Industry Insights

New Keysight Test Equipment Report Highlights Connection Between Quality and The Bottom Line

2019-06-17  |  4 min read 

In recent weeks, Keysight released The Keysight Test Equipment Report. The report, based on the results of a survey conducted by Dimensional Research, focused on 306 participants that use test equipment to ensure electronic device quality and testing. The survey sought