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System - Quality Components

The quality of underlying components is the measure that manufacturers use to determine the expected failure rates for a system. While quality of components is a significant factor in determining expected failure rates it is significantly affected by other relevant factors such as movement, heat and user involvement.

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Product Cycles

At the start of a product cycle, manufacturers often use components that are specialty items made by only one supplier. They do this as a way to deliver cutting edge products to market. As such, the quality frequently varies greatly. The result for a buyer of systems is that there is a higher variability of failure rates with new products.


Just past the earliest stages development when products start to ship in modest quantities, something surprising occurs: quality improves. As a product becomes more widely deployed and more customers buy it, economies of scale and production cycles usually require that more than one company provide the base components. Our experience is that quality increases as component providers strive to meet quality standards set out by manufacturers in a competitive environment.

Product Acceptance

Once the broad market accepts a product, manufacturers often look to find ways to ship higher volumes at lower and lower costs of production. This drives costs down and component quality follows. Assembly practices slip as volumes rise and lower cost components are often used to replace higher quality components in original designs.

All this forms a system failure sequence starting in early production with variable failure rates, moving to consistently higher quality in mid-cycle and declining in quality as the broad market accepts the products and as prices drop.

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