What is life testing on new products?

A life test replicates the expected lifetime of a product based on its expected usage. It is generally performed toward the end of the development of a new product. The objective is to confirm that the product can work correctly for the number of (usage) cycles corresponding to its warranty period, in the expected environment.

If a product’s warranty (for consumers) is 3 years, the number of usage cycles that will typically take place during this period is calculated, and the product is put through that usage in a condensed time period.

A life test example

A real test that we had done recently was on a plastic lady’s razor.

The razor handle fits in a cradle that sticks to glass or tiled surfaces, such as in the shower.

The life test was performed to check that the razor handle can be clipped into and removed from the cradle multiple times throughout its lifetime without damage to either item.




  • Clean glass wall
  • Attached holder on to glass wall
  • Put handle onto the holder and take off the handle = 1 cycle
  • Checked every 500 cycles
  • Total test time: 5000 cycles

Pass/Fail criteria:

No functional, mechanical, and/or cosmetic defects to be found on the cradle or razor handle after the test.


Listen to more discussion about reliability testing

We also discuss why importers need reliability testing in this episode of our podcast, covering, among other things, what this type of testing is, when we carry it out, what are the risks of not performing it, and what it costs:


Read about more reliability tests here


P.S. for even more information watch this video where we explain reliability testing for electronics

About Adrian Leighton

Adrian is the Sofeast group's experienced marketer and has worked in manufacturing for around a decade. He has a particular interest in new product development and sharing important manufacturing news from China.If you've read, watched, or listened to some Sofeast content, Adrian has probably had a hand in it!
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