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October 15, 2014

Mtg: Consumer Product Field Failures – An Engineering Approach

by @ 11:32 am. Filed under ALL, Communications, Computers/Software, Electronics Design, Engineering Mgmt

TUESDAY October 21, 2014
SCV Product Safety Engineering Chapter
– discipline, analysis, design improvement, practical steps …
Speaker: Karen Rayment, Licensed Professional Engineer and consultant
Time: Optional dinner at 5:15 PM at Honba Sushi; presentation at 6:45 PM at UL
Cost: none (for talk)
Place: Honba Sushi, 2587 North 1st St, San Jose; talk at Underwriters Laboratories, 455 E. Trimble Rd., San Jose
RSVP: from website

Field failures are a good source of engineering data if rigor and discipline are applied to the failure analysis process for returned products.  The problem with gathering good data from field returns is twofold.  First, it is difficult to approach each returned, failed unit with exactly the same discipline, and with the same engineering approach, for most companies.
Second, and sometimes most frustrating for Engineering, customer service departments typically processes returns and complaints after speaking directly with customers.  While they are excellent and compassionate with customers, this team may not be linked directly to the engineers who design products in their company.
The complaints and details of field failures also come through Customer Service, and may get routed back to engineering, but may be emotional rather than technical.  A good, consistent analysis process must be employed by Engineering, and then the information from the analysis must be fed back into future design endeavours. If field failures are ever to count as a valuable Engineering resource, and as an additional design cycle data source, Engineering must be able to harvest data from returned products in an orderly manner.
AIM:  This conversation with the audience will highlight some of the practical steps Engineering can take to close the loop on â??first conceptâ?, through development, through post-manufacturing failure analysis for consumer products.  With a strong internal process, and with awareness of the surrounding issues with field returns, failures in the field can make an Engineering team stronger and more organized during design and testing phases of product development.


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