Improve the reliability of products while minimising safety risks
Today’s electrical and electronic products and components combine the most advanced technologies to provide users with functions and capabilities that could only have been imagined a few short years ago. Yet, despite state-of-the-art engineering and manufacturing practices, electrical and electronic products and components sometimes fail under actual use conditions. Such failures can be attributed to a range of possible causes, including inadequate design, material quality issues, or the absence of sufficiently rigid manufacturing specifications. Unfortunately, product failures can be more than just an inconvenience, and can pose significant risks to the public and the environment.
What is failure analysis?
Failure analysis is a comprehensive, forensic investigation into the reasons why a product or component has failed. Working with failed products or components, forensic engineers use a variety of examination techniques and testing methods to identify and evaluate specific root causes behind a failure. Once a cause has been determined, steps can be taken to modify or redesign the product to prevent future failures. Certain types of failure analysis techniques can also be applied during the product prototyping stage to identify potential areas of failure and to address deficiencies before a product is placed on the market.
Why is failure analysis important?
Product failures result in a number of consequences for manufacturers of electrical and electronic products and components. At the very least, products which fail to function as promised lead to disappointed users and can tarnish a company’s reputation for quality products. Product failures can also lead to costly and time-consuming product recalls, along with the resulting adverse publicity. In the most extreme cases, product failures can place people and property at risk, sometimes resulting in death or injuries. Failure analysis can help manufacturers improve the quality and safety of their products, but can also reduce the risk of future failures in similar devices.
How can we help you?
TÜV SÜD operates Failure Analysis Centres in Singapore and in other major production centres around the world to provide manufacturers of electrical and electronic products and components with failure analysis testing, material and product evaluation services, and reliability testing. We are equipped to test a wide range of products and components, including printed circuit boards (PCBs), printed circuit board assemblies (PCBAs), integrated circuits (ICs), capacitors, connectors, batteries, controllers, cables and switches. Our state-of-the-art testing equipment, combined with our experienced engineers and analysts, can meet the most demanding testing requirements within the limits of your schedule and budget.
Our services at a glance
TÜV SÜD’s Failure Analysis Centres offer a complete range of testing and inspection services for electrical and electronic products and components. In addition to failure analysis, our testing and inspection services include:
- Coating/thin film evaluation - including assessments of coating chemistry, thickness, orientation and quality, as well as adhesion testing.
- PCB evaluation - such as plating layer evaluations for thickness and homogeneity, layer delamination assessments and solder heat resistance.
- Product evaluation - including x-ray radiography for internal structure or defects, electrical characterisation by curve testing, dye and pry tests for ball grid array (BGA) joints, and solderability testing.
- Reliability assessment - including examination following thermal cycling and thermal shock testing, humidity testing and salt spray testing.
Other related services
- Surface analysis - using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and atomic force microscopy (AFM) and other techniques.
- Thermal analysis - employing differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and thermomechanical analysis (TMA) among other methods.
- Chemical analysis - including inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), Fournier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS).
- Mechanical testing - such as pull testing, fatigue testing and vibration testing.
- Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) testing - for radiated and conducted emissions and immunity.
Electrical safety testing - including isolation barriers and creepage and clearance distances.