Track 1 Session 9

8:00 to 9:00 a.m. Friday March 25, 2011

Field Failure Analysis – An Important Step in Reducing Maintenance Costs

Reliability goals are becoming more and more demanding. Validating higher reliability requires much longer test times. Development cycles are becoming shorter. As a result, systems are launched with low reliability and an aggressive reliability growth plan needs to be enforced. Failure analysis is the process of collecting and analyzing data to determine the cause of a failure and how to prevent it from recurring. It is an important discipline in many branches of manufacturing, including the electronics industry, where it is a vital tool used in the development of new products and for the improvement of existing products. Failure analysis may be applied to both products and processes. Failure analysis may be conducted during the design and field usage stages of the product life cycle. A bathtub curve or failure rate curve is often used to describe the relative failure rate of an entire population of products over a certain time scale. Examining the time dependency of the failure rate for a number of components/systems gives insight as to the nature of the failure. This presentation is divided into two stages: 1) The classification of the collected field failures into one of three classes (infant mortality, failures that occur randomly in time, or failures due to aging). 2) Corrective measures based on the above classifications. A corrective measure workflow guideline is also presented.

Key Words: Reliability Goals, Reliability Growth, Field Failure, Bathtub, Failure Analysis, Maintenance Cost, Infant Mortality, Useful Life, Wear out, Aging, Failure Calcification, FRACAS, Censoring

Amnon Ganot

Gertron Ltd.