Microelectronics through a magnifying glass
© Gettyimages

Believe it or not, this is an equipment breakdown

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    The image below shows a speck of dust straddling two electrical circuits on a computer chip:

    When combined with humidity and other vapours in the air, this particle can cause arcing between components on circuit boards. And certain types of dust, when combined with humidity, can even be slightly corrosive to electrical components and cause them to break down.

    This is a fractured silicon wafer:

    This silicon wafer serves as a base for microelectronics built in and upon the wafer. The fractures or cracks can be seen in the upper right of the image.

    During manufacture, silicon wafer preparation and handling can result in damage in the form of micro-cracks at the edges of the wafers.  

    While the damage may initially be harmless, under some conditions, such as increased temperatures, the micro-crack may later increase dramatically, finally cutting the wafer into pieces, resulting in failure of the circuit, and causing the equipment to stop working.

    Technology is now the size of DNA:

    Today, more than 100 million transistors could fit on the head of a pin. These transistors are so small, just 22 nanometers, that you could fit 4,000 of them across the width of a human hair.    

    A strand of human DNA is 2.5 nanometers in diameter.    We are dealing with technology that is only a little larger than DNA.  

    Physical damage to microelectronics is way too small to be seen.

    Every business depends on microscopic technology that’s getting more complex every day. And it’s not just computers: Boilers, furnaces, air conditioners, diagnostic equipment, CNC, and retail point-of-sale systems are all prone to microelectronic damage.

    Most equipment breakdown policies require visual evidence of physical damage for coverage to apply.

    But HSB's TechAdvantage® redefines equipment breakdown coverage. 

    When it comes to microelectronics, customers no longer have to prove physical damage. Coverage now applies if replacing that part containing electronic circuitry (such as a circuit board), or the entire equipment, restores functionality. 

    For more information about TechAdvantage® click here, or contact your HSB representative.

    This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to convey or constitute legal advice. HSB makes no warranties or representations as to the accuracy or completeness of the content herein. Under no circumstances shall HSB or any party involved in creating or delivering this article be liable to you for any loss or damage that results from the use of the information contained herein. Except as otherwise expressly permitted by HSB in writing, no portion of this article may be reproduced, copied, or distributed in any way. This article does not modify or invalidate any of the provisions, exclusions, terms or conditions of the applicable policy and endorsements. For specific terms and conditions, please refer to the applicable insurance form.   Posted on April 24, 2019