Reliability Sample Testing - A Case History


Scovronek, Jay   (2001, ASQ)   Burroughs Corporation, Warren Township, NJ

Quality Progress    Vol. 34    No. 2
QICID: 14350    February 2001    pp. 43-45
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Article Abstract

It is difficult to convince management that reliability testing is a worthwhile investment, so when an effort makes an obvious impact on net profits, it's wise to let management hear about it. A case history follows steps the Burroughs Corporation's Electronic Components Division took to correct problems with the Panaplex II panel display that companies today can use to achieve the same results. Developed in 1972, Burroughs' multidigit cold cathode display device faced stiff competition from liquid crystal and light emitting diode displays. To prevent mistakes that would have been catastrophic to market position, extensive product improvement and value analysis testing was carried out. Additionally, samples of tubes from the finished goods department were subjected to 1,000 hours of continuous use in order to monitor each week's production. When ten percent of one sample batch proved to be defective, shipments were frozen and the product assurance manager contacted a customer who had received a shipment from the bad lot, offering him the option of returning the defective lot. The testing program detected the deviation from normal, steps to verify were taken quickly, and when the problem was adequately defined, higher management was able to act to retain customer confidence.


Product quality,Quality assurance (QA),Case study,Customer retention,Corrective action

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