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
Machine vision and video streaming systems are used for a variety of purposes, and each has applications for which it is best suited. This denotes that there are differences between them, and these differences can be categorized as the type of lenses used, the resolution of imaging elements, and the underlying software used to interpret the data.
In the face of growing challenges for embedded technology engineers, designers should actually be designing for a new IoT -- the Internet of Tomorrow.
As today’s product design cycles are held to tighter schedules and budget constraints, it’s becoming even more critical to consider human factors up front to catch and fix problems during the initial development stages, when it’s faster and less costly to do so. Overlooking human factors at the beginning of the design cycle could lead to poor user experience, a decrease in effective product performance, and an increase in safety risk to the user.
Plastic part manufacturers are always looking for ways to reduce cycle time and get more productivity out of their injection molding machinery. One of the longstanding constraints in injection molding production has been cooling time. Removing parts from the mold before they have cooled induces warping or shrinking. But wait time works against productivity.
Editor’s Note: This is part 1 of an in-depth look at six added-value opportunities -- adjacent to the aluminum extrusion option -- that OEMs can integrate to upgrade supply chain interactions from basic buyer-vendor transactions to critical collaborations on strategic, single-source solutions.
Design News Webinar Series
3/31/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
2/25/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
5/7/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.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.
May 4 - 8, Designing Low Power Systems using Battery and Energy Harvesting Energy Sources
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6 |  7


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 Proto Labs
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2015 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service