NTS News Center

Latest News in Testing, Inspection and Certification

NTS News Center - Latest News in Testing, Inspection and Certification

Love that muddy water? Slurry Testing at NTS Detroit

Slurry testing is a specialty at NTS Detroit testing laboratory. It is a great way to gauge the durability of products at the risk of failure due to various environmental operating conditions. Commonly used in the automotive industry to test rotating components such as motors, alternators, and bearings, slurry testing implements the use of one of our mud slurry test rigs or fabrication of a custom test setup to expose your product to the different environments it would encounter during end-use.

Slurry Testing Dana Inc

Also referred to as mudsplash testing, mudbath testing, mud resistance testing, or muddy water durability testing, it is a fast and consistent method to determine things such as overall durability, seal quality, or leakage. This testing can be done at specified temperatures, for various durations, using any combination of mud, salt, or dust, and with radial and/or axial load applied. It commonly goes hand in hand with dynamometer testing. We can also determine if a component can maintain its original properties during exposure to slurry, such as its ability to dissipate heat. A unique test we offer exposes prop shafts to hot/cold, salt/sand slurry, and torque/speed, all while monitoring the bearing temperatures with infrared cameras.  Our expertise encompasses nearly every aspect of a vehicle’s drive train including Hybrid and EV.

Some specifications that call out slurry testing include ISO16750, Continental Spec CS11982, and Ford Laboratory Test Method FLTM BI 168-01.

Click here to discuss this and other automotive testing needs with our experts!

Review of the 2017 IPC Reliability Forum

The IPC held their inaugural Reliability Forum this April in Chicago and by all accounts, the event was a resounding success!

NTS participated along side other industry experts from raw material and equipment suppliers, PCB fabricators, contract manufacturers and OEMs.

William Graver, NTS senior analyst, presented on a number of major reliability concerns in today’s environment in his session “Is test an unnecessary evil, or a life-saving necessity?”

You can read a full write up of the event, as well as other news from the IPC here: The PCB Magazine, July 2017.

Aerospace Industry Update: AS91XX Series of Standards Transition Deadline Approaching

As I’m sure our Aerospace industry clients are aware the AS91XX:2016 series of standards (AS9100, AS9120 and AS9110) has undergone a major revision with release dates late last year.

The aerospace standard AS9100 was published on 20th September 2016. AS9120 and AS9110 were also published in November 2016.  The aerospace standards have the same transition deadline as the ISO 9001:2015 standard, September 2018. Therefore the AS standards were released approximately eight months after the ISO 9001:2015 standard, the “three year” transition will actually be less than 18 months for aerospace companies.

NTS sister division, NQA is the leading quality management systems registrar to the aerospace industry. If you would like to learn more about the transition and how NQA is helping our aerospace clients through it, click here.

EMC Essentials Training at NTS Longmont, CO Testing Laboratory

Learn how to design electronic products to comply with electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) requirements at the NTS Longmont, CO EMC test laboratory.

This short course is a unique blend of theory, application and demonstration. Besides the excellent book, EMI Troubleshooting Cookbook for Product Designers, you’ll have the option to purchase the excellent textbook from Würth Electronics: Trilogy of Magnetics, at a discount. A special module has been added to course materials, which discusses some examples from the book. In addition, Würth and other vendors will be demonstrating their latest EMC related instruments and filter components.

Day one of this two day course will introduce basic EMC theory; units of measurement, time and frequency domain, differential and common mode currents, radiated emissions, PC board layout, shielding, transmission lines and magnetics. In addition, special guest presenter, Dr. Eric Bogatin, will present a segment on “Power Distribution Network (PDN) Design for Low EMI”.

Day one is crucial to understanding the day two presentation, as it will also include demonstrations of many of the basic product design principles.

The second day of the course will cover bench top EMI measurements and troubleshooting. We’ll continue with ESD and system design, followed up with practical, low-cost, tools and techniques that can be used for pre-compliance measurements as well as troubleshooting EMC problems in a more formal setting. We’ll demonstrate several probing and analysis techniques that will help identify EMC issues quickly. Several actual case studies will also be described.

If you are a technician, engineer, manager, or anyone tasked with the job of getting a product through EMC compliance testing in the Colorado region, this is the training for you! Click here to review the full agenda and speakers and register today!

Non-Destructive Evaluations

Non-destructive evaluations (NDEs) are a critical first step in the failure analysis of a product or component. NDE testing looks closely at a device under test without altering it in any permanent way. This is the fastest and most economical way of collecting data that can be used to pinpoint the root cause of a failure or make other improvements that will enhance quality control or performance.

