DC Power Supply Reliability Validating the MTBF Requirement

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One of the most widely used figures of merit when comparing the reliability of industrial DC power supplies is MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures). A power supply with a higher MTBF number stated on the specification sheet may be chosen over a competitor due to a perceived improvement in reliability. This notion can be far from the actual truth. Demonstrating the MTBF through actual field or experimental test data makes the calculated MTBF more plausible. This white paper examines the methods that can be used to correlate MTBF test data with the calculated values.