Reliability engineers may suggest environmental stress tests. There are many types of tests in an RE's toolbox. We compare two types of commonly known tests that are used for design: ALT vs. HALT. What are the important distinctions between these two methods? What value do they each bring to design engineering? And how do they fit into other reliability test methods?
There are many uses for reliability tests, but they have different purposes.
ALT is Accelerated Life Test
It's used for quantitative data and for estimating the real-use reliability of a product.
To remember ALT, think of driving our automobile off road, an alternative to pave road, and we're going to measure the damage afterwards to estimate how tough our car really is.
HALT is Highly Accelerated Life Test
It's used for qualitative data to highlight areas for improvement.
To remember HALT, think of a car crash test: we're highly accelerating our car toward a wall to halt it, and then seeing what failed.
(Car crash tests can also be used with sensors to collect data, but this is good way to remember the differences of HALT compared to the other reliability tests).
Further explore these topics from these other QDD episodes: