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No room for failure for electronics and sensors

Connect, no. 131, July/August 2004, p. 3

Product reliability is fundamentally important to the industrial and commercial success of companies. Due to the high reliance of today's products on electronic and sensors, it critically influences product life and performance.

It has been recognised that due to the fast development of this sector, combined with complex combinations of electronic, optical and mechanical features, assessment of reliability requires a multi-disciplinary approach and the sharing of relevant knowledge from different industry sectors. In this respect TWI has set up a cross section team to pool its own knowledge and has linked with the CALCE (University of Maryland) to evaluate and develop virtual qualification modelling systems for this sector.

Specific interests are life prediction/extension and design for fitness for purpose. Additionally, it is proposing to establish a centre to address electronic and medical reliability issues. To develop this area further, TWI has established its own core research project to demonstrate the potential of high precision reliability testing for electronic products and systems. This topic has also been highlighted as one of the main challenges in the EPPIC Faraday Partnership through ongoing and new research programmes.

TWI also chairs the UK National Reliability Strategy committee, supported by DTI and IMechE whose aim is to develop an integrated approach to reliability and raise its profile, and through this, enhance economic and social benefits.

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