Kimball Electronics – Jasper, located in Jasper, Indiana, is home to a robust electronic testing facility specializing in testing of electronics components, printed circuit board assemblies (PCBAs), and fully assembled electronic units. Products are tested for conformance to specification and product robustness, with tests performed for environmental conditioning, accelerated life, and highly accelerated life testing.
The Kimball Electronics Reliability Test Laboratory staff has extensive training in testing procedures, failure analysis, vibration training, and complimenting formal education in Reliability Engineering. Customers include both those utilizing Kimball Electronics for manufacturing services and customers who only desire electronics testing assistance.
Products tested range from toaster ovens, satellite TV receivers, complete desktop computers used in industrial settings, and automotive anti-lock brakes, to cameras used in automotive, military, and for recreational purposes. Automotive, industrial, medical, and public safety/defense industries have all utilized the Kimball Electronics testing labs.
Testing is conducted as part of the New Product Development (NPD) or New Product Introduction (NPI) process, but is often quoted outside of any manufacturing project. It is very common for tests to be performed for customers who only want to utilize the testing laboratory, without requiring additional Kimball Electronics design or manufacturing services. While typical test cycles average from 3 hours to 6 weeks, it is not unusual for a single test to be conducted for up to an extended 16 week period.
Testing can be performed at any point of the product development life cycle. Typical phases for extensive electronics testing include conception validation, design validation, and production validation steps. Problem investigation services can supplement a customer's determination and understanding of a testing failure. Repeat testing is a commonly requested by customers following electronic design changes and enhancements to their products.
Kimball Electronics can focus on identified areas or testing criteria to validate customer concerns or to reaffirm the reliability of specific functionality. As a one-stop-shop, Kimball Electronics will coordinate testing with outside labs, as needed, and eliminate customer interaction with various testing labs/partners. Salt spray, environmental dust testing, and Electro Magnetic Conduction (EMC) tests can be coordinated with outside facilities, making it convenient to get all test results from one partner.
Traditional thermal chambers found in the test lab include humidity chambers, thermal shock chambers, temperature chambers, and a hot temperature chamber. Highly Accelerated Life Testing (HALT) and Highly Accelerated Stress Screen Development (HASS) testing is performed using LN2 Cooled, QualMark advanced chambers. Shock/Vibration testing is conducted using a mechanical AVEX shock table, vibration table, and dual repetitive shock systems.
Environmental durability and reliability testing includes temperature cycle testing from -100ºC to +200ºC, thermal shock (-70ºC to +175ºC, 5 second basket transition), and humidity (20% to 95% Relative Humidity). Environmental temperature changes can be performed at a rate of 60ºC change per minute, with a change in product temperature from 125ºC to -40ºC performed in three minutes!
Vibration and shock testing available includes swept sine, sine dwell vibration, random sine vibration, pseudo-random, all axis, repetitive shock testing (HALT, 70grms), and classical shock pulse testing of half-sine, saw tooth, and transient testing.
Mechanical shock testing is performed up to 300G, or 300 times the force of gravity, in 11 to 14 milliseconds. Air to water testing can be performed using high voltage of 240 Volts, then immersed to cold salt water for underwater electronic circuit board testing. Testing can be conducted as either powered or non-powered tests.
Kimball Electronics has found the key to the longevity and success of the testing facilities is mainly due to two factors. The first is building and maintaining strong relationships and collaboration with the customer and engineering teams during the testing process. The second success factor is the development and use of documented testing procedures included in the formal Kimball Electronics quality system. These procedures are audited on a routine basis for accuracy and completeness, and continually revised to maintain relevant testing details.