Vibration Fixture Performance Qualification – A Review of Automotive Industry Best Practices 2020-01-1065
Vibration is a relatively young field of study in the engineering field. Early vibration machines were limited by their mechanical design to frequencies below 85 Hz. Modern high frequency vibration testing grew out of the requirements to achieve high levels of reliability in electronic components for the aerospace industry through the 1960’s and 1970’s and with the development of electrodynamic shakers. Today all electronics components for mobile applications are vibration tested with vibration spectrums typically to 2000 Hz.
While radios were used in automobiles before World War II, widespread adoption of electronic components in the automotive industry did not start until the 1980’s and 1990’s. Until recently, many automotive vibration testing methods were designed around low frequency test spectrums. As vibration test spectrums have expanded to higher frequencies to meet the requirements of electronics test methods, the recognition of the effect of vibration fixture dynamic performance on vibration test outcome has not been consistent across the industry.
Vibration testing is now an indispensable part of any automotive electronics component development program. With the current explosion in adoption of electronics throughout the automobile, especially in the new field of ultra-high reliability autonomous control systems, this inconsistency exposes the industry to a risk of higher development costs and/or field failures.
This paper reviews current vibration fixture best practices in the automotive electronic component test methods and experimentally demonstrates the wide range of outcomes which are possible to achieve. The paper explores changes to current best practices to improve the accuracy and repeatability of vibration tests for automotive electronic components.