Accelerated life testing is an important process to ensure products continue to function as intended throughout their entire lifecycle. To perform this process as quickly as possible, accelerated life testers (ALTs) can be used to conduct tests in parallel using multiple testers. This way, potential problems in a product can be identified much more quickly than if a product had to be tested under normal use conditions. Engineers can then use the data collected by the ALT, as well as the nature of the actual failure, to improve the product and increase longevity.
Common Features of an ALT
When building an ALT, the following features will help ensure the ALT is operating efficiently and that products are tested as quickly and thoroughly as possible:
- System Status Dashboard – Shows each tester in the system, the serial number currently being tested, the type of product being tested, running time, and total cycle
- Recipe Builder/Editor – Allows the end user to easily adjust how the test is being conducted.
- Software Management – Since multiple testers are typically used in parallel, it is important to keep the software on each tester in sync and to minimize any software downtime.
- Failure Reporting – Since the goal is to operate the product until it breaks, the system must be able to sense when a failure occurs and shut off after a failure to prevent further test cycles.
- Remote Monitoring – Accelerated life testing usually last weeks or even months, which means there is not always someone monitoring each test 24/7.
To implement these features in an ALT, SystemLink and LabVIEW are an excellent combination. In general, SystemLink is a great tool for creating system status dashboards, managing software deployment remotely, and creating dialog-based configurable alarm notifications. Additionally, with SystemLink and LabVIEW, data can be stored using Amazon Web Services via a file ingestion service. Once data is catalogued in the database it is easy to access using analysis programs like NI DIAdem to analyze the data.
Learn more about using SystemLink and LabVIEW to build efficient ALTs by downloading our white paper, Getting the Most Out of Your Accelerated Life Tester.