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: Tesla says decision on battery factory months away

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

Tesla says decision on battery factory months away

4 hours ago

(AP)—Electric car maker Tesla Motors said Thursday that it is preparing a site near Reno, Nevada, as a possible location for its new battery factory, but is still evaluating other sites.

Comfortable climate indoors with porous glass

23 hours ago

Proper humidity and temperature play a key role in indoor climate. In the future, establishing a comfortable indoor environment may rely on porous glass incorporated into plaster, as this regulates moisture ...

Crash-testing rivets

Jul 31, 2014

Rivets have to reliably hold the chassis of an automobile together – even if there is a crash. Previously, it was difficult to predict with great precision how much load they could tolerate. A more advanced ...

Customized surface inspection

Jul 31, 2014

The quality control of component surfaces is a complex undertaking. Researchers have engineered a high-precision modular inspection system that can be adapted on a customer-specific basis and integrated into ...

Sensors that improve rail transport safety

Jul 31, 2014

A new kind of human-machine communication is to make it possible to detect damage to rail vehicles before it's too late and service trains only when they need it – all thanks to a cloud-supported, wireless ...

Tiny UAVs and hummingbirds are put to test

Jul 30, 2014

Hummingbirds in nature exhibit expert engineering skills, the only birds capable of sustained hovering. A team from the US, British Columbia, and the Netherlands have completed tests to learn more about the ...

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.