Product validation testing is an important step in the product design process. What better way to prove the durability of the part than to test it under realistic conditions? This is how the test engineer proves the durability of the component - and their engineering value to the employer!
The durability testing challenge is twofold: development cycles are shrinking, and reliability targets are stringent. This means the test engineer has less time to test, but with the same or even more difficult durability requirements to meet. The solution is to specify and run the right durability test. Above all else, the test spec needs to reflect in-service usage. Many traditional test specs have been generated without service loading in mind – so correlation is missing. This can lead to a lot of wasted time and effort
Here are 2 examples of test specs that don’t work
A simple test that is the worst case loading continuously repeated in the lab – as if the part were designed to be constantly subject to this abuse. A test spec that is defined by test rig limitations without regard for actual service usage. A test that is not based on customer or service usage creates risk: What does pass or fail mean? What if the part fails at 80% of the test? How is a failure related to reliability in the customer’s hands? A test that is correlated to service loading means you can answer these questions
Of course, using service loading has challenges too – how can we replicated thousands of hours or hundreds of thousands of miles quickly on a test rig? The project’s Gantt chart gets ugly if testing runs for months on end. The next challenge then is to use service loading with test acceleration techniques so we can shorten the test duration. These acceleration techniques need to reflect the nature of the service loading – static vs. dynamic, uniaxial vs. multiaxial, etc. Watch this 30 minute video in which we’ll steer you clear of pitfalls that lead to wasted time during durability testing - and talk best practices so you can run the right test, quickly.