Improving Reliability Through Warranty Data Analysis
Today's emphasis on proactive improvement calls for building high reliability into products at design. The goal is to avoid field failures during a product's estimated lifetime. But despite best efforts, field failures, especially on newly released products, sometimes still happen. So you need to establish processes that address such failures, mitigate their impact and, most importantly, prevent their repetition. Warranty data are frequently used for this purpose. Establishing a process that ensures up front the needed data are gathered is the most important -- and sometimes the most neglected -- part of most reliability analyses. The major usefulness of the reliability tracking system is its dynamic nature. Its key benefit is not the retrospective evaluation after four years but the information it provides much sooner. The system helped those responsible detect, pinpoint and remove problems appreciably sooner than would have been possible without the system.
This article is published as Doganaksoy, N., Hahn, G.J., and Meeker, W.Q., (2006), Improving Reliability Through Warranty Data Analysis. Quality Progress 39, November, 63–67. Posted with permission.