HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Guest Blogs

Responsibility & Integrity a Must in Manufacturing

NO RATINGS
Page 1 / 2 Next >
View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
<<  <  Page 2/2
3drob
User Rank
Platinum
Re: At minimum, a warning was required
3drob   1/4/2012 9:59:59 AM
NO RATINGS
Not fixing the problem is an acceptable action by the company, but ONLY if an Errata is clearly provided (either in the part's data sheet or on their web site located where it is plainly visible when looking for documentation).  Chip manufacturer's do this all the time and it's a reasonable solution to component problems found late in the development cycle.

On the other hand, sweeping the problem under the rug (and hoping for the best) is clearly unethical, at best.  At worst it shows a casual disregard for their own reputaion and for their customer's time. 

Not sharing this companies name only rewards this kind of behavior.  It's venues like this that can have positive results in getting companies to do the right thing (but only if the light shines on them, specifically).

TJ McDermott
User Rank
Blogger
Re: At minimum, a warning was required
TJ McDermott   1/3/2012 9:16:35 PM
NO RATINGS
Charles, in this particular instance, fixing the firmware would have required rather extensive testing and documentation.  The device was a safety relay.  It would have likely affected the documentation filed with the responsible authority that approved the device (UL, TUV, CSA, etc.).

I really can see the manufacturer's point of view to not bother, since a new series was coming.

I only object to the fact that they continued to sell the defective product with no obvious warning.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: At minimum, a warning was required
Charles Murray   1/3/2012 9:13:06 PM
NO RATINGS
The author is absolutely right: It's an integrity issue. For some reason, manufacturers sometimes ignore firmware problems, whereas they wouldn't ignore a faulty motor. Even though a firmware fix appears to cost less, it can waste massive amounts of time and labor.

TJ McDermott
User Rank
Blogger
Re: At minimum, a warning was required
TJ McDermott   1/3/2012 9:52:03 AM
NO RATINGS
The instructor at a BISSC training class, on the subject of food recalls, the instructor quoted a nameless CEO on the question "What is your company's name worth?"  The CEO's answer was "Billions".

The context was, that if a company didn't get in front of a product recall, their company name would suffer greatly; the cost of the recall would always be less than not doing anything.  Ideally, a food company would have no recalls, and an industrial automation company would make perfect parts.

This company does try to keep its customers notified.  They send out product advisories when they discover a problem and know you have purchased that particular product, and they have an extensive knowledgebase.  The information is there, if you know to look for it.  I suppose in their eyes, they've done due diligence.  In this case, I don't think the actions were enough.

I've also begun to wonder how extensive a problem this is as well.

Alexander Wolfe
User Rank
Blogger
Re: At minimum, a warning was required
Alexander Wolfe   1/3/2012 8:53:56 AM
NO RATINGS
I agree about a warnig being issued. On a broader level, one can infer from TJ's post that this kind of stuff is much more frequent than one supposes. Here, it came to light, but in many cases it doesn't. Do this "fix it" versus "cost" issue is something many manufacturers have to deal with, and I guess we can guess where the decision often ends up, if there's not a hard failure or solid safety issue involved. So this post raises some questions well worth thinking about.

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
At minimum, a warning was required
Beth Stackpole   1/3/2012 7:05:56 AM
NO RATINGS
I have to agree with your first inclination, TJ. There should have been an official warning issued and a red flag in the manufacturing system, as you suggested, so prospective buyers had the full skinny on the problem before committing to purchase the component. Just because the manufacturer responded on the up and up AFTER you found the problem doesn't absolve them of that responsibility--in my book, any way. You are right to call them on the carpet.

<<  <  Page 2/2
Partner Zone
More Blogs from Guest Blogs
Iterative design — the cycle of prototyping, testing, analyzing, and refining a product — existed long before additive manufacturing, but it has never been as efficient and approachable as it is today with 3D printing.
People usually think of a time constant as the time it takes a first order system to change 63% of the way to the steady state value in response to a step change in the input -- it’s basically a measure of the responsiveness of the system. This is true, but in reality, time constants are often not constant. They can change just like system gains change as the environment or the geometry of the system changes.
At its core, sound is a relatively simple natural phenomenon caused by pressure pulsations or vibrations propagating through various mediums in the world around us. Studies have shown that the complete absence of sound can drive a person insane, causing them to experience hallucinations. Likewise, loud and overwhelming sound can have the same effect. This especially holds true in manufacturing and plant environments where loud noises are the norm.
The tech industry is no stranger to crowdsourcing funding for new projects, and the team at element14 are no strangers to crowdsourcing ideas for new projects through its design competitions. But what about crowdsourcing new components?
It has been common wisdom of late that anything you needed to manufacture could be made more cost-effectively on foreign shores. Following World War II, the label “Made in Japan” was as ubiquitous as is the “Made in China” version today and often had very similar -- not always positive -- connotations. Along the way, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, and other Pacific-rim nations have each had their turn at being the preferred low-cost alternative to manufacturing here in the US.
Design News Webinar Series
11/19/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
11/6/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
10/7/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Dec 1 - 5, An Introduction to Embedded Software Architecture and Design
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Last Archived Class
Sponsored by Littelfuse
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service