How rugged are your products?
Using MIL-STD-810 to improve the durability and ruggedness of commercial products.
Although it was developed by the United States military, MIL-STD-810 is a test methodology that is used by many manufacturers now, regardless of whether they plan to sell to the U.S. Department of Defense.
MIL-STD-810G allows for tailoring an equipment’s environmental design and test limits to the conditions that it will experience, also known as ruggedizing a product.
Depending on the ruggedness requirement of a product (dictated by where and how it will be used), models have different pass criteria.
Within the computer laptop industry, three marketing categories are used to characterize the durability of business laptops: business-rugged, semi-rugged, and fully rugged.
While these categories are not fully defined, they are generally separated by the number of MIL-STD tests passed and the severity of the testing parameters.
A business-rugged laptop will typically feature a magnesium alloy chassis with shock-resistant hard drives and spill resistant keyboards. They are tested for shock, vibration, drops, low pressure, blowing sand, low/high temperatures, humidity, liquid spill and domestic dust.
Semi-rugged devices feature additional protection including display protection, outdoor viewable display and port covers. They go through the same tests as business-rugged laptops, but are exposed for a longer test period, or have higher pass criteria.
Fully rugged laptops have to survive the most extreme conditions. These systems must withstand higher drops, more vibration, temperature shocks, intense rain, salted fog, explosive atmosphere, blowing sand/dust and function at a wider range of temperatures than less rugged devices.
What MIL-STD-810 test methods are commonly used to “ruggedize” products?
MIL-STD-810 is used by both the U.S. military and industry to assure that the design and test limits of equipment match the various stressors and environmental conditions it will face in actual use. Most fully rugged systems have passed variety of other certifications such as IP-65 for ingress protection, ANSI/ISA 12.12.01 for hazardous locations, and MIL-STD-461F for resistance to electromagnetic interference. Some of the most common MIL-STD-810 test methods used to ruggedize equipment includes:
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