S. Tiku and M. Pecht
CALCE Electronic Products and Systems Center
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
Cranfield University, Bedford, Beds. MK43 OAL, UK
The rapid pace of technological developments and the globalisation of supply chains have made electronics manufacturers dependent upon worldwide suppliers who provide them with parts or subassemblies. Currently, many equipment manufacturers and system integrators have to wait until they get the parts or sub-assemblies to assess if they are reliable. This can be an expensive iterative process. An upfront evaluation of suppliers is a viable alternative. This requires the identification of practices that should comprise the product and process development efforts of suppliers to assure the customers that they can supply reliable products. These key practices can be used for setting benchmarks for manufacturers to assess their potential suppliers and/or suppliers to assess themselves.
This paper identifies the need for assessment of suppliers and vendors, and introduces the concept of reliability capability of an organization. A list of key practices that can be used as benchmarks to assess whether an organization has the ability to design, develop and manufacture reliable electronic products is also presented.
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