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History of HALT Testing

Posted on Oct 9th, 2012 by marybabitz
HALT Testing at Cascade TEK

I had the opportunity to chat with Virginia Hobbs, President of Hobbs Engineering regarding her lifetime of experiences with HALT and HASS testing

Q: You have been in the unique position to watch HALT testing begin and become what it is today.  What have been some of the most interesting developments, experiments or memories?  

"My Husband, Gregg Hobbs, had developed these techniques in the 1970s.  He made so many changes that in 1988 he said that he would like to come up with a new name:  Accelerated Life Tests and Accelerated Stress Screens.  I pointed out that people liked to make acronyms and those words would not work.  He then thought about it and said let’s put Highly in front of both of them.  HALT and HASS are much better terms.  True story on how the terms came about".

"For many years, people thought that Gregg was crazy going over spec and destroying products.  It has been so rewarding to see that these techniques have been accepted and used all over the world".

Q: What is the #1 misconception or misuse of HALT testing?

"The most frequent error that people make is to consider the stress type and stress level (which brought a failure mode to the surface) as criteria in judging whether a failure should be addressed.  This shows a lack of knowledge of the Crossover Effect where one stress will cause an issue to customers and HALT will find that issue quickly using a different stress.  It is irrelevant what brought out the failure.  What is relevant is that it was found and it get fixed".

Q: If Gregg could put his HALT/HASS legacy into a few sentences – what would he say?

"Gregg would say that he is so proud that he has helped so many companies produce better, safer and more reliable products for less money.  He would be happy that the paradigm shift from compliance testing to HALT and HASS is being required by subcontractors by almost all successful large companies and the military all over the world".

Upcoming HALT HASS Seminar at Cascade TEK:

http://www.cascadetek.com/blog/2012/10/hobbs-engineering%E2%80%99s-halt-hass-seminar-cascade-tek-colorado

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