Technology Risk Assessment in the Concept Phase
The identification, categorization and prioritization of hardware and software threats to achieving key reliability business objectives.
There are two areas of Technology Risk that can lead to an unknown amount of increased reliability risk:
New product concepts or new technology innovations may have an unclear reliability performance
An existing product may be heading into a new market or usage profile with unknown increases in product failure rates.
To identify and establish an action plan to remove uncertainty and mitigate business risks involved with product technology reliability performance.
VALUE TO YOUR ORGANIZATION
Reduce uncertainty and focus resources on the critical few reliability issues. Identify as early as possible significant program risks.
An example of Reliability Integration during a Technology Risk Assessment is as follows:
Reliability Goals and Vendor Program Assessments Feed into Technology Risk Assessments
Frame early product design architecture and engineering approaches to solve key reliability issues to minimize overall program risk. Establish realistic reliability goals. Provide input to supplier selection criteria and reliability management programs.
Through concept reviews and analysis, and through workshops with key designers/suppliers, establish expected performance and definition of failure, and identify critical low margin elements. Plus, look for key design paradigms that may lead to design flaws impacting a product’s reliability.
The following case studies and options provide example approaches. We shall tailor our approach to meet your specific situation.
Integrating New Technology Component into a Product
When organic tantalum capacitors were first introduced, engineers found that the new capacitor’s electrical properties would solve some critical design issues. One of their first questions was how to properly derate the components and the second question was how long will they last in applications. The uncertainty around the second question would have prevented the use of the components. We helped them develop a series of reliability tests focused on the fundamental function of the new capacitors and how they would react to reasonable stress conditions. This led to a data-driven understanding of the reliability of the new technology, thereby reducing the risk of uncertainty.
Developing Products into a New Market
A medical company recently designed a new product for a new market, and given a limited development budget, needed to know the highest risk (to reliability) areas to focus improvement efforts. We facilitated a short Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) and failure modes research study to allow the development team to quickly prioritize the highest risk subsystems and components in the plan of record. Once identified the team quickly addressed and reduced the reliability risk in a significant manner.