Understanding HALT Testing

July 20, 2021

HALT testing finds weak spots in equipment design or fabrication by applying increasing levels of stress to the product, such as temperature, vibration, thermal and power cycling, and voltage.

Highly accelerated life testing (HALT) is like a stress test. It aims to discover a product’s limitations with the goal of enhancing its reliability.

Unlike MTBF, HALT does not determine life expectancy. Instead, the point is to understand weak spots in the equipment’s design or fabrication so they can be fixed or improved. Ultimately, doing so ensures quality and efficiency — which in turn increases the customer’s confidence in the product.

Typically conducted at the prototype phase, the HALT process applies increasing levels of stress to the product. Variables can include high and low temperatures, random levels of vibration, thermal cycling, voltage, humidity, and power cycling — as well as combinations of these factors.

For example, a hard drive would be subjected to progressively increasing levels of vibration to bring it to fatigue. When that happens, then engineers analyze the results to find the root cause of the problem. There may be a materials fault such as cracking, warping, or melting. Or the HALT test may uncover a mechanical or electrical issue in the drive’s performance.

Once the issue is identified and fixed, the product undergoes testing again for continuous improvements.

MBX has a dedicated team of engineers who put hardware solutions through rigorous testing. They are ready to answer your questions about HALT, and can guide you on the best-tested products to meet your environmental requirements.

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