Original Date: 11/01/2004
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
The Center for Computer-Aided Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE)at the University of Maryland in College Park was established in 1986 by Dr. Michael Pecht, a Chaired Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department. CALCE is recognized internationally as a founder, driving force, and leader in the development and implementation of physics-of-failure analysis and approaches to reliability and life-cycle prediction. CALCE includes various sponsored programs, groups, and alliances, and is comprised of renowned research and teaching faculty and research scientists and engineers. CALCE is a world leader in accelerated testing and electronic parts selection and management, and provides a knowledge and resource base to support the development and sustainment of competitive electronic products and systems. Staffed by more than 100 faculty, staff, and students from nearly every engineering discipline, the CALCE became the first academic research facility in the world to be ISO 9001 certified in 1999. CALCE was formally started with a National Science Foundation Center Planning Grant, and over the past 15 years has invested more than $50 Million in developing methodologies, models, and tools that address the design, manufacture, analysis, and management of electronic systems.
CALCE has grown into a consortium of more than 50 members and is comprised of leading industrial, government, and academic organizations from all areas of the electronics industry. The Consortium promotes research in areas that have an across-the-board impact on industry, and provides a knowledge and resource base that includes design and manufacturing methods, simulation techniques, models, and guidelines to support the development of competitive electronic products and systems. CALCE performs core research projects that are developed in collaboration with Consortium members. These projects address the needs of the members as well as the Consortium as a whole. Consortium members participate in the direction of core research projects, have access to the CALCE Web site, participate in technical exchanges with other members, and are represented on the CALCE Industrial Advisory Board.
With its state-of-the art equipment, technology, and expertise, the CALCE Laboratory Services include Environmental/Accelerated Testing, Non-Destructive Evaluation, Failure Analysis, Electronic Characterization, and Thermal Assessment among others. Laboratory Services has assisted more than 100 companies in reliability and failure analysis, and provides virtual qualification, supply-chain creation and audits, and design benchmarking. Organizations using the Laboratory Services benefit by reducing capital costs and ensuring continued access to best practices in electronics. Consortium members and companies outside the Consortium often enter into private project and consulting agreements with CALCE for expert assistance and research in advanced electronic systems. This company-specific research is designed to help organizations identify the causes of failure or poor performance in electronic products, assess and mitigate the risks of producing and incorporating new technologies, perform lifetime and life-cycle assessments on electronic products, improve product quality and reliability, maximize cost avoidance during product sustainment, and reduce time-to-market and time-to-profit.
The CALCE faculty and research staff work as a team and understand the benefits of teaming in individual efforts. The CALCE Education Program is a multi-faceted approach to transfer ideas and knowledge to all levels of students through dedicated courses, textbooks, and multi-media courses (Internet-based courses). Several training modules have been developed to help educate engineers involved in the development and analysis of electronic hardware. These courses are taught at company sites, are designed for practicing engineers, and provide real-world examples.
CALCE developed and is a leader in the physics-of-failure approach to electronics reliability. This approach includes Virtual Qualification, a simulation-based process that models a product’s stress history when subjected to its anticipated life-cycle, and assesses if the anticipated reliability is achievable. This process is facilitated by custom software, such as CALCE Printed Wiring Assembly, which is developed and maintained by CALCE. CALCE researchers agree that the physics-of-failure approach holds the greatest promise for evaluating accelerated life tests under adverse environments. Among the CALCE best practices are its Parts Selection and Management Process, a methodology for evaluating life-cycle risks of electronic parts before committing them to final design; Manufacturing Cost Modeling, a well-designed process and integration of cost tools; and Root-Cause Analysis, which goes beyond defining root cause and provides corrective actions to prevent the same types of failures in the future. With obsolescence being a large problem for the avionics, industrial controls, and military communities because of a product’s extended life-cycle, the CALCE Electronic Parts Obsolescence Forecasting tool exceeds current industry models; and its High Temperature Electronics Design for Reliability methodologies and software tools have been used successfully to design, develop, and enhance many high-temperature electronic systems. The BMP survey team congratulates CALCE and considers the practices in this report to be among the best in industry and government.
TABLE OF ACRONYMS:
The following acronyms were used in this report:
|CALCE|| ||Center for Advanced Life-Cycle Engineering|
|CFD|| ||Computational Fluid Dynamics|
|DMSMS|| ||Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Materials Shortages|
|IC|| ||Integrated Circuit|
|LCA|| ||Life-Cycle Assessment|
|MOCA|| ||Mitigation of Obsolescence Cost Analysis|
|PCB|| ||Printed Circuit Board|
|VQ|| ||Virtual Qualification|
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