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ESS is product-specific, since each product has its own set of potential defects, and since the applied ESS stresses affect each product differently. Eventhough the ESS process must be set up separately for each product, there are many common features of both products and stresses which cause many ESS processes to be similar.
The stresses applied in ESS are those which are expected to precipitate manufacturing defects. They are not necessarily those which the product will see in service. The two most common ESS stresses for electronic products are temperature cycling and vibration. They may be applied sequentially or simultaneously. ESS may be conducted anywhere in the manufacturing process flow.
Normally, 100% of a group of product is subjected to environmental stimulus for a pre determined time for the purpose of forcing failure to occur in-house. ESS on a sampling basis is worthwhile if the design and production methods are mature and stable. In practice it was observed that about 80% of the failures are sensitive to atmospheric tests and about 20% to vibration. Temperature and Humidity tests are effective for defect types like wire insulation, improper crimp or mating, parametric drift, corrosion, and hermetic sealed failures. Vibration is more effective for the defects like loose contacts, debris, Chafed & pinched wire and adjacent boards/parts shorting.
* Determine the initial ESS test conditions which is characterized by the following parameters:
* No of cycles
* Equipment Condition
-Powered ON or Powered OFF
* Analyze failures that occur
** If no failures, increase initial test conditions
* Continue modifying thermal stress until only ‘latent defects’ are disclosed.
2. Vibration screen design:
* Begin with initial g rms level (e.g. 6 grms)
-Vibration step-stress is increased in one g rms increments
-Functional testing of unit during vibration is required* Failure modes are noted at each vibration level
* Rigorous failure analysis and corrective action is essential
* Vibration level in g rms is increased until non-defect failure modes occur. This represents the design capability
* Further review of screen is essential on accumulated data.
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