We work well with all sizes of business; Start-ups, Mid-size and Multi-national
The following are examples of our past and ongoing projects supporting our clients.
- Leading Oil & Gas Company 5-year Plan
Comprehensive end-to-end reliability capability improvement plan; opportunities for benchmark improvement
- Electric Power Source Reliability Assurance
Field reliability risk reduction through design analysis, DoE-based accelerated life testing and manufacturing improvement; knowledge transfer to next generation product
- Low-cost Consumer Product Development Process
Target reliability activities on customer and business benefits; lead project team member
- Corporate reliability capability assessment
Integrate reliability as a core capability for medical device company; mentor key staff
- High-Tech Start-up New Product Development
Deliver game-changing product reliability on-budget & on-time; new market opportunities
- New Reliability Strategy
Delivering competitive advantage through customer-centric reliability; 40% ROI improvement
Leading Oil & Gas Company 5-year Plan
One of the top oil & gas companies requested assessment and an improvement plan that would enable a minimum level of reliability capability for their tool division. This was a company with many “traditions” and an observed reluctance to change.
We interviewed 30 staff over several days and toured their development and manufacturing sites. Our report included 25 recommendations.
Our assessment concluded that the company was not then able to focus or control product reliability, and would need significant improvements across all areas. Accordingly, in collaboration with management teams, we developed an improvement plan spanning 3 years, with resource, timing, task, and input/output details.
Electric Power Source Reliability Assurance
The designer of a novel industrial-grade electrical power source requested our support to derive reliability assurance of their product.
Review of the design, its manufacture, supplied parts, test results and limited field data, indicated that there were significant risks and that reliability could not be assured without additional analysis, testing and manufacturing improvement.
In collaboration with the design engineers, we identified several key failure risks and proposed a design-of-experiment based accelerated test plan to better understand and quantify the risks, and to provide opportunity for improvement as appropriate. This test suite quickly identified critical areas for improvement and validated the earlier risk assessment.
Application of these improvements saved the company major warranty cost and loss of reputation.
In addition to improvement to the existing product, a new power system design was also able to incorporate the knowledge gained.
Low-cost Consumer Product Development Process
A multi-national brand-name company requested our input to an initiative to better define their product development process, especially with respect to reliability. Their product price range is from ≈$15 to ≈$200. Accordingly, the scope and focus for reliability efforts must be clearly targeted on their benefits to customer and business.
We have provided white papers describing topics such as test planning, requirement capture, integration of reliability with business models, and use of designed experiments. We fully participate in the ongoing development of their cross-functional team master project plan. We also participate in ongoing projects, providing guidance, facilitation in using reliability tools, and specific design recommendations.
We continue to support this client.
Corporate reliability capability assessment
A leading medical equipment provider recognized that their products were not providing consistent reliability. In addition, the several teams involved in product development did not appear to be focused on the same objectives. After discussion, and with executive support, it was agreed that a full assessment of the teams involved in the development, manufacture and support of the company’s major products should be carried out, following IEEE Std 1624.
We spent several days on-site, interviewing over 30 staff, reviewing documentation (specifications, plans, procedures, design and development results, manufacturing processes and results, field data, etc.) and assessing performance and opportunities.
Our report included 21 recommendations, covering planning, requirements, training and development, reliability analysis, testing, supply chain management, failure data tracking and analysis, verification and validation, and knowledge-based improvements.
Results and potential benefits were discussed with senior management and executive staff. Implementation plans were then developed internally to the company.
Implementation of the recommendations will be reviewed during a follow-up assessment planned for Q4 2016. We have been requested to make additional recommendations to further develop their capability to deliver consistent product reliability.” New text “Implementation of the recommendations was reviewed during a follow-up assessment in Q4 2016. Improvements were noted and, in addition, we are now contracted to provide specialist resource in support of projects and skills development. We continue to support this client.
High-Tech Start-up New Product Development
A high-tech start-up company with a potentially “game-changing” consumer product needed help to ensure that reliability was properly considered in the design and project plan. The time-to-market planning was aggressive.
We facilitated a functional Failure Modes & Effects Analysis, with design and other project staff. We emphasized clarifying the functional requirements of each major component of the design. This resulted in identifying several aspects that had not been considered previously. The subsequent failure modes then also identified many aspects that would affect customer satisfaction. Further analysis was undertaken within the FMEA that resulted in corrective action and design assurance planning. We developed reliability test plans and continued to provide advice during subsequent development.
The final product met with great success, offering groundbreaking performance at a game-changing price. Reliability and robustness had been well facilitated by timely analysis and focus into the project plan.
Follow on development is understood to include emergency service and military customers.
New Reliability Strategy
A leading outdoor display technology company recognized that their customers were expressing some dis-satisfaction, indicating that field reliability was falling short of the company’s competitors. Following initial discussions, we recommended that an overall assessment of their capability to deliver consistent reliability should be undertaken, following IEEE Std 1624.
The company was found to already follow knowledge-based practices in all departments and had highly skilled staff. However, our report was still able to identify potential improvements and included 30 recommendations.
Our recommendations included a change of reliability metrics, from “failure rate” to ones that directly mapped to customer benefits:
- A maximum number of unplanned failure events per year, assured to a high level of confidence
- An increased Bx% life
The new reliability targets became integrated in all new developments as the company’s reliability strategy.
Application of our recommendations was identified to offer customer ROI improvement per unit delivered of 34%, and to reduce warranty costs by 77%.
We continue to work with the company, regularly reviewing design models, test plans, test results, field data, root cause analysis efforts, and in making recommendations. Webinars have been given to engineers of all disciplines, to deepen their understanding and their role in product reliability delivery. Selected engineers have studied for the Certified Reliability Engineer exam, and all passed.
Our mentoring of this company continues.
We have been requested to undertake a repeat IEEE 1624 reliability capability assessment in Q1 2017. This review is intended to validate the improvements the company has implemented (and their benefits), and to facilitate further growth.