How Do Manufacturers Test For Quality and Durability?
Written by: Quintin Bentley Crevling
We have all seen a video of a crash test dummy flying high speed into the steering wheel of a vehicle as it crashes into a wall. This video works two fold to both create a visceral reaction that ensures customers can feel safe in this model of car, and show the damage that can happen in an accident. It is the manufacturer’s responsibility to their customers to think of all the worst case scenarios and create a product that will operate as intended. Testing occurs throughout nearly all industries including building materials, technology, and auto parts.
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Building materials are subjected to various levels of testing to ensure they will support enormous amounts of stress for the years to come. Bricks are tested for cracks, sharp edges, lumps, and the ability to withstand dropping three feet onto another brick. Concrete is tested for color, lumps, temperature, and cracks once it is set. There are several tests that can be used to check the quality of a countertop. A manufacturer will check for cracks, divots, and chips to ensure there are no defects.
Technology is unique in the sense that it is incredibly important in most people’s lives, but it is an extremely fragile product. Tech companies have created torture chambers where they drop, shock, and explode our favorite products. One of the most important durability tests manufacturer’s use is the drop test. It only takes one drop and a phone can have a cracked screen, or a damaged internal component. During this test, a hydraulic platform is raised off the ground to a predetermined level and the platform will drop at the touch of a button. The absolute worst case scenario when using technology is that a malfunction could cause a fire, or even explode. Laptop companies have found the perfect ingredients to overheating a battery and have altered their product to reduce the chance of causing harm. Though these occurrences are rare, even one is too many.
There are hundreds of moving parts that make up a vehicle. They have high cycle components in the engine and low cycle components for the luxury amenities inside the car. When auto manufacturer’s test a car, they need to ensure all parts work seamlessly without failure. The performance testing will include hundreds of independent tests on each moving part to create the best configuration of top quality parts. The last testing during manufacturing should be low cycle tests that check basic functions. Manufacturer’s check reliability of parts with high cycle fatigue testing. This style of testing will determine the maximum capacity of each part over it’s lifespan.
We live in an age where people have endless options at the tips of their fingers, which makes it incredibly important for businesses to quality test their products to ensure the customer’s overall satisfaction.