“Military” applications – RCD a major supplier via QPL and COTS

RCD and military applicationsRCD Components Inc. specializes in manufacturing passive electronic components that bridge the commercial, medical, military, and aerospace communities by offering a wide range of standard and customized products that fully meet or exceed the most demanding requirements. Products are targeted to a wide range of high reliability applications including avionic systems, test and ground support equipment, satellite systems, smart munitions, identification friend or foe (IFF) systems, radio systems, sonar and guidance systems, battery charger, unmanned vehicle (land, sea surface,underwater, air) systems, counter-IED technologies, etc. RCD specializes in providing components that go a step (or two) above the established Hi-Rel Milspec requirements. We understand the specialized world of aerospace, the stringent quality standards of space flight, as well as the world of commercial electronics and mass manufactured systems. Our unique position helps us to achieve the most challenging design requirements while offering significant cost savings for military applications. Scores of defense contractors, as well as NASA, various aerospace firms, and even DSCC have been buying resistors from RCD for decades. RCD manufactures a wide range of high-reliability Military-grade components and these products are available with full or partial screening (such as burn-in, humidity, vibration, thermal shock, etc.) to Military requirements or even the more stringent Space-level requirements. RCD is an approved supplier for a variety of Defense drawings and specialty products. While we may not be on the QPL for a particular resistor style – see our QPL listing near the end of this document – we normally will supply equivalents to various defense contractors. In some cases there aren’t any QPL’d sources any longer (such as RCR) or only one source (RBR, RWR). The military has been placing large emphasis on cost reduction via use of COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf products for the military) so there’s not a large incentive anymore for manufacturers to get their products formally listed. RCD’s military-grade product line is very attractive to many customers who don’t want the high cost of a formally QPL’d product but who also don’t want the questionable reliability of a commercial product. RCD’s parts fill the gap because they are designed to meet the various requirements of the mil-specs and also are available with all the same or more stringent level of testing, traceability and screening as a mil-spec component. There are many products for which no mil-spec exists. A quick glance at the catalog of any major resistor manufacturer (RCD, Vishay, etc), presents a very wide array of products. Defense contractors utilize most, if not all of these, not just those covered by the handful of military specifications. The small selection of mil-spec product families is only half the problem though. The other half is the severe limitation of ranges covered within each mil spec. For instance, if the Mil-spec resistance range is 0.1 ohm to 1K ohm 1%-5%, defense contractors are unable to source QPL’d parts below 0.1 ohm, above 1Kohm, and tolerances tighter than 1% (RCD offers to 0.001% ). The solution in these cases is to buy RCD’s Mil-spec equivalent. These are utilized in many defense and aerospace applications since we offer the same or better performance and reliability. In addition, RCD can manufacture most products within 1-2 weeks vs. 2-4 months for our competitors (and this has resulted in awards and commendations from various military contractors). Our products are typically in the “R” to “S” failure rate range and even much better. Our Military and Space customers clearly don’t have to worry about reliability with RCD, especially when specifying parts with burn-in and mil-screening (we recommend 100% screening for high-reliability applications). This is the best possible scenario, even better than many formally QPL’d products. The reason is because that to be listed, a manufacturer simply needs to demonstrate that they are capable of meeting one of the established reliability levels. Qualifying to an “M” (10,000 FIT) or “P” (1000 FIT) reliability level would actually seem to prove more about a company’s “unreliability” than their “reliability” and even if qualified to the more stringent “R” or “S” levels, this only proves the company is capable but doesn’t prove the actual parts are. In order to do this, the parts need to be 100% tested and burned-in under full-rated power. Unfortunately though, many aren’t. For instance, some milspecs require no burn-in. Others require burn-in testing of only 10 samples per month, and even worse, at 50% rated power. This is not enough to “prove” reliability, so customers should not jump to conclusions that Mil-Qpl’d resistors are better or more reliable than non-Qpl’d parts. RCD has been a key military supplier for 40 years so obviously our reliability is well proven at numerous firms. But in addition to this, we offer 100% burn-in at full rated power to ensure that every single piece is proven and reliable. For this reason, many customers buy their mil-spec components from RCD even when a QPL’d manufacturer is available, and even when the QPL’d source is at a lower cost! RCD offers a variety of preconditioning options designed to screen and/or stabilize components for critical-use applications. They include RCD’s GUARD™ program with the capability of performing in 5 seconds the screening function previously accomplished by 100-hour burn-in. RCD also offers a full gamut of Group A, B, C Lab testing in accordance with dozens of Military and Aerospace specifications. Some of our more common test capabilities (we offer custom screening also) include…

Humidity/Moisture Resistance

Life Testing


Temperature Coefficient

Pulse/overload Capability

Shock & Vibration

Dielectric Strength

Insulation Resistance

Solvent Resistance


Temperature Cycling/Thermal Shock

Power Aging

Temperature Aging

X-ray analysis

GUARDTM Program – Graded Uniformity & Accelerated Reliability Diagnostics

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