How Reliability Can Pay Off

Why do it? Why You Need Reliability Prediction?

There are a number of reasons why reliability is an important product attribute, including:
  • Reputation. A company's reputation is very closely related to the reliability of their products. Improve the favorable reputation of your company by improving the reliability of your products.

  • Customer Satisfaction. While a reliable product may not dramatically affect customer satisfaction in a positive manner, an unreliable product will negatively affect customer satisfaction severely. Thus high reliability is a mandatory requirement for customer satisfaction.

  • Warranty Costs. If a product fails to perform its function within the warranty period, the replacement and repair costs will negatively affect profits, as well as gain unwanted negative attention. Reliability analyses is an important step in taking corrective action, ultimately leading to a product that is more reliable.  Allows you to evaluate the failure rate and MTBF of your product and pinpoint areas for potential reliability improvement. To identify and improve the reliability, availability, and maintainability of your product, thereby reducing warranty and repair costs and enhancing product reputation.

  • Repeat Business. A concentrated effort towards improved reliability shows existing customers that a manufacturer is serious about their product, and committed to customer satisfaction. This type of attitude has a positive impact on future business.

  • Cost Analysis. Manufacturers may take reliability data and combine it with other cost information to illustrate the cost-effectiveness of their products. This life cycle cost analysis can prove that although the initial cost of their product might be higher, the overall lifetime cost is lower than a competitor's because their product requires fewer repairs or less maintenance.

  • Customer Requirements. Many customers in today’s market demand that their suppliers have an effective reliability program. These customers have learned the benefits of reliability analysis from experience.

  • Competitive Advantage. Many companies will publish their predicted reliability numbers to help gain an advantage over their competition who either does not publish their numbers or has lower numbers.


Why You Need Reliability Prediction

In today's very competitive electronic products market, a commitment to product quality and reliability is a necessity: customers have high expectations for the reliability of the products they buy, and the companies that don't meet those expectations lose. You already know the advantages to your company of building reliable products: when the products you sell operate reliably, your reputation grows, your costs shrink, and your business prospers.

The most successful companies meet these market demands for quality by using design for reliability principles: integrate reliability considerations into the entire product design process, right from the start. This way reliability is designed into the product, not patched on later, when problems arise. The companies that practice design for reliability find that it results in fewer design changes and iterations, lower manufacturing costs, lower warranty and service costs, more profit, and, most importantly, happy customers.

An important element of the design for reliability process is reliability prediction, which allows you to predict product failure rates.

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How Reliability Can Pay Off

To give you an idea of how the reliability of your product can impact your company's fortunes, consider an example. We will assume: the typical customer operates your product for 300 hours per month; your product warranty is for 1 year; an exponential reliability function. We will tabulate the expected failures of field units in one year, based on product MTBF in hours.

MTBF
Failure Free
Failure
5,000
48.7%
51.3%
10,000
69.8%
30.2%
20,000
83.5%
16.5%
40,000
91.4%
8.6%

Note that at 5,000 hours MTBF, over half of the units can be expected to fail in the one year period. When you consider that every failure costs you repair dollars, and also represents a potentially unhappy customer, you can see how your business literally depends on your product's reliability.

Assist your company in pursuing international competitiveness. Not just domestic customers, but increasingly foreign ones are requesting reliability predictions in their purchasing process.

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Copyright © 2016 Amoroso Reliability Associates, LLC. All rights reserved.
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Last modified: 2/01/14

 

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