The focus of this paper is to present an interesting case study involving Vishay wire-wound (WSC model) resistor failures, which affected a significant number of production and fielded assemblies. The failures were considered “mission critical”, which was the primary driver necessitating root cause analysis. A disciplined approach to the failure analysis effort was established, which resulted in root cause determination and the generation of appropriate corrective actions. This paper will highlight a non-conventional decapsulation method used to preserve the integrity of the fragile resistive element and a “lucky break” that was instrumental in linking the supplier’s actions to the failures.

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