NTS offers a range of non-destructive inspection services from our Chesapeake laboratory. Leveraging sophisticated equipment and the expertise of our engineers, we can design testing programs that provide actionable information and accurate results for a range of products.

NDE Testing Services

Different products with different issues demand different testing programs. Non-destructive failure testing at NTS may involve any of the following:

  • Visual inspections: A thorough visual inspection is the most basic form of NDE testing. We can inspect a nonfunctioning component to confirm the product meets original specs, and to determine when and how any physical damage occurred.
  • Optical microscopy: Optical microscopy gives our engineers a closer look at a device under test. It is often required to understand how a material has degraded or identify how a component has become contaminated or corroded.
  • CT scanning: X-ray CT scanning provides high-resolution 3D images of the internal components of your product, letting our team pinpoint failure modes without altering the device under test. Our Chesapeake facility features a 450kV microfocus system that can scan objects up to 37” in diameter, creating a sophisticated data set that includes information from internal features and surfaces that would be otherwise hidden.
  • 3D metrology: Our 3D metrology services provide fast, accurate internal surface dimension measurements with a resolution of 0.001” or better. Results are fully traceable and testing takes just minutes. 3D metrology NDE testing is useful for geometric inspections and reverse-engineering.
  • Laser mapping: Our nondestructive testing facilities include a BEMIS-SC™ laser mapper — a sophisticated tool specifically for measuring gun bores ranging from .22 to .50-cal. As a result, we are able to provide certification, recertification and other commercial gun barrel inspection services.

Using the above technologies and other powerful tools, we can perform qualitative and quantitative nondestructive testing for clients ranging from defense and aerospace contractors to commercial electronics manufacturers. Our labs are ISO 17025- and A2LA-accredited to perform root failure analyses for highly-complex components and products.

Benefits of NDE Testing

Non-destructive inspections have multiple benefits for manufacturers. Powerful imaging equipment allows for accurate, in-depth analyses of failed components. Testing early in the manufacturing cycle can reduce the risk of liability issues down the line, saving you money without having to sacrifice an expensive prototype. This, in turn, leads to a higher-quality product at a lower cost.

NTS engineers will work closely with you to identify your testing needs and put together a non-destructive testing program that provides you with useful, usable information. With these results, we can recommend improvements that will reduce the risk of future failure.

For more information, use our online form to request a quote.

How will MIL-DTL-901E affect your shock qualification?

Photo: Navy.com

For the past 30 years, MIL-S-901D has defined requirements for shock qualification of items installed on U.S. Navy Combatants. For the duration of this period, there have been rumors of a new and improved specification revision. That time has finally come.

MIL-DTL-901E, revision to MIL-S-901D of 1989 has been approved and released as of 20 June 2017. The new “detail specification” or DTL per DOD 4120.24M is an evolutionary document that includes changes from MIL-S-901D, Interim Change #2, the 2012 DSCR-2 initiative clarification letters and cost reduction strategies, and the Total Ownership Cost (TOC) reduction provided by the Deck Simulating Shock Machine (DSSM).

For most Navy shipboard shock practitioners, the most impactful change to the document is the addition of the Medium Weight Deck Simulating Shock Test.  This test is primarily performed on Class II, deck mounted equipment and utilizes the DSSM. The DSSM is typically used in lieu of performing a heavyweight shock test series.

The DSSM shock test machine at NTS Rustburg

In the early 2000s, we recognized that the current model for shock qualification of a vast majority of the proliferating Class II, Deck Mounted, COTS equipment was not sustainable from a costs and schedule perspective.

So, in collaboration with HII-NNS partners, NTS led the pioneering development of a more cost and schedule effective land-based approach to meet this new challenge. These efforts culminated in the fabrication of the DSSM Generation I machine that has been in use at NTS Rustburg, VA since 2004.

The success of the Generation I DSSM led to the development of a scaled-up Generation II machine that is specified in MIL-DTL-901E. All of the certification testing that was necessary prior to inclusion in the new MIL-DTL was conducted at NTS. We have been routinely conducting shock qualification testing on the DSSM as an Alternate Shock Test Vehicle since 2015.

The DSSM development is yet another example of NTS’ focus on customer driven innovation. If you have questions concerning the new MIL-DTL-901E detail specification and how it may affect your program or have a need for Medium Weight Deck Simulating Shock Tests contact our experts today!

