A Life Test is the process of testing a product by subjecting it to conditions in excess of its normal service parameters in an effort to uncover faults and potential modes of failure in a short amount of time. Reed Switches can be life tested for specified voltage and current levels at speeds of up to 200 Hz to predict the life cycle in the field.
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A highly accelerated life test (HALT) is a stress testing methodology for enhancing product reliability in which prototypes are stressed to a much higher degree than expected from actual use in order to identify weaknesses in the design or manufacture of the product. Manufacturing and research and development organizations in the electronics, computer, medical, and military industries use HALT to improve product reliability.
HALT can be effectively used multiple times over a product's life time. During product development, it can find design weakness earlier in the product lifecycle when changes are much less costly to make. By finding weaknesses and making changes early, HALT can lower product development costs and compress time to market. When HALT is used at the time a product is being introduced into the market, it can expose problems caused by new manufacturing processes. When used after a product has been introduced into the market, HALT can be used to audit product reliability caused by changes in components, manufacturing processes, suppliers, etc.