Reliability Features of the MicroPLB™
High Quality, 100% Tested and “Burned-in”
Manufacture and test of the MicroPLB™ is guided by the same philosophy applied to high reliability military and space craft equipment, moderated by the need for an affordable product. Attaining the correct balance between standard consumer manufacturing techniques and the extremely high levels of manufacturing control and testing imposed on military and space equipment is essential.
Malfunction of a PLB in time of need is clearly more critical than, for example, a random failure of your personal computer, however a PLB which underwent extreme levels of reliability testing but is completely unaffordable is equally useless. Therefore MMInc.:
A) Applies conformal coating to the MicroPLB™ printed circuit boards,
B) Tests each MicroPLB™ over the full operating temperature range, and
C) "Burn-in" each MicroPLB™ at an elevated temperature with increased
These precautions are the core principals of traditional high reliability manufacturing and provide substantially higher confidence levels (compared to the minimal testing at room temperature and no burn-in associated with traditional consumer product manufacturing) at a still affordable price. While other "high reliability" manufacturing measures, such as extensive record keeping, use of individual high reliability parts, and still more testing and temperature cycling might further enhance confidence, manufacturing costs rapidly escalate with diminishing returns, leading to an unaffordable product. MicroPLB™ manufacturing and testing has thus been carefully designed to provide an affordable, but not the cheapest, PLB with a confidence level well above that attained by traditional commercial manufacturing techniques.
No one but God can absolutly guarantee any given PLB will function properly in time of emergency, but MMInc.'s manufacturing and testing approach clearly stack the odds in your favor. It is estimated that the accelerated burn-in every MicoPLB™ receives is equivalent to about 4000 Years of normal operation - with sufficient batteries, a MicroPLB™ activated while the Pharos ruled the known world might still be functioning today.
Search and rescue personnel all know that avoiding life threatening situations in the first place via common sense, adequate training, and good preparation is the best strategy for survival, but even with the best of plans things do not always go according to plan. In those desperate cases, the MicroPLB™ could be the difference between life and death for you or your loved ones.
MicroPLB™ is a trademark of Microwave Monolithics Incorporated