You can perform Accelerated Life Tests (ALT) to determine how long products last under extreme conditions. Then, using these results, you can extrapolate them back to normal-usage conditions.
The accelerated life test is an integral part of the development cycle for many products, including consumer electronics and medical devices. It can determine if a device will fail prematurely under normal use conditions, leading to costly repairs or even loss of life. The accelerated life tests are performed on various parameters such as thermal cycling, humidity, pressure, vibration, shock, and voltage.
Accelerated life testing is mainly used to shorten test cycles. This allows manufacturers to reduce their time-to-market while still maintaining quality standards. In addition, it also helps them to identify potential problems before they become issues during actual usage.
By accelerating the time, the manufacturer can get more information about the product's performance without spending much money on long-term testing.
If a domestic vacuum cleaner manufacturing company wants to know how many components will fail in the warranty period of five years. In this case, the company cannot reasonably perform a reliability test for five years because they want to be able to sell its products before that time.
The manufacturer can collect data at various stresses and, based on the test results, extrapolate results based on regular use. By applying increased stress levels to the component, failures will occur sooner. If used correctly, this is similar to speeding up the passage of time.