Testing company QualMark recently acquired Massachusetts-based Ling Electronics, a manufacturer of electrodynamic shakers and amplifiers. The units generate vibration loads from 100 to 40,000 lb. “Products should be simultaneously tested for vibration and temperature,” says Charles Bates, VP of program development for the Denver-based company (qualmark.com). Otherwise, you miss 25 to 30% of the defects. He says the company's Highly Accelerated Life Testing (Halt) and Highly Accelerated Stress Screenings (Hass) focus on product development and process-control standards.

In a nutshell, a product test series goes like this: After Halt (vibration) testing reveals product weaknesses, a root-cause failure analysis facilitates a corrective action necessary to improve the design. “Once an approved design goes into production, Hass testing ensures that weak links in manufacturing do not undermine the design,” says Bates.