With an increase in the technical complexity of products and the advent of global competition there has been a growing concern about product reliability. It is estimated that 70% of all problems in automotive industry are design related. The reliability and durability are the two most important dimensions out of the eight quality dimensions namely performance, conformance, features, aesthetics, reliability, durability, serviceability and perceived quality image of the company. Today, customers have been sensitized to a higher level of expectations and demand products that are highly reliable/ durable yet affordable. Therefore, there are three requirements for achieving a reliable product:
- The design must have margin with respect to the stresses to which it will be subjected during manufacturing and actual field use
- The manufacturing process must be stable and completely documented. Variations from the “ tried and true” must be considered experimental until proved
- There must be an effective feedback and corrective action system, which can identify and resolve problems quickly, in engineering, manufacturing, and field.
Therefore, companies need to develop products and processes to consistently perform as intended in meeting the customer requirements during their useful life under the wide range of real world operating conditions.