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May 22, 2009

Mtg: Life-Test Case Study for Heater Cartridge Reliability

by @ 7:58 am. Filed under ALL, Electronics Design, Engineering Mgmt, Semiconductors

WEDNESDAY May 27, 2009
SCV Reliability Chapter
Speaker: Jim Krepelka, Life Science and Chemical Analysis Division, Agilent Technologies
Time: Refreshments + networking at 6:30 PM, Presentation at 7:00 PM
Cost: none
Place: Hewlett-Packard, Building 48, Oak Room, 19111 Pruneridge Ave, Cupertino
RSVP: not required

Often technical innovations come at a price.? The constraints of time to market, physical size, and cost can leave designers faced with components at or beyond their specified limits.? This presentation deals with just such a case, a wire wound NiChrome heater cartridge being operated beyond its thermal limit.
Early tests found that the heater cartridge could be run at over-temperature conditions for extended periods.? However since the manufacturerâ??s published thermal limit lined up well with comparable products from competitors, the design team took this issue very seriously.? Alternate technologies were evaluated but rejected as not meeting some or all of the size, cost, and time to market constraints.? The Reliability Engineering group was asked to assist by setting up a life test.
Deliverable #1:? At the end of the test, the reliability goal should have associated confidence estimates spanning an 18 month normal use period.
Deliverable #2:? At the end of the test, the failure modes and mechanisms should be ranked in Pareto order according to their frequency.
The life test investigation faced two significant constraints.? First it needed to be completed in 5 months.? Second there was only enough hardware to construct two dedicated test platforms.

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