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A high performance electronics manufacturer shared a problem in late 2017. They had designed a device for use in security applications. The device was designed to be used in extreme environment of heat and vibration to detect a certain kind of event. Components were designed to use specifications and a process was designed to connect components, package and assemble into the finished product. The process was validated successfully and operationalized.

However, the manufacturer ran into two issues within a year of starting operations.

One, devices failed in the field sometimes. For a few months, there would be low frequency of failures; and for a short duration, the failure frequency would go high before dropping down again. Second, there were intermittent failures during final testing.

In all these cases, investigations were not able to identify any out-of-spec raw materials or processes conditions.

In all these cases, investigations were not able to identify any out-of-spec raw materials or processes conditions.

In all these cases, investigations were not able to identify any out-of-spec raw materials or processes conditions.

If those groups of devices were not released, the field failure rate went to a very low frequency. In the short term, the organization used an accelerated device level test of samples from each component group to screen for low performing devices. The Wynum platform was able to

  • Provide confidence of product lots based on the history of failure from screening samples

  • Use failure tracking in the field to provide confidence of performance of devices released

A third module helped predict confidence in each group of devices manufactured based on field and testing performance of devices made with those component lots. This helped the organization take off components that were the cause of low confidence from the manufacturing process while also ensuring that confidence levels of released products stayed high.

The organization has continued to use the process tracking, the traceability and failure / product confidence prediction module.

  • Process parameters, in-line test results and yields in every batch are tracked. Trends are identified and shared. Batches with low yields or specific trends are relayed to predetermined management groups.

  • Traceability and product confidence modules analyze every lot of devices produced. Lots with high in-line failures or low yields are identified and the confidence of each lot is assessed. Those with lower than a preset confidence level is scrapped or quarantined. The traceability module uses this analysis to continuous advise on raw material batches – rejecting raw materials that can result in failure thereby resulting in lower cost of scrap and improved yields.

  • Field performance and complaints have also been integrated into the product confidence module; thus the module also includes these results for assessment of product confidence.

As the volume of product increased and new failures modes were seen, the traceability module was used to quickly identify components that may have been at risk, thereby reducing exposure of failure to the market.

These modules (real time process tracking, and the component traceability modules) are now available for broad use. The process tracking module has been now used in chemical industries, electronics industries, medical device industries to ensure

  • Realtime compliance of processes to SOP or process specifications

  • Reduction in variation in production quality and processes across plant sites.

The traceability module allows for quick assessment of status of devices, identification of what components were used and how they were processed. The product confidence module / failure assessment module was a customized module built on the traceability module allowing for continuous assessment / prediction product performance. This module is available, but its performance needs to be customized to each process.

By reducing the turnaround time in failure assessment post-failure, Wynum modules allow for greater confidence in product released, reduced scrap and reduced cost of operations. Additionally, this has also allowed for institutionalization of operational knowledge that sometimes is lost with personnel turnover. By conservative estimates, these solutions continue to provide between USD40k-500k for each of our clients.