NTS News Center

Latest News in Testing, Inspection and Certification

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

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.

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!

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.

Solicitation Alert: SPEAR Family of Tactical Headborne Systems Coxswain Helmet System

Solicitation Title: SPEAR Family of Tactical Headborne Systems Coxswain Helmet System
Issued by: U.S. Special Operations Command

Solicitation Number: H92222-17-R-027
Solicitation Location: Click here for Solicitation

Issued: 12 May 2017
Response Date: 25 July 2017

Other details/instructions:

  • This is only a pre-solicitation. Final solicitation expected to be released in June 2017.
  • All interested offerors MUST submit a Notice of Intent to submit a proposal in order to obtain the Performance Specification and have their proposal considered by the Government.

Please visit this link for detailed solicitation information and attachments: Click here for Solicitation

Solicitation Primary Point of Contact:
Kelly L. McNeill, kelly.mcneill@socom.mil

Solicitation Secondary Point of Contact:
Laura Fuller, laura.fuller@socom.mil

NTS Wichita and NTS Chesapeake are both NIJ-Certified, ISO/IEC 17025 accredited laboratories with the expertise and availability to perform all ballistic and non-ballistic testing as identified in the Solicitation. Both laboratories have the capacity to accommodate test range needs and provide deliverables within the due dates specified in the Solicitation.

NTS Wichita POC:
Matt Lutz, matthew.lutz@nts.com, 316-832-1600

NTS Chesapeake POCs:
Craig Thomas, craig.thomas@nts.com, 410-297-8154
Kyle North, kyle.north@nts.com, 410-297-8154

The Solicitation Reminder is a service of NTS Wichita and Chesapeake Testing divisions to help our customers uncover Federal Business Opportunities. We hope that you find this a valuable benefit of your partnership with us.

Solicitation Alert: Naval Security Forces Vests IDIQ

The Solicitation Reminder is a service of NTS Wichita and Chesapeake Testing divisions to help our customers uncover Federal Business Opportunities. We hope that you find this a valuable benefit of your partnership with us.

Solicitation Title: Naval Security Forces Vests IDIQ
Issued by: Department of the Navy, NSWC Panama Division

Solicitation Number: N61331-17-R-007
Solicitation Location: Click here for Solicitation

Issued: 27 April 2017
Response Date: 12 June 2017

Other details/instructions:

  • Ballistic Performance: The offeror shall provide ballistic test data relevant to the ballistic performance requirements of the SOW and Attachment J-1.  All test data sheets shall originate from an NIJ certified laboratory.
  • Ballistic Material:  the offeror shall provide description of ballistic material from an ISO/IEC 17025 accredited laboratory, per Section 2.3, Factor 2, Section B of the RFP.

Please visit this link for detailed solicitation information and attachments: Click here for Solicitation

Solicitation Primary Point of Contact:
Courtney Henslee, courtney.henslee@navy.mil

Solicitation Secondary Point of Contact:
Alex Potter, alex.potter@navy.mil

NTS Wichita and NTS Chesapeake are both NIJ-Certified, ISO/IEC 17025 accredited laboratories with the expertise and availability to perform all ballistic and non-ballistic testing as identified in the Solicitation. Both laboratories have the capacity to accommodate test range needs and provide deliverables within the due dates specified in the Solicitation.

NTS Wichita POC:
Matt Lutz, matthew.lutz@nts.com, 316-832-1600

NTS Chesapeake POCs:
Craig Thomas, craig.thomas@nts.com, 410-297-8154
Kyle North, kyle.north@nts.com, 410-297-8154

Advanced Testing Technology Meets Art Conservation: NTS lab assists in the digital exploration of medieval boxwood sculptures.

Thanks to the help and participation of our NTS Chesapeake Non-destructive Imaging Laboratory (formerly Chesapeake Testing), researchers have made advances in the study of medieval boxwood sculptures. The pieces are currently being featured in the exhibition Small Wonders: Gothic Boxwood Miniatures at the Met Cloisters, the branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art dedicated to medieval art and architecture.

These intricately carved objects, some over 500 years old, are simply miraculous in the level of detail created in such small objects. The 3D digital data captured via micro CT scanning helped researchers shed light on the techniques and craftsmanship required to construct these pieces of art with such fine detail.

Micro CT scanning, much like medical CAT scan imaging, uses the material penetrating properties of x-rays to provide information from within an object, whiteout any destructive effects. Unlike medical CAT scanning, micro CT has the ability to obtain extremely high resolution images, thanks to the use of highly focused x-ray sources and higher resolution imaging panels.

This data gives historians and researchers a unique ability to virtually cross section the artifacts, without any risk of damage. In addition to being able to analyze the internal structure, the scanning process also captures full 3D surface information which can be used later on to 3D print replicas and allow for enriched public interaction with these delicate pieces of medieval history.

To learn more about these fantastic carvings, visit The Met website here: http://www.metmuseum.org/press/exhibitions/2016/small-wonders. The exhibition runs from February 22 through May 21, 2017.

