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Failure Analysis


Failure analysis is the process of collecting and analyzing data to determine the cause of a particular failure. It is an important discipline in many branches of the manufacturing industry, such as the electronics industry, where it is a vital tool used in developing new products and improving existing products. It relies on collecting failed components or associated data for subsequent examination of the cause(s) of failure using a wide array of methods. Failure theories are constructed on accumulated data to identify failure trends so that when corrective action is needed, the precautionary principle of data collection demands that measures be put in place.

Electronic Component Failure Analysis

Nondestructive testing (NDT) is extremely valuable component of failure analysis as the failed products are unaffected by analysis. NDT methods are typically the starting point of failure analysis and are employed whenever possible.

Another aspect of failure analysis is associated with No Trouble Found (NTF), sometimes referred to as No Fault Found (NFF), which describes a situation where an originally reported mode of failure can't be duplicated by the evaluating technician and therefore the indicated defect can't be fixed. NTF can be attributed to oxidation, defective connections of electrical components, temporary shorts or opens in the circuits, software bugs, temporary environmental factors, and also operator error. A large number of devices that are initially reported as NTF often return to the failure analysis lab with the same NTF symptoms, or a permanent mode of failure.

PES collects the information associated with all product failures utilizing an inventory tracking system that not only tracks the unit through the repair process, but also tracks the parts used to repair the defective item. This data is made available to the customer to allow further analysis of failure trends to implement engineering changes (ECN) in the product to correct such issues.



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