What is the Importance of HALT and HASS Test Methodologies for Telecom PCB Assemblies?

By | Date posted: | Last updated: April 14, 2021
PCB Assemblies

When it comes to PCB Assembly, the importance of robust testing cannot be overstated as the efficacy of the final product depends on the PCB. In the case of PCBs used in the telecom industry, they need to go through vigorous testing through procedures known as:

  • Highly Accelerated Life Tests or HALT
  • Highly Accelerated Stress Screens or HASS

Here is a quick overview on what exactly these testing procedures are as well as why the PCB Contract Manufacturer must make use of them.

The importance of HALT & HASS testing in the telecom PCB assemblies

Speaking of the telecom industry, harsh environmental conditions are a given! That has an implication on a wide range of things including the testing mechanism. If PCB functional testing is conducted in a standard environment, which does not imitate the actual environmental conditions, high failure rates may result. It is on account of this that HALT & HASS methodologies are extremely popular. While traditional testing may take a long period to reveal any issues, with these two tests, not only will the results be fast but also accurate. Together HALT & HASS are often also called Accelerated Stress Testing, for this is exactly what it is doing, testing the PCB telecom equipment under stress conditions.

HALT Testing

With HALT Testing, any flaws in the following can be brought to light:

  • Product Design
  • Selection of components
  • Manufacturing issues

Through out the HALT test, the levels of stress are increased. These stressors can be by way of:

  • Changes in temperature
  • Vibration

In fact, these stressors are increased until an actual failure happens. It is then easy to determine how much above the actual stress level in which the equipment will operate, has the failure occurred.

HASS Testing

HASS testing can be effectively used to determine any manufacturing flaws in the PCB telecommunication product. In fact, the goals of HASS testing are similar to the HALT testing, except that in this case a limited number of tests are run to figure out any manufacturing defects.

What are some of the things the PCB Contract Manufacturer should do?

In order to conduct HALT & HASS testing on the circuit board, a PCB Contract Manufacturer needs to have a comprehensive testing plan in place. The broad framework of this testing plan includes having the testing specifications in place as also detailing the testing procedures and then incorporating it into the process flow. With the plan in place, the next step is to have the testing as a part of the overall PCB build documentation.

What is also important is the contract manufacturer has the right environmental chamber, whereby the tests can be conducted. It is in such a chamber where the different control parameters can be varied. Sometimes the contract manufacturer will also need to tie up with a third-party tester. This could mean several things- first that larger number of boards can be tested and importantly also that larger board sizes can be catered to.

It is also fairly important to deal with a contract manufacturer that has experience of working in the telecom industry. Such a contract manufacturer will be able to execute the HALT & HASS testing better. Additionally, he will be equipped with the right resources to execute these tests. Also, with an experienced manufacturer what you stand to gain is testing and documentation processes that are already in place.

Our “Customer First” approach also means that we keep you informed at every stage and that we have a strong support team in place that ensures that all communication is clear and concise.

When you partner with Technotronix, you benefit from our state-of-the-art technology, advanced engineering as well as our service-led approach that always has the customer at its heart.

At Technotronix, we have over 4 decades of industry experience. Importantly, we have dealt with a wide range of telecom providers. We are therefore well-poised to understand the various issues than plague the industry and how robust testing can help overcome these issues. We make sure that once we arrive at the configuration required for your product, no changes are made in the process of production. That way you can rest assured that the final product will meet the bespoke needs. To know more, please explore our PCB assembly services for Telecommunication Industry!

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