March 29, 2018
We test products to ensure they can withstand any mishandling in transportation and shipping and the wear and tear caused by typical use during service years. As the industrial realm has become more involved in testing, engineers need to find and resolve failure sources before sending out a product. This demand has resulted in more reliable products that perform at a higher standard.
As Andy Tomlinson, author of “An Introduction to Environmental Test Engineering,” said,
“The continuing demand for engineering products which can withstand severe dynamic environments has led to a steady growth in the sophistication of vibration test procedures. Increased reliability and performance are required of many products ranging from consumer electronics to military hardware, and a demonstration of survival in a simulated vibration environment is a prime requirement of many procurement specifications.”
The study of vibration research has supported product testing by developing equipment for vibration and shock that can be used to accelerate product failure. Through testing and analysis, the product can be adjusted to lessen vibration, remove unwanted vibration, or compensate for the effects caused by vibration, leading to a more reliable product with a longer life span.
Bill Fleenor, a mechanical engineer at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, summarized this idea well:
“If an item is going to fail, I want it to fail on my table and not with the warfighter” (as reported by Jeanne Grimes: 72nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs; May 23, 2005).
Vibration testing has improved the methods of ensuring a product does not fail due to minor or even entire design flaws.