We design, we test, we break things

Test it till it breaks. The dirty side of product development, although admittedly a bit of an adrenalin rush at times.  Like when you hear that distinctive crack or when the top half of the UUT (unit under test) flies across the lab (and doesn’t break further–a good thing). Not that we want the stuff we design to fail, but better for it to fail in the lab before steel is cut for tooling, before inventory is purchased, before the customer touches it.

So some days we get to go into work and try to break things. We’re smart about it, we plan, we order the tests to maximize the information gain.  We rig up force gauges and o-scopes, temperature chambers and drop tables.  Inclinometers too (yes that is a word). We analyze specifications, we establish controls, we pre-test, we separate variables.

Then we try really hard to break things.  But more importantly we try to understand why something breaks.  So we can design it better.  So factory yields are better. So the product fails less often and less drastically for the end user.

And yeah, we do kind of enjoy it.  Breaking things I mean.

Chuck

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