The potential use of electronics in future off-highway equipment applications (especially for vehicle control systems) makes the topic of reliability of electronic assemblies extremely important to attaining goals of reduced field failures and resulting vehicle down time.
Reliability is the characteristic of an item expressed by the probability that it will perform a required function under stated conditions for a stated period of time. While our engineering and quality assurance personnel have and are continuing training in reliability modeling and prediction, this paper will concentrate on our practices and procedures utilized in the design process and manufacturing (rather than on the theoretical and mathematical approach) to develop and produce high reliability electronic assemblies for the off-highway equipment applications.
Our emphasis is focused on prevention of failure mechanisms by disciplined design techniques, electronic component selection and control, design analysis and review of electrical and mechanical tolerances and environmental stress extremes, design validation and qualification laboratory testing programs, studies of manufacturing producibility and process capability, and of course SPC (Statistical Process Control) for manufacturing process control.
The overall reliability program is comprehensive involving all areas within our company, our suppliers, and our off-highway equipment customers.