Reliability and Failure Analysis

Reliability Engineering

Cascade's Reliability Engineering Services are powered by a highly capable Reliability Engineering & Failure Analysis team. We leverage this team to analyze design weaknesses and facilitate material selection during the design phase, conduct cost optimization based on reliability requirements, and perform risk analysis.

Our team proactively designs reliability into the product development process by providing a logical and methodical engineering basis for predicting product life under actual use conditions. Our expertise & approach helps minimizes product risks by proactively quantifying product reliability and ensuring the final product performs as intended in its use environment for its designed life. We improve field reliability and quality & reduce development times and cost by minimizing failures prior to test and reducing product validation test-fix-retest cycle costs. The developed and quantified internal knowledge-base of product performance is invaluable in product support in real-world conditions.

We provide Physics of Failure based Reliability Engineering Services and are also fully equipped for Standards based Reliability testing for various products.

Physics of Failure (POF)

A PoF approach to reliability utilizes knowledge of life-cycle loads and product architecture (geometry and material properties) to identify potential failure mechanisms and prevent operational failures through robust design, validation and manufacturing practices. PoF based methodologies have been successfully implemented in consumer, avionics and medical industries. A PoF methodology involves quantitative modeling of the expected root-cause failure mechanisms, based on quantitative estimates of product loads, stresses and relevant material behavior as captured by the PoF model. Quantitative modeling is typically carried out for both test and actual use loads. The output of such analyses is an estimate of acceleration factor which when multiplied by the accelerated wearout test data, results in estimating product life under use case conditions. PoF failure models are useful for conducting trend analysis, for design trade-offs, and for estimating acceleration factors and offer the unique ability to virtually qualify an electronic product.

The PoF approach minimizes product reliability risks through a systematic investigation and quantification of the dominant failure mechanisms. Knowledge of the product failure mechanisms also permit the development of a cost and time efficient accelerated test program by appropriate selection of test stresses (e.g., temperature, relative humidity, vibration, temperature cycling) and the levels of those stresses so as to cause wearout failures in the shortest test duration without changing the failure mechanism.

The steps in Physics of Failure based Reliability Engineering can be summarized as:

  • Identify use environment and product hardware configuration:
  • Design & conduct a suite of accelerated stress tests on a representative design to identify overstress limits and durability
  • Identify failure modes and perform root-cause assessment of failure mechanisms through failure analysis and POF models at field & test conditions
  • Conduct stress analysis (simulation, experiments & analysis) for field and test environments (FEA, Experiments & statistical tools)
  • Identify the product stress limits and weak links
  • Proactively incorporate design mitigation solutions for current and next generation of products
  • Evaluate long term durability of the product

Standards Based Reliability

Standards Based Reliability works well for products intended to comply with well defined industry or regulatory standards. Products are subjected to a set of tests prescribed by military and industry standards. CES offers reliability testing to a large number of national and international industry standards. These are detailed below, together with a partial list of our equipment. If you have a need for testing and do not see either the test or equipment here, contact us; we add to our capabilities regularly. All CES equipment is continuously maintained and kept within calibration limits.

We support Aerospace, Consumer and Industrial Electronics, Telecommunication, Medical & Transportation Markets by performing tests to test compliance with Industry tandards, including:

  • RTCA/DO-160
  • IEC
  • JDQ 53.3
  • MIL-STD 810, MIL-STD 202
  • ASTM
  • Drop testing standards: ISO 2248, ASTM D-5276, ISTA (1A, 1B, 2A, 2B), TAPPI 802
  • Telcordia testing standard GR-63-CORE
  • European standard: ETSI EN 300 019-2-1


Our Test Capabilities include

  • Environmental exposure - Temperature and Humidity, Thermal Shock, Altitude and Rapid Decompression, Over-Pressure, Salt Fog (Corrosion), Rain & Spray, Freezing Rain (Icing), Settling Dust, Drop & Tumble testing.
  • Vibration, Shock and Acceleration - Vibration, Shock (Time Domain & Shock Response Spectra), Mechanical High G Shock, Constant Acceleration (Centrifuge).
  • HALT and HASS - Vibration, Temperature and load (mechanical or electrical)
  • Accelerated life - Vibration and Shock, Temperature and Humidity Cycling, Vibration, Temperature and load
  • Package Testing - Drop Testing, Environmental Exposure, Vibration Transportation (Random or Sinusoidal)
  • Non-Destructive Failure Analysis - 3D X-Ray with CT Capability, Elemental Dispersive X-Ray (EDX) for elemental analysis, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) - Low Vacuum, Optical Microscopy, Scanning Acoustic Microscopy
  • Destructive Failure Analysis - Metallographic Cross-section, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) - High and Low Vacuum, Dye and Pry, Optical Microscopy, 3D X-Ray with CT Capability, Elemental Dispersive X-Ray (EDX) for elemental analysis, Scanning Acoustic Microscopy
  • Materials / Mechanical Testing - Adhesive Pull & Peel, Dynamic and Thermal Mechanical Analyzers, Fatigue Life Testing, Tension, Compression, Bend and Variable Angle Peel Testing