190.473 ROSARY BEAD: SURFACE MODEL CREATED FROM 3D CT SCAN SHOWS HIGH LEVEL OF DETAIL DEPICTED IN CARVED SCENES. SURFACE DATA FROM THESE SCANS

17.190.473 ROSARY BEAD: CT DATA ALLOWS RESEARCHERS TO VIRTUALLY CROSS SECTION THE ARTIFACTS, PROVIDING A NEVER BEFORE SEEN VIEW INSIDE

Upcoming Changes for Wireless Equipment in the 5 GHz Band EN 301 893

By Deniz Demirci, Senior Wireless/EMC Engineer, NTS Silicon Valley 

Manufacturers of wireless devices operating in the 5 GHz bands intended sale in the EU should take note of some important changes.

Draft version of EN 301 893 V2.0.7 has been published in the ETSI web site in order to align with the Article 3.2 – Essential Requirements of Radio Equipment Directive 2014/53/EU.

Currently, manufacturers of these type of equipment can still use R&TTE Directive 1999/5/EC (Radio and Telecommunication Directive) and it’s harmonized standard EN 301 893 V1.8.1 in their Declaration of Conformities (DoC) until June 13, 2017.

After this date, manufacturers of any radio device who enters any country which requires CE marking, have to use RED (Radio Equipment Directive 2014/53/EU) in their DoC.

This is applicable for all new products as well as for products that are currently being marketed and intended to be sold after this date. Products which DoCs are not updated by this date, should not be sold in the European Union.

It is very likely that any RED version of EN 301 893 will not be ready and will not be listed in the OJ on June 13, 2017. The version V2.0.7 of the standard is still in review process and is scheduled to be published on July 8, 2017. The standard is expected to be listed on the Official Journal of the European Union on October 21, 2017.

With the absence of this product standard, there is a possibility that EN 301 893 V1.8.1 may be listed in the OJ with additional Adaptivity and Receiver Blocking requirements aligned with 301 893 V2.0.7 in order to presume compliance with RED until the new version of the standard is published.

Otherwise, after June 13, 2017, any 5 GHz radio device must have a Notified Body Opinion/Type Examination Certificate in order to presume compliance with the Article 3.2 – essential requirements of Directive 2014/53/EU – RED. Which means that, overwhelming number of products on the market will require Notified Body Opinion.

The Notified bodies also have to follow Article 3.2 of RED in their assessments and will ask for evidence of presumption of conformity which will include Adaptivity and Receiver Blocking tests.

Our recommendation to the manufacturers is to schedule the tests for the new requirements as soon as possible since the test methods are significantly different.

Some of the major changes are:

  1. Adaptivity has 3 different mandatory Interference signal type (AWGN, OFDM and LTE). Medium Access test methods have changed significantly. There are new procedures for Frame Based (other than 802.11) devices.
  2. The Receiver Blocking requirement is a new performance test and unconditionally applicable to all radio equipment.

Please contact us at sales@nts.com or call 800-270-2516 for additional details and how to test your product and update test reports for Radio Equipment Directive.

TorBots 1197 Robot Reveal


The TorBots 1197 revealed their latest robot creation on Friday, March 3rd at South High School in Torrance, California. The six week build period came to a close and students from all grade levels gathered to not only reveal their robot but to thank everyone that made it possible.

Throughout the year the TorBots team competes in a series of “games” where they must build a robot that is capable of doing certain tasks. This year’s game is titled FIRST Steamworks where the robot must collect gears, fuel (softball-sized whiffle balls) and construct a “flying” device. Not only does it have to collect those items but it must also have the capability to hoist itself up to “fly” away with the final product. Here’s a preview of what the students were able to construct:

This is all made possible by a group of mentors, sponsors and charitable donations. Mentors are either teachers or staff at the school, volunteers within the local engineering community or alumni of the TorBots program that simply want to lend a helping hand. Sponsors help, along with fundraisers, send the team to regional, state and national competitions. Donations can range anywhere from unused equipment, safety glasses or financial donations to help keep the program alive and well.

Last summer NTS donated several testing machines from the LAX facility that would help the team test the durability of their robots, including the one to be used in the FIRST Steamworks competition. Along with the testing equipment, safety glasses were donated to maintain the high safety standard that NTS promotes at its own facilities. Equipment and safety glasses weren’t the only items donated by NTS, Jerry Shu, a Test Technician out of LAX, donated his time and knowledge to the team. As an alumni of the program Jerry knows exactly what it takes to teach the students about mechanics but also understands what it takes to inspire young minds to come up with such amazing inventions.

An opportunity to combine a formal education and real-world skills is presented to these students and is made possible through various donations of time, equipment and money. Students fabricate frames, program software, engineer gears and mechanisms and learn to come together towards one common goal to succeed at the task at hand.

The TorBots 1197 team will be participating in their first Los Angeles Regional event March 23rd – March 26th at California State University of Long Beach. For more information on the First Robotics Competition click here.

For more information on the TorBots 1197 FIRST Steamworks competition please click here.