A.8. Packaging Tests

An important variant of thermal, shock, drop, and vibration testing involves a nonoperating test of the system in its packaging, especially for computer electronics and computer systems such as telephones, laptop and desktop computers, PDAs, and the like. In these tests, the systems are placed in their packaging as they will be shipped to the customer and are run through a sequence of tests designed to check for problems that could occur during shipping and delivery to the customers. The circumstances of shipping and delivery affect this testing. A system shipped on an airplane will experience different modes of vibration than one shipped on a boat or a train. Propeller-driven planes have different vibrations in their frames than jet planes do. This might seem picayune, but the wrong vibration over a period of hours can shake a board, a chip, or a screw loose, resulting in reliability problems—and potentially warranty costs—after the system is delivered and installed. A system shipped in a heated truck and then transported by forklift to a warehouse in Alaska or Siberia in the winter will undergo dramatic thermal shocks, and might undergo significant mechanical shocks if the fork-lift operator is less than gentle when removing the palette of systems from the tines of the forklift. I once saw two movers drop a $250,000 IVR server in its packaging off the lip of a loading ramp. It fell two inches and hit with a loud boom. I made sure to get the number of the ...

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