In order to ensure that the products customers receive are intact and fully-functional, it is essential that they can survive the journey from when they are boxed at the factory until they arrive at the end destination. Moreover, beyond merely withstanding short-term physical forces, developers need to ensure that their products will maintain the integrity and quality that represents the brand in the longer term.
Product qualification and verification is done through extensive simulation in the development phases, but simulation is not enough. It is also necessary to do physical testing on prototypes and end-of-line items, both to validate simulated results and to prove product durability to customers.
- A mobile phone must be able to withstand bouncing around in a backpack as well as being dropped on the floor several times. If it cannot cope with this general day-to-day use, warranty costs will explode for the manufacturer resulting in a real risk of brand deterioration and of customers looking elsewhere the next time they buy a new phone.
- A satellite has to be able to survive the excessive vibrations from being launched into space. If it is faulty, the investment in the development and building of the satellite may be jeopardized.
Ensuring product quality.
Vibration tests can reveal design weaknesses that would only become apparent during transport, deployment and use – like a helmet hitting the ground. Some of these tests, such as buzz, squeak and rattle (BSR) on vehicle interiors, can also detect the development of unwanted noise.
Vibration testing standards
Many vibration testing profiles are defined by standards developed over many years. There are a lot of them and they are often dedicated to specific applications and products. Examples include DIN, ISO, BS, MIL, IEC and ASTM. The use of testing according to standards is especially the case for the aerospace and defence industries. These include MIL-STD-810, NATO STANAGs and AS/EN9100
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