Predicting Problems

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Date
2010-11-01
Authors
Meeker, William
Doganaksoy, Necip
Meeker, William
Hahn, Gerald
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Altmetrics
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Statistics
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Statistics
Abstract

Manufacturers must frequently predict the number of future field failures for a product using past field-failure data, especially when an unanticipated failure mode is discovered in the field. Such predictions are needed to quantify future warranty costs and ensure a sufficient number of spare parts will be available to quickly repair failed units. In extreme cases, failure predictions are also needed to decide whether a recall is warranted and, if so, which segments of the product population must be recalled -- such as the units built during a specified period of time or those produced in a particular plant. Using an example of a fictitious company dealing with a failed part, this article will describe statistical methods for making these predictions.

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This article is published as Meeker, W.Q., Doganaksoy, N., and Hahn, G.J. (2010), Predicting Problems. Quality Progress 43, November, 52–55. Posted with permission.

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