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Reliability Technology: Principles and Practice of Failure Prevention in Electronic Systems by Norman Pascoe

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Chapter 10

Environmental-Stress Screening

“In times of change, learners inherit the world, while the learned remain beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists”

Eric Hoffer

10.1 Overview

Industry appears to have adopted two distinctly different approaches to the application of Environmental Stress Screening (ESS) over the last half-century. There are those who perform some environmental stress ritual based upon the pressure of contractual obligation, and there are those who genuinely seek to add value to their operation by performing a quality-driven manufacturing process that is perceived to reduce, or even eliminate, premature product failure. Irrespective of the chosen approach, confidence in the efficacy of ESS is generally lacking. The confidence in a process that would otherwise have been catalysed by proof of value has regrettably been eroded by conflicting advice and commercial opportunism. The fact that organisations that are being asked today to consider the introduction of ESS often ask whether the process is likely to damage good product or consume excessive product life, suggests that there has been little published evidence to support the potential value of the ESS process. If you do not have a person within your manufacturing organisation that has sufficient technical knowledge to evaluate proposals for a cost-effective ESS process solution, you would be well advised to train someone or engage a skilled resource rather than rely upon the credibility ...

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