Business mandates, governmental regulation and consumer demand for safety, performance, fuel efficiency, and reliability has driven rapid introduction of new, densely packaged, interoperable multi-purpose systems in the automotive industry. Automotive design now incorporates between 70 and 100 networked microprocessor-based electronic control units (ECUs) per vehicle. Some experts predict that by 2015 electronics will account for as much as 40% of production costs.
Proliferation of innovative, sophisticated automotive electronics, such as telematics and mechatronics, increases the risk of component or system failure. Integrating ESPEC Qualmark’s accelerated reliability technology in automotive reliability design and engineering provides the opportunity to manifest failure modes that are not predicted by MTBF/MTTF (Mean time Between Failures/Mean Time to Failure). Perhaps more importantly, HALT and HASS testing can identify key performance indicators (KPI) that point to hard-to-predict/detect issues such as intermittent failures.
ESPEC Qualmark’s accelerated reliability solutions provide the optimal framework for ODM/OEM/CM/Supply Chain failure mode data capture so essential for effective FMEA/FMECA (Failure Mode Effects Analysis/Failure Mode Effects & Criticality Analysis). ESPEC Qualmark’s technology enhances failure mode detection so that potential warranty issues previously not detected with traditional use of FMEA, RGT (Reliability Growth Testing) and other legacy qualification processes, can be found and removed early in the design process.
With 2012 US OEM automotive warranty claims hovering around 2% of product sales (Source: Warranty Week) and with suppliers paying a greater percentage of that total than they ever have before, any technology that can help bring more mature and reliable products to market faster for less cost should be given serious consideration. ESPEC Qualmark accelerated reliability test technology is specifically engineered to help fortify design and sustain manufacture integrity of electronic and electromechanical components, presenting the opportunity to reduce gross warranty claims by preventing marginal product from ever leaving the factory.