When electronic vehicle systems fail, itís often not the fault of microcontrollers, memories or integrated circuits. By watching for some of the following problems, designers can often boost reliability of end products, especially in automobiles.
Minimize connections. Thereís a high correlation between reliability and the number of electrical connections made at an assembly plant. A dashboard with ten connections, for example, is likely to be more reliable than one with 50 connections.
Make sure wires donít rub against sharp pieces of metal.†
Ensure connections go together with an audible snap. If assemblers hear the snap, they know itís connected.
Design in reliability at the beginning. Usually, if a car starts out reliable in its first model year, it stays that way.
As manufacturers add new technologies to their products, designing for compliance becomes more difficult.†Prepare for the certification testing process. Otherwise, you increase the risk of discovering a safety issue after a product leaves the assembly line. That will†cause significant time-to-market delays,†be much costlier to fix, and damage your brand in the eyes of customers.†
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