Micro CT Scanning

Micro CT scanning — alternately known as micro-focus and nanosat imaging — is a form of non-destructive testing used to create a high-resolution 3D map of an object. The technology is similar to CAT scanning used in medical imaging, though on a smaller scale which produces more detailed results.

NTS provides micro CT scanning from our Chesapeake laboratory. We offer this service to clients in a variety of industries and sectors, ranging from electronics manufacturing to defense and aerospace. Combined with other imaging and processing tools, micro CT scanning plays a major role in failure analysis and other problem-solving investigations.

Our Capabilities

NTS’ Chesapeake lab features a walk-in 450kV microfocus CT system — one of the most advanced available today. With it, we can scan objects up to 37” in diameter, obtaining detailed 3D images of their internal surfaces and components. These images contain information not only about the object’s dimensional characteristics but also about the density and void content of its materials. As a result, CT scanning is highly useful for performing materials testing of metal or plastic components.

Micro-focus X-ray scanning is a cost- and time-effective alternative to destructive testing. It allows our engineers to visually and analytically evaluate all aspects of the device under test, including areas that would be otherwise inaccessible. Micro CT scanning can be used to pinpoint the cause of a device failure or perform other testing necessary for quality control or certification.

How It Works

Micro CT scanning involves collecting a series of projection images using an X-ray camera that rotates either fully or partially around the object under test. Then, these images are reconstructed as a volumetric set, producing a 3D image of exceptional clarity that contains data from all areas of the object.

The main difference between micro CT imaging and conventional CAT scanning is that, because the item under test is not alive, it is possible to use higher doses of radiation. In doing do, micro CT scanning tools are able to penetrate deeper below the object’s surface and obtain higher-quality images.

Benefits of Micro CT Imaging

Micro CT imaging produces results that are up to 100 times more detailed than conventional medical imaging. Aside from superior results, however, the process has several additional benefits.

Preparing samples is easy — there’s no need for staining or preparation — and the scanning itself produces no destructive effects. This allows for further testing and analyses as necessary and eliminates the need to have multiple samples available for testing.

Working With NTS

We are continually expanding our imaging capabilities to provide better service and better results for our clients. Our micro CT imaging capabilities are complemented by additional tools for performing fiber orientation characterization, FEA mesh integration and other computational material analyses. Our Chesapeake micro-focus testing lab is certified to ISO 17025 and A2LA standards for root failure testing, among other services.

To learn more about our micro and nano X-ray imaging capabilities, submit a quote request online. One of our engineers will be happy to go over your requirements and suggest a customized testing program.

Changes to Certification Process in Ecuador

ARCOTEL in Ecuador issued a new regulation about the homologation process. The biggest impact to the changes are highlighted below:

  • No in-country testing is required. The changes have removed the requirement for testing, therefore no samples are required for submission/certification to ARCOTEL in almost all cases
  • Photographs of the device will now be required and there are specific requirements for the photos including external, internal and label views. These cannot be photos from test reports or marketing material.
  • The certificates will be issued by class. This could mean that a product will fall into multiple classes and require multiple certificates. The classes are as follows:
    • Terminals for the Advanced Mobile Service (SMA):
    • Terminals for the Bearer Service (P)
    • Terminals for the Fixed Telephone Service (STF)
    • Terminals for the Telecommunications Satellite Service (TTS)
    • Terminals for Internet access. (AI)
    • Trunked terminals for the Service. (T)
    • Terminals for the Communal Service (C)
  • Products that do not fall into mandatory scope can obtain obtain a certificate of recognition of being outside the scope of the regulation

Contact our NTS International Approvals Team at IATeam@nts.com if you need more information or assistance.

Taiwan Implements Requirements for RoHS in Electronic Equipment

Taiwan has recently implemented requirements for RoHS (Restrictions of Hazardous Substances) in electronic equipment. These requirements are aligned with the European RoHS directive excluding phthalates.

The new requirements will be enforced for some electrical products beginning July 1, 2017 as part of the mandatory assessment scheme by the authority BSMI. There is a proposal to add 92 more categories of electrical products by Jan 1, 2018.

Products will be assessed to CNS 15663 in addition to the Safety and EMC mandatory conformity assessments. There is a marking change and a requirement of a table to be available with the product.

For more information on the product types that are in scope for phase 1, refer to the following documents: http://www.bsmi.gov.tw/wSite/public/Data/f1436161147146.pdf

Contact our NTS International Approvals Team at IATeam@nts.com if you need more information or assistance.