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FEATURES AND ADVANTAGES OF
ELECTRONIC COMPONENT COLOR-CHANGE FAILURE-INDICATORS
Instantly visually locate and identify any faulty or failed ICs or any other electronic component
in or out of a circuit, just by looking at built-in color change indicators.
Extremely inexpensive fault and failure electro-chemical color-change indicator.
Color changes from green to red or other color choices.
Color-change failure-indicator is activated by built-in self test system,
on-board self test system, external test system, or automatic test equipment.
No test equipment or power needed by technician to safely locate all the failed components.
Failed-component-identification can be made visually by lower skill level personnel, consumers, industrial, utility, telecommunication, medical, office equipment, or aircraft
avionic technicians, astronauts, and military personnel safely with no power or test equipment.
An ordinary person can instantly locate all the red marked failed electronic components that have changed from green to red in a circuit board and have them replaced.
Failure indicators can be built into all electronic components including surface mount components.
Electro-chemical failure-indicator indicates the electronic functional operational status of the component sustaining first or second color status-indication with no power applied to it.
The failure indicator will permanently indicate that a component is good or bad without power , and even after the component is removed from the circuit.
The failure indicator requires only a momentary pulse of power to permanently mark and indicate a failure and no further power is required after that initial pulse.
A machine vision system, bar code reader or automated optical inspection system can read working/failure status-indicator color-change dots, graphics, or alphanumeric messages.
Redundancy circuit operational status and prognostic information can be indicated in alphanumeric characters, graphic symbols, or pictures on the integrated circuit surface.
The failure indicator will indicate its status while the component is working well, on that same component if it fails, and on that same electronic component if it is detached, and removed from a circuit board, and also when it is removed from a test equipment test fixture, all the while indicating the functional operational status of the electronic component.
Electronic Component Failure Indicator ADVANTAGES
A first advantage is that this invention provides an extremely inexpensive, easy, and quick method of identifying any fault or defective electronic component in or out of a circuit, just by looking at it. The visual appearance or color of the builtin embedded electronic component failure indicator, when activated, changes the visual appearance of the indicator portion of the faulty electronic component's surface so as to make that exact faulty, defective, or damaged component immediately identifiable by its changed appearance to a person looking for a failed component.
A second advantage is that person looking to find a failed electronic component in a circuit, can very easily, quickly and assuredly identify the exact location of a failed component in a circuit filled with hundreds of components by merely looking at the components in order to observe a visable change in the appearance of the builtin embedded electronic component failure indicator of the component which has failed. A repair technician does not have to look at any clipped-on or adhesively attached indicators on the component which could fall off, or any clamped on attachment indicators next to the failed component, any other remote external indicators, any nearby indicators external to the failed component, or any external displays external to the failed component to identify the failed component as had been required in the prior art.
A third advantage is that technician does not need to use any test equipment to find the failed component.
A forth advantage is that extremely rapid failed componment identification can be made by consumers, industrial technicians, utility workers, astronauts, and military personnel by the use of electronic component failure indicators also allowing and enabling lower skill level personnel to maintain electronic equipment by easy identification of faulty, failed, damaged, and defective components. Then the task of removing and replacing defective components can be done in all types of equipment without the time, energy, weight, and cost of first testing with expensive test equipment operated by highly trained skilled technicians or by other methods and use of prior art systems previously used to locate failed components. An ordinary person can, for example find all the red marked components that are no longer black in a circuit board and have them replaced.
A fifth advantage of building a failure indicator into electronic components under test, is that space on a circuit board, and space above electronic components mounted on the circuit board, as well as the cost of such space and circuit board material can be saved from being used to accomodate the required extra space of circuit board mounted external indicators and clamped on indicators external to the electronic compOnent under test as had been previously used in prior art.
A sixth advantage is that writing, markings, and values of the components are not obscured and covered by attachments.
A seventh advantage is the ability to provide a failure indicator that is built into the surface of very small electronic . components such as surface mounted components.
An eighth advantage is the provision of a failure indicator which will continue to indicate permanently that a component has failed, even after the flow of power has been discontinued, and even after the component is removed from the circuit. The builtin embedded failure indicator will be visable on the electronic component under test, indicating its status while the component is working well, on that same component if it fails, and on that same electronic component if it is detached, and removed from a circuit board and also when it is removed from a test equipment test fixture, all the while indicting the functional operational status of the electronic component.
There is a ninth advantage when a failure indicator continues to remain located within the electronic component to be monitored while it is under test, after it is tested, and before, during, and after the component is use in, detached from, and removed from a circuit, while it continues to travel with the component during its lifetime. The advantage is that the embedded failure indicating means is able to sustain its first and second states of appearance, indicating its status, without any power applied to it. This enables an electronic component with a builtin failure indicator to be used in an electronic circuit while working well, fail, be detached, and be removed from the electronic circuit and the electronic component failure indicator will still continue to show that the component has failed without any additional source of power to sustain the appearance change of the indicator immediately and for minutes, hours, days, weeks, and years after detachment and removal from the circuit board and its power supply.
A tenth advantage is that a component can be tested at a factory by test equipment, test itself while in a circuit because the component may have built-in selftest circuits, be tested by other external circuits and any and all of the testing circuits, if present are able to alternatively activate the embedded failure indicator at different times within the components lifetime.
The ability of a factory to test its components provides another advantage to the embedded indicator which is the ability of automatic test equipment or external test circuits to permanently mark and indicate on a component that it is defective, which will help to prevent the component from being mistakenly used.
An eleventh advantage is that all electrically energized embodiments of this invention require only a momentary pulse of power for a short duration to permanently mark and indicate a failure and no further power is required after that initial pulse.
It is an extremely valuable twelfth advantage that failed component identification in a circuit can be made very safely with the power off. And the simplicity of failed electronic component identification by the use of failure indicators embedded into electronic components thereby enables an average person, child, or trained monkey, to identify a failed component in a very complex circuit filled with hundreds of components without complex technical training and without expensive test equipment enabling the average person to do complex do-it- yourself repairs saving enormous time energy and money.
****Note that a bar code reader, or even a machine vision system can also be used to read the status of an electronic component failure indicator--another definite valuable advantage. Redundancy circuit status can be indicated as well as prognostic information.
A thirteenth advantage is that a failure of an electronic component under test can be identified by the test circuit and the failure can be described on the surface of the failed component in alphanumeric characters which need no power to sustain their diagnostic message on the surface of the electronic component.
A forteenth advantage is that it provides a means of identifying what has failed within and electronic component, which will help identify other circuit problems. Another advantage is the ability to know what has not failed within a component by merely looking at it, and therefore to help identify and reuse undamaged circuit parts within a damaged integrated circuit or other electronic component.
A fifteenth advantage is the ability to look at a component and know that it is still probably in good working order, in a state of readiness, and able to work normally because there is no indication of failure. The visual appearance of the electronic component failure indicator, after it has been used once can be reset from its second state of visual appearance indicating faulty functional operation back to its first state of visual appearance indicating good functional operation after a fault is cleared if the component is still good. The component can be retried for proper functional operationality and useage, if the fault is not a permanent failure thereby enabling the component to be used again after being reset.
Faulty circuit boards can instantly be identified by the colors of their components.