Product Reliability Improvement Roadmap

“Mark Norris will be contributing two chapters to a forthcoming book on through-life engineering.


One considers the use of a product Reliability Improvement Roadmap.


Not all product manufacturers have a formal process for reliability improvement either during the development process or following introduction to the market place. If such a process does not exist, nor the skills to implement it, how could an organisation introduce them all?

The case study presented here shows the methodology, tools, techniques and processes used to introduce a reliability improvement process to a division of a multi-national industrial equipment manufacturer across six companies in four countries and three time zones to control and reduce increasing warranty costs. Within six months, warranty costs were under control. After a further three years, warranty costs had been reduced by 66%. What is discussed here is the successful application of the proposed solution.

Following an initial period of investigation, to establish current practice within each entity of the division, a Reliability Improvement Road map was created to take the company forward in a series of steps; from having no improvement process, to aligned processes (a common baseline) through basic, minimum standard, industry standard, industry leading to a world class continuous improvement process.

Changes to the company culture as well as a three tiered training process are explored along with the timing and implementation of changes and training. Areas covered include; A3 Problem Solving, Fault Tree Analysis (FTA), Potential Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA), Generic Risk Factors, Knowledge Transfer Network, use of a software platform etc.”