design – why those limitations exist and what is required to increase those margins. HALT, therefore, stresses products beyond their design specifications.  HALT provides engineers with the opportunity to improve product design, increasing its robustness and minimizing possibility of costly warranty services and expensive product recalls after release.

HALT TEST IN LABHighly Accelerated Life Testing (or HALT testing) is one of the most widely-used accelerated test methods used by many companies.  Located in General Motors GMW3172 standard, HALT testing is fast and effective because, in addition to the more intense test conditions, it combines test conditions that previously had to be conducted separately, and saves a great deal of time by uncovering problems more quickly and thoroughly during the development phase of product launch.  HALT testing uses temperature and all six axes (commonly referred to as the six degrees of freedom) simultaneously to determine the operating and destruct limits of components.

The point is to develop products that will be robust to these stresses. HALT testing is fast and efficient because it combines the six degrees of freedom vibration, and temperature testing in one procedure using a liquid nitrogen chamber that can change temperatures about four times faster than regular test chambers. Because HALT testing reduces the amount of time needed for testing, it also uncovers design problems more quickly than traditional methods, which allows for a faster time-to-market. Accelerated testing processes such as HALT can be more cost-effective than traditional methods because, due to the fact that they are so much faster, they require fewer man-hours and free up test equipment for other projects.

CVG Strategy can help you develop a product profile and generate a HALT Test Plan that will rapidly give you the data you need to verify the design reliability.

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