Design revolution

Mar 24, 2009

A revolutionary approach to the design of consumer products - from automobiles to plasma TVs - could cut manufacturers' warranty costs significantly. Writing in a forthcoming issue of the International Journal of Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage, US researchers explain how manufacturers should simply design for reliability.

Tongdan Jin of Texas A&M International University and Yeliz Ozalp of Teradyne Inc, in North Reading, Massachusetts, have developed an optimization procedure to allow manufacturers to minimize the costs of replacing and repairing their under customer warranty agreements. Their for (DFR) approach, if implemented in the early of product design will allow manufacturers to proactively eradicate potential hardware, software, process and customer usage issues that lead to costly component and system failures.

The team points out that traditionally predicting which components, whether physical or software based are likely to lead to product failure that must be remedied under warranties is difficult. This is compounded by the fact that there are so many uncertainties associated with how, when and where a product will be used by the consumer.

They have devised an appraisal system that allows product designers to estimate which component and which non-component failures are likely to occur given particular operating temperatures and customer usage patterns. They have used this model to build an optimization program - a genetic algorithm - that can help a manufacturer formulate a strategy for designing out potentially expensive flaws in the phase.

"The trade-off between the design budget and the warranty cost is compared under different design options," the researchers explain. They have tested their approach successfully in the optimal design of an automated semiconductor test apparatus.

"As system integration continues to increase and interactions among functional design elements get more complex, product reliability must be addressed when a product is still in the early development phase," the team explains. Of course, by improving reliability, the approach not only reduces the total costs of warranty services and replacements but improves customer satisfaction by enhancing the quality of the products being sold.

More information: "Minimizing warranty cost by design for reliability in product development phase" by Tongdan Jin and Yeliz Ozalp in Int. J. Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage, 2009, 5, 42-58

Source: Inderscience Publishers (news : web)

Explore further: Method to reconstruct overt and covert speech

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

More Consumers Say No to Retailer Warranties

Apr 18, 2007

If you're fed up of listening to a blue-shirted electronics store employee explain why an extended warranty will help with the increasingly likely problem that a cat will pee on your new big-screen TV, thus setting off a ...

Recommended for you

Method to reconstruct overt and covert speech

10 hours ago

Can scientists read the mind, picking up inner thoughts? Interesting research has emerged in that direction. According to a report from New Scientist, researchers discuss their findings in converting brain ...

Study says upgrading infrastructure could reduce flood damage

Oct 29, 2014

The severe flooding that devastated a wide swath of Colorado last year might have been less destructive if the bridges, roads and other infrastructure had been upgraded or modernized, according to a new study from the University ...

Walk through buildings from your own device

Oct 29, 2014

Would you like to visit The Frick Collection art museum in New York City but can't find the time? No problem. You can take a 3-D virtual tour that will make you feel like you are there, thanks to Yasutaka ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

RayCherry
not rated yet Mar 25, 2009
VolksWagon Beetle? Common Sense.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.