Before any electronic or electromechanical system is put to use, it should undergo a burn-in process. This usually involves running the system continuously for hours, days, or weeks. In some cases, a faulty system fails shortly after it is put online. In many instances, however, failure does not occur until a considerable time has passed. Intermittent failures might not manifest themselves until many hours have passed with continuous supervision.
The burn-in process can weed out systems with early-failure problems, minimizing real-time failures.
See also QUALITY ASSURANCE AND CONTROL.