Design revolution

March 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 products under customer warranty agreements. Their design for reliability (DFR) approach, if implemented in the early development phase 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 early development 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.

"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
-end-


Inderscience Publishers

Related Approach Articles from Brightsurf:

Novel therapy approach for hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia
A new method to treat hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia has proven highly selective in targeting lesions and effective in slowing tumor growth, according to research published in the November issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

Promising therapeutic approach against COPD
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the most common and deadliest diseases worldwide.

New therapeutic approach against leukemia
Using an RNA molecule complex, researchers can prevent retention of cancer stem cell in their tumor supporting niche

New approach to exotic quantum matter
A team of international researchers reports on new advances in the understanding of fractional angular momentum and anyon statistics of impurities in Laughlin liquids.

A novel approach to childhood obesity prevention
A novel taxonomic approach to obesity prevention using existing U.S.

An embedded ethics approach for AI development
The increasing use of AI (artificial intelligence) in the development of new medical technologies demands greater attention to ethical aspects.

A new approach to the hunt for dark matter
A study that takes a novel approach to the search for dark matter has been performed by the BASE Collaboration at CERN working together with a team at the PRISMA+ Cluster of Excellence at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU).

A new approach to tackle superbugs
Scientists have uncovered a novel antibiotic-free approach that could help prevent and treat one of the most widespread bacterial pathogens, using nanocapsules made of natural ingredients.

A new approach to reconstructing protein evolution
One angle scientists have taken to explore how protein functions arise is to trace family evolution and relatedness, which is difficult.

A new mathematical approach to understanding zeolites
A system developed at MIT helps to identify zeolites that can readily transform into other zeolite forms, which are widely used as catalysts in industrial processes.

Read More: Approach News and Approach Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.