In an effort to further increase testing volume—and to ensure that all manufactured components may be tested to NEMA standards—STC Electronics has recently added a Despatch Ecosphere environmental chamber to it’s array of test equipment.
According to Electronics Technician Steve Lescalleet, utilizing this type of equipment is an essential part of the electronics manufacturing process.
“The environmental chambers put our products through temperature extremes that they’ll probably never see out in the field,” Lescalleet says. “If the units can work properly through this type of testing, there’s no question in our minds about whether they can withstand real-life extremes.”
Depending on customer requirements, the environmental testing performed by STC Electronics may include various tests that cover operating voltage, high and low temperatures, humidity, vibration, and shock (as defined by NEMA TS2 standards).
“The environmental chambers put our products through temperature extremes that they’ll probably never see out in the field. If the units can work properly through this type of testing, there’s no question in our minds about whether they can withstand real-life extremes.”
Lescalleet points out two primary objectives when it comes to performing these demanding environmental tests.
“The first objective is to find weaknesses in product design, and we do this kind of testing on prototypes so we can eliminate these weaknesses before we begin full-scale production. The second objective is find weak points in our assembly process so our production methods can be continually improved.”
So which of the many environmental tests performed by STC is the most demanding for electronics components?
“The tests related to low-temperature limits present the biggest challenge, no doubt,” says Lescalleet. “When a unit has been subjected to our low-temperature tests, they’ve essentially been through a really, really bad winter. And If a unit doesn’t pass the required tests, it doesn’t leave the plant.”