Warranty to Failure Rate
Join Chris and Fred as they discuss how we can (if possible) learn anything about the reliability of components and systems from their ‘warranty period’ in the absence of reliability specifications.
- Assumption for this to work #1: The vendor actually knows what their optimal warranty actually is. This is not always the case. Some organizations budget a ‘set amount’ of accrual to cover their warranty costs … regardless of any system reliability analysis. Some of these organizations have a single number for all their different products. Some organizations rely on customers who struggle to be able to ratify warranty claims (i.e. demonstrate adherence to a use case).
- Assumption for this to work #2: There is an effort to calculate a profitable warranty period/reliability goal. Following on from the assumption above … but even if there is a warranty period and reliability goal extracted from the business case … does anyone actually determine if the product actually meets that goal.
- Assumption for this to work #3: Vendors get to choose their warranty period. The European Union (EU) mandates warranty periods for certain products … so do all those products have the same reliability characteristics?
- Assumption for this to work #4: Many companies’ profit margin is affected by warranty. Some companies have such a monopoly on a technology that their profit margin is so high that warranty action doesn’t really affect it (too much). So they don’t care.
- So what can we do? The answer is something you might not like. It is cultural. You need to OWN reliability. That means you think about it from the start. Before you select vendors you tell them that you need to be involved in their reliability analysis efforts. These efforts will inform if that vendor is selected (or not). If the vendor you select still (for whatever reason) can’t give you what you need, then you need to do your own testing, analysis or research to find out its reliability characteristics. And because of your efforts to establish this relationship with all your suppliers, this need for you to conduct analysis should be rare. But … you need to own it (and not think the only thing you can do is ‘lookup’ more failure rates from some book … from the internet … somewhere).
Enjoy an episode of Speaking of Reliability. Where you can join friends as they discuss reliability topics. Join us as we discuss topics ranging from design for reliability techniques to field data analysis approaches.