RSQ Test Labs | Product Reliability, Safety, and Compliance Testing


# About RSQ Labs

It stands for (product) Reliability, Safety, and Quality, three important objectives that excellent products much embody.
Our group, Sofeast, was founded in 2006 and has been doing quality assurance work since that date. In 2018 and since then, we have invested in purchasing testing equipment in Dongguan, not only to support our QA activities, but also for helping our clients test the products they develop for reliability & durability. In 2022 we decided to make it an independent unit in our group, in a dedicated facility.

Rm. 208, Haorong Zhichuang Building, No. 47 Dong Yi Street, Xingfa Nan Road, Changan town, Dongguan City, Guangdong province, China (postcode: 523859).


Yes. Our QA department has technicians & engineers along the cost of China, and they can go to a factory to pick samples randomly. They can also do some inspection or auditing work at the same time, if needed.

# Reliability, Safety, Quality

A high-reliability product will “function”, or let’s say fulfil its intended function, without letting users down. It doesn’t disappoint over its intended lifetime. For certain products (think of a pacemaker), reliability is very high on the list of priorities.

Quality is often described as “meeting specifications in a very consistent manner”, and of course it is quite important. High quality manufacturing is important to reach high reliability. At the same time, many people say a product is of high quality when it satisfies users, and in that sense high reliability is important to reach high quality.

There are many cases where poor quality manufacturing hurts reliability, which in turn makes a product unsafe. Think of a poorly controlled tyre manufacturing process that leads to failing tyres (which explode suddenly, a clear sign of poor reliability), and of course that can lead to loss of life.

Similarly, a poorly designed product tends to be unreliable, which leads to poor customer reviews, and depending on the product it can also lead to safety hazards. Think of the Samsung Note 7 which had a design flaw that led to battery explosions (unsafe), recalls, and massive customer dissatisfaction (poor quality).

We have a template for collecting the basic product requirements and reliability objectives. Or we can review a brief from your side and ask for missing information.
Both. Many reliability, quality, and safety issues come from faulty or poorly chosen components or submodules. We can help you qualify them before you approve their use in your product.

You may enjoy this webinar where we explain this very topic!

Please refer to this graph which shows the NPI process we typically use and when the key reliability milestones (that often refer to types of testing such as HALT) take place.

npi process with reliability milestones

# Improvements on product design

If the product design has weaknesses, it can be make exactly as per the final approved prototype but it will still have the same weaknesses. As a simple example, if a component is under-rated, world-class manufacturing will not help make the product more reliable than what the product design allows it to be.

Yes. You must ultimately have an idea of what sort of reliability you want for your product. For example a 2 year life, or more? A 1 year warranty? What type of stresses should the product resist? Then you need to do a DFR (Design for Reliability). This means, choosing reliable components, working on a reliable design by keeping durability and customer use case and use environment in mind as early in the design work as possible.

As early in the development as possible. In theory, you should already have an idea of the typical use case, use environment, potential stresses, etc. the product will be subjected to before you start designing, and doing this in a structured way is helpful. Designers need to take those objectives into consideration from the start, or there is a risk of an in-depth redesign at some point.
Reliability Engineering is the science of designing reliability and durability into your product per your product/customer reliability requirements (such as Reliability Life, MTBF, Component Selection, Reliability Block Diagram, Reliability Growth Planning, Reliability Targets). Reliability Testing is the demonstration or validation of reliability as designed for your product (such as Drop testing, Vibration testing, Temperature and Humidity testing, etc).
Upon contacting us, we will review your project and we will recommend reliability engineering solutions or reliability testing that is required or appropriate for your product or customer requirements.

You gathered some samples that failed. It is tempting to just send them to the R&D team and to the manufacturer for investigation. And they might start to point fingers at each other — “it looks like poor soldering”, “an extra protection should have been added during design”, and so on.

If a lot is at stake and you want to get to a solid solution, send us your failed samples and we will follow the the “FRACAS” (Failure Reporting, Analysis, and Corrective Action Systems) framework as per MIL-STD 785b.

# Safety and compliance

If you are only concerned about compliance to safety standards, and your product is relatively simple and/or similar in design to existing products, this may be fine. But you always run a risk of having to “go back to the drawing board”.

For relatively complex and unique products, and for highly-regulated devices (medical, automotive, etc.), it is imperative to have a structured approach to risk analysis through design reviews, prototype testing, etc.

The reality is, unfortunately, not that simple in many cases. First, a lab test report is only representative of a few samples, not the whole production batch. And it is certainly not representative of several production batches. Second, if testing is not done against the right set of standards, it is meaningless.

In many cases, yes, those international standards are a good fit. And, in certain cases, there is little choice, as they are mandatory (or, more specifically, testing to another set of standards may be approved but it calls for a lengthy and cumbersome process). However, there are also many cases where there is no suitable ‘off the shelf’ standard, or those ‘off the shelf’ standards were designed for very different use cases. For example, some standards developed for a NASA mission end up being applied to a simple electronic device… or export cartons get tested to stresses that are much lower than those they destined to suffer. It can work both ways — unreasonably high, or exceedingly low.

If your product is pretty common, yes, that tends to work well. If your product is rather new, and especially if it is across several “categories” (as per the regulation’s logic — for example an electrical product that may be used by kids and may be in contact with food), that approach becomes highly unreliable. In addition, those testing labs typically won’t clarify what is mandatory vs. suggested, and they won’t look at alternative ways to establish compliance (e.g. based on test reports from your supplier, by picking a pre-certified module, etc.).

# Lab testing

In most cases, a supplier’s incentive is to get the products shipped out and to collect payment. And disclosing some issues to a customer tends to delay or even prevent those objectives. You should rely on companies that never follow incentives diametrically opposed to your interests…
There is more to compliance than just “getting the right certificates”. That’s especially true if you want to sell products in the EU, and if you are in a highly regulated industry (medical, mining, rail, aerospace…).

Apart from food & beverage, chemicals, highly dangerous & restricted products, or large size products (e.g. an automobile), we work on most product categories.
We have experience in consumer, medical, automotive, and aerospace products. The logic is, as long as we can think of a way to replicate stresses coming from expected use and misuse, and we can verify performance, we can work on it.
The kind of products we test most often are relatively similar to those we show at the top of our home page.

A: Our vibration test equipment capabilities are as follows:

We can conduct:

1) Reliability vibrations tests on PCBAs and on electronic products of various sizes.
2) all transportation tests per ISTA standard such as ISTA-1a, 2a, 3a, etc.
3) package vibrations tests up to a package weight of 50Kg
4) Reliability random vibrations tests at various random frequencies or a frequency sweep from 1Hz to 3000Hz.
5) Tri-axil vibrations: x, y, z; for design reliability.
6) Package and product sizes up to 50cmX50cm

Get help with testing and more today

If you’re ready to discuss your product testing and more, get in touch with us by hitting the button below and telling us a little about your project and testing needs so we can contact you to provide suggested services.
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