World Class Reliability: Using Multiple Environment Overstress Tests to Make It Happen

World Class Reliability: Using Multiple Environment Overstress Tests to Make It Happen

World Class Reliability: Using Multiple Environment Overstress Tests to Make It Happen

World Class Reliability: Using Multiple Environment Overstress Tests to Make It Happen

Synopsis

"Six Sigma has been a giant in the quality movement but has been a pygmy in improving field reliability, i.e., reducing failure rates for customers. Traditional reliability techniques are woefully inadequate and produce fictitious reliability numbers.

World Class Reliability, by contrast, presents a powerful technique to improve reliability by factors of 10:1 and even 100:1. It is Multiple Environment Overstress Tests (MEOST), used by NASA on its famous Lunar Module. Field failures that are found, traditionally, only after months of field exposure can now be ""smoked out"" in hours in the design laboratory and rapidly corrected; MEOST achieves this by combining several stresses and taking them beyond design stress very, very rapidly.

The result: fantastic reliability improvements; much reduced design cost, manpower, and cycle time; speed to market well ahead of competition; customer loyalty and dramatic profit enhancements for corporations."

Excerpt

Despite Six Sigma, field failure rates are deplorable.

The Six Sigma initiative that we launched at Motorola eighteen years ago has won laurels all over the world. As a series of disciplines, it has far exceeded any quality movement in the last fifty years. At Motorola, we achieved an astonishing 800-to-1 quality improvement in ten years, a feat unparalleled in any company, in any country.

Yet, the customers of many companies that attempted to clone our Six Sigma process were far from satisfied. They pointedly complained that the failure rates in the field were unacceptably high. What was worse, these failure rates beyond the warranty period soared even higher; but the manufacturing companies—their suppliers—would conveniently wash their hands of all responsibility for these out-of-warranty failures.

The reason for this disconnect between low defect rates in a plant and high failure rates in a customer’s field operations is the overconcentration on quality and the almost total neglect of reliability. There is a fundamental difference between quality and reliability. Quality is the goodness of the product as it . . .

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