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Blog: Motorola Solutions: Committed to Quality    Published: 21/05/2021

Motorola Solutions: Committed to Quality

TWO-WAY RADIO IS THE COMMUNICATIONS LIFELINE FOR MANY BUSINESSES

By offering fast, high-quality communication, your team are informed at all times, improving efficiency in every task, keeping your team’s communication channel up and working is critical to the success of the job which is why at Motorola Solutions they put quality at the heart of everything they do.

Motorola Solutions history of quality is unparalleled, especially when you consider that they were trusted to keep communications flowing during the Apollo moon landings, transmitting Neil Armstrong’s infamous words as he stepped onto another celestial body. They continue our history of mission-critical communications today by providing equipment and support to emergency services, government organisations and companies all around the world.

All Motorola Solutions products are designed to withstand the knocks, bumps, and drops they will experience during their lifetime, but we go further. With Accelerated Life Testing (ALT), destructive testing, and feedback from the field. All these sources of information are analysed and integrated into our design and improvement process, making Motorola Solutions products better with every iteration.

In addition to their internal quality standards, Motorola Solutions design and test to all relevant standards for the markets we operate in. They perform additional testing to the United States military standards (MIL-STD-810) and international Ingress Protection standards to ensure our radios will survive real-world daily use.

With over 90 years of communications experience, Motorola Solutions know what makes a robust and high-quality radio product. Quality is built into everything they do; every process, every component, and every product we ship to our customers.

QUALITY DESIGNED IN

At Motorola Solutions, they’re proud of the products they make, which is why from the moment they start developing a product they are already considering the quality of the final article. Every choice they make is made with quality in mind, from the selection of electrical components to the plastics chosen for the casing. Every single part contributes to the durability and reliability of their portfolio.


ELECTRICAL DESIGN

Motorola Solutions engineers always perform a detailed analysis of their circuit designs, performing their unique Accelerated Life Testing, and querying their database of failures on previous products to continuously improve the lifetime of your radio.

Design decisions such as purchasing more expensive chips to replace multiple other components can lower the failure rate of devices by simplifying circuits while choosing parts with lower failure rates can drastically improve the lifetime of the whole device. They even simulate the operating temperature of the components within the radios to ensure they stay within tolerance and have the longest lifetime possible.

As devices age the characteristics of components within them can change, especially when subjected to changing temperature and humidity; by simulating the circuitry of their radios and performing tests with varying values of each component Motorola Solutions can ensure that these changes do not mount up in a way that could cause an early failure of the electronics.

Finally, Motorola Solutions consider the supply chain of every component so that they can support the devices for as long as possible. They ask how long a manufacturer expects to make a component, if there will be replacements that can easily be designed into the device, and even how reliable the deliveries of the components will be to avoid breaks in the supply of new and replacement radios.


DROP TESTING

The casing of every radio Motorola Solutions manufactures will need to withstand all manner of knocks, bumps, drops and scrapes as it accompanies you through your daily life.

Their heavy-duty casings are subjected to drop tests from 120cm (4ft) onto concrete 42 times as well as receiving repeated blows from steel balls dropped directly onto the screen and speakers.


EXTREME TEMPERATURE TESTING

With the mechanical tests completed, Motorola Solutions radios are submitted to thermal shock testing where they are heated and cooled between -35°c and + 75°c multiple times ensuring the equipment you buy will work even in the harshest temperature.

SOLAR RADIATION TESTS

Extended exposure to sunlight can break down plastic and cause degradation such as discolouration and flaking. Motorola Solutions radios and accessories are placed into a solar radiation chamber that simulates the sun’s rays using UV light at a much higher level that would be encountered in the field. With high-intensity light, many years of exposure can be simulated within weeks proving that our devices will withstand operational use in bright sunlight.

CORROSION TESTING

Whether on land, at sea, inside or outdoors, the environments we operate in can be corrosive to electronics and metals causing rust and weakness. To test their protective coatings, their accelerated lifecycle testing includes salt fog testing. This standardised test ensures that the metals used in Motorola Solutions radios won’t quickly corrode no matter what job you take them on.

VIBRATION TESTING

Imagine the scenario where your radio stops working while you are walking or driving due to the vibration; you may lose communications and waste precious seconds in a critical situation. To avoid this sort of failure, all Motorola Solutions devices are subjected to vibration testing designed to prove that all connections inside and outside every radio are firmly connected and will not detach as you go about your day.


ACCELERATED LIFE TESTING

Accelerated Life Testing (ALT) allows Motorola Solutions to test how all aspects of our radios will handle many years of use in your organisation. By placing our radios into specially designed test equipment, years of heavy usage can be simulated in days or weeks, allowing us to improve designs quickly and build quality into every part we make. Some of the tests they do are mentioned below:


BUTTON PRESS

Motorola Solutions test the design of the keys on their radios, with the PTT button being tested with over 1 million presses to verify that your radio will work as well on its last day in service as it did on its first.

PLUGGING CYCLES

The last thing you want is to pick up a radio you thought was charging to find that it has no charge. Motorola Solutions make sure their radios and chargers can take a lifetime of being plugged in by simulating 100,000 aggressive insertions on their designs. They even add dust to recreate the everyday circumstances of the radio and charger in the field.


MIL STANDARDS

MIL-STD-810 is a standard developed by the United States military which defines a number of test processes that can be performed on a product to verify its suitability for use in particular environments. MIL-STD-810 was first released in 1962 and has been updated many times over the years, with the latest version (MIL-STD-810H) released in 2019.


MIL-STD-810 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS

When designing a new radio, Motorola Solutions’ first consideration is to pick the type of customer who the radio is aimed at. What will you, as the user, require from the radio and its accessories? What sort of life will the radio have by your side?

Part of the process when designing a new device is to choose the environment that the radio will find itself in. Motorola Solutions make a decision about the harshest environments the devices are likely to experience at the beginning of the design process using their years of experience to guide them. By correctly choosing the right environments, they can be certain they choose the relevant tests from MIL-STD-810 and ensure that the radios they produce won’t let you down. MIL-STD-810 can be broken down in three ways; method, procedure, and parameter levels:

METHOD

Methods are the name given to each of the tests within MIL-STD-810. There are methods for low-temperature tests, high-temperature tests, vibration, and immersion to name some of the 29 different methods that exist in the standard. It is not mandatory to test all methods within the standard, so you should always check that the device you are purchasing has passed the individual methods your use case requires.

PROCEDURE

Procedures are the individual tests that can be performed to claim compliance with a specific method. The low-temperature method (502.5) defines three procedures; storage at low temperature (1), operation at low temperature (2), and usability while wearing cold-weather clothing (3). A device could be tested for use in cold-weather clothing only and still claim low-temperature compliance. This is why it is important to check what procedures were tested as well as what methods.

PARAMETER LEVEL

Within each procedure are parameter levels which allow devices to be tested for the environment in which it will be used. For instance, when testing the effects of high temperature, either a parameter level of “Basic hot” (A2) or “Hot dry” (A1) can be chosen, the latter having a wider range of temperatures over which it must be tested.

MOTOROLA SOLUTIONS TESTING

Motorola Solutions uses the MIL-STD-810 standard as well as our specific Accelerated Life Testing to verify the durability and suitability of their equipment, ensuring they perform all the procedures required from the methods which they choose. Through years of design and testing, Motorola Solutions understands what is needed to make a radio tough, giving you confidence that whatever the circumstances, your radio will perform perfectly.

FOR PEACE OF MIND, WE PUBLISH ALL METHODS, PROCEDURES, AND PARAMETERS USED IN THEIR DATASHEETS

CONTACT DTS