Using MIL STD 810 in Product Development

using mil std 810

When to Start Using MIL-STD-810

Most product designers begin using MIL STD 810 when they are ready to select test methodologies to evaluate a product, but to get the most from this standard it should be employed when first establishing design criteria and specifications.  Using the standard this way can save significant time and money in product development and help create a product that meets requirements and maintains customer satisfaction for the products lifetime.

Why Early?

Most test standards establish criteria for product specification in form of requirements, so in a sense all applicable test standards should be referenced when considering the creation of a product, but this is especially the case with MIL-STD-810.  Because this standard is much more than a collection of test methodologies with requisite requirements, it provides useful tools for analysis of environmental stresses likely to be encountered by the product from the time it leaves the shipping dock until it reaches its end of life.

This analysis, which examines logistical, tactical, and operational phases of product life provides a list of environmental stressors likely to be encountered by the product on its platform of intended use.  Further use of this guidance can provide appropriate profiles and severities based on the geographical areas of intended usage and the characteristics of the platform (ship, vehicle, aircraft) on which the product will be installed.

This analysis, along with measured data and customer requirements, will create a list of relevant and substantiated data from which specifications can be drawn.  This in turn will allow for a product that is neither over or under engineered.  It will also, of course, provide parameters for appropriate evaluation through testing.

A Standard With Three Parts

MIL-STD-810 is composed of three parts.  The first part describes the tailoring process which provides the aforementioned analysis.  Tailoring is a management and engineering procedure that conducts a Life Cycle Environmental Profile (LCEP) and creates an Environmental Issues/Criteria List (EICL).  The second part contains, as of Revision H, the 29 laboratory test methods for product evaluation.  The third part contains climatic data and guidance derived from a number of sources.

Given the complexity of modern environmental laboratory test methods, it is not surprising that parts 1 and 3 of the standard are often overlooked by designers, lab personnel, and even those involved with educating people about the standard.  A look through the many annexes in part 2 can be quite daunting.  Furthermore, many of these methods, especially dynamic (e.g. vibration and shock) are changing rapidly as the technologies utilized in the methods develop. 

Learning to Use MIL STD 810

CVG Strategy provides education in this important standard.  Our instructors have decades of experience in laboratory test and evaluation of military and commercial products.  We understand the importance of testing and getting a properly designed product to market in a timely fashion.  Instruction includes extensive coverage of the tailoring process and how to use it your product development.  Our courses are available online and on location. 


Jamie Hamilton

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