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© evertiq General | December 09, 2016

Failure is success if we learn from it

The use of Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) in sensors for safety critical vehicle systems is increasing – which also stresses the fact that we need to know their limits.
The use of MEMS in high stress, safety critical, automotive systems makes ensuring their reliability as well as durability essential.

As the industry is in a constant state of evolving and improving – Electronic Packaging technology is doing the same in order to keep up. However, MEMS packages can be susceptible to several failure modes that can be predicted as a device is designed using Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) software tools that apply Physics of Failure (PoF) methods to evaluate, eliminate or mitigate susceptibilities to failure modes during the design of a new MEMS device, as DfR Solutions puts it.

This Design for Reliability (DfR) approach could be one of the most effective and efficient ways to achieve functional safety levels of reliability and durability.

As some of you might remember; Toyota recalled about 9 million vehicles between 2009 and 2011 – that is more or less one car per person here in Sweden – due to an unintentional acceleration issue.

Since then you’ve read and I’ve written countless articles on companies recalling vehicles due to a number of different safety issues. However, the industry is constantly working on making this all but a memory.

Reliability physics, as described in the article “Physics of Failure Durability Simulations for Automotive Electronics” in PCB Design Magazine, is a science-based approach which involves application of knowledge which stems from physics of failure (PoF) research into how and why systems, components and materials fail. The knowledge of exactly what initiates the failure mechanisms that result in failure modes gives the product designers a chance to evaluate the potential failure status and risks of specific materials in specific applications.

Basically – with this “golden wrench” companies can design and build their systems to be more reliable, using knowledge about its potential failure.

If you want to learn more about physics of failure prediction for electronic components & systems, Craig Hillman, CEO of DfR Solutions, will be addressing the topic at TEC Gothenburg on January 26. To register please follow this link.

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