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ANSYS BLOG

March 21, 2023

5 Reasons Why You Should Use Ansys Reliability Engineering Services

At Ansys, we’re known for our physics-based simulation software, but what some of you may not know is that we also provide physical testing and consulting services dedicated to improving and predicting electronics reliability. The Ansys Reliability Engineering Services team came to Ansys with the acquisition of DfR Solutions in 2019, and it has continued to deliver innovative, practical solutions to the toughest electronics reliability challenges facing many industries today.

Why Work with Ansys Reliability Engineering Services?

1. We’re the Experts in the Electronics Reliability Space

Ansys Reliability Engineering Services is a team with decades of experience in the electronics industry. The team completes more than 300 projects per year, all focused on electronics reliability. The team also sees projects across industries ranging from malfunctions in medical devices and weather radar issues in aerospace and defense equipment to faulty components in consumer electronics.

Additionally, many of the Ansys Reliability Engineering Services team members are the go-to experts in their field. The team has cowritten two textbooks, “Design for Excellence in Electronics Manufacturing” and “Surface Mount Technology,” and has published more than 1,000 technical papers in the last 15 years. Many of those papers can be found here.

With expertise in physical testing, failure analysis, manufacturing, and simulation, we can help customers in any stage of the product life cycle.

2. Mitigating Electronics Supply Chain Issues

With COVID-19 and recent geopolitical events, the electronics supply chain is facing critical challenges — including parts and equipment shortages and a proliferation in counterfeit electronic components.

According to the magazine Electronics Sourcing, the counterfeit electronics space is a $75 billion industry.1 While many manufacturers would rather slow production than accept the risk of buying from questionable suppliers, the pressure of high demand, growing markets, and delivery commitments can push some to seek less reputable sources.

Ansys has worked with a number of customers to assess and validate components, as well as perform supplier assessments to ensure industry standards and manufacturing protocols are being met. To assess for counterfeit parts, the Reliability Engineering Services team uses a combination of nondestructive and destructive methods to assess physical, material, and performance characteristics of suspect parts:

Nondestructive methods

  • Optical imaging
  • X-ray
  • X-ray fluorescence (XRF)
  • Electrical characterization
  • Acoustic microscopy
  • Infrared thermography

Destructive methods

  • Decapsulation
  • Cross-sectioning
  • Scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM/EDS)
 Chips in an xray

Figure 1. The Ansys Reliability Engineering Services team helped a customer determine that the cause of a product failure was a counterfeit MOSFET used in the design (shown in red). Using X-ray, the team identified the counterfeit by the size of the die, lead frame geometry, and wire bond configuration.

At our recent webinar, we presented how to identify and avoid counterfeit parts, including implementing an anti-counterfeits business strategy.

3. Validating Simulation Results with Physical Testing

A combination of physical testing and simulation is the best way to predict how your product will perform in the field. Doing so ensures you are providing accurate warranty and lifetime claims to your customers. Simulation is a prediction of reality, and one of the best ways to confirm those predictions is through validation testing.

Ansys Reliability Engineering Services performs validation testing through a number of different methods. One method is through performing accelerated life tests, testing products in environmental chambers (including thermal chambers, drop towers, vibration tables, infrared imaging, and more), and assessing how the physical test results compare to the simulation analysis. The intent of the testing is to validate or adapt a simulation model that can then be used with confidence to assess the impact of design trade-offs without the need for further testing.

In a recent project, the team validated a magnetic simulation analysis using Ansys LS-DYNA for a customer. The Reliability Engineering Services team set up a physical test plan that involved force-displacement tests, dynamic impact testing, and magnetic field strength characterization. You can see the results of the test below.

The simulation validation testing showed excellent agreement between simulation and test data. This increased user confidence that their simulation results would be accurate the first time around.

The Ansys Reliability Engineering Services team also provides simulation and modeling services if your business does not have in-house finite element analysis (FEA) or simulation experts or if help is needed to run a particularly complex simulation. The team are simulation experts and frequently perform robust mechanical simulations of electronic assemblies for our customers using Ansys Sherlock, Ansys Mechanical, LS-DYNA, and other simulation tools.

4. Extensive Physical Testing Lab with Actionable Insights

The Ansys Reliability Engineering Services physical testing lab is a top-of-the-line facility located just outside Washington, D.C. However, our team is more than just a test lab. Unlike other labs that simply point out the causes of a failure, the Ansys Reliability Engineering Services team identifies root causes of failure and provides in-depth consulting, including mitigation strategies that can be implemented into your business. With decades of experience, the team prides themselves on custom one-on-one consulting to ensure that customers have the best standards and protocols in place.

Read our case study on how we helped a customer identify the root cause of failure of their control boards.

The physical testing lab helps provide the core services the team offers. The lab includes electrical testing, mechanical drop/shock, vibration, material property analysis, thermal and humidity cycling, battery teardown and cycling, optical, X-ray, SEM, and a number of other analytical techniques critical to assessing component, board-level, and system reliability. In conjunction with the expertise of our team, the lab allows them to perform a number of key services for customer, including:

  • Accelerated life testing
  • Battery reliability and quality assessments
  • Failure and root cause analysis
  • Counterfeit component detection and mitigation
  • Reliability analysis for alternate parts being considered to mitigate supply shortages
  • Integrated circuit reliability analysis
  • Characterization of physical properties, geometry, and behavior under load
  • Validation testing for simulation
  • Contamination analysis

Watch our Reliability Engineering Services Videos to learn more.

5. Designing for Reliability (DfR) From the Very Start

Most engineers know that it is critical to design for reliability (DfR) from the earliest stages of product design, ideally from the concept phase. Waiting to implement reliability best practices until later in the manufacturing process can result in many rounds of unnecessary design cycles and extra costs.

The Ansys Reliability Engineering Services team are experts in DfR and hold many courses throughout the year for our customers focused on how to implement an overall design for excellence (DfE) and DfR strategy into their business. This enables our customers to understand how they can mitigate failure risks up front and design with reliability in mind.

We are always interested in talking to customers about their current challenges. Let us know what you are working on and how we may be able to help you meet your reliability goals. Get in touch with us.

References

  1. “How to Spot Counterfeit Electronic Components.” Electronics Sourcing, December 6, 2021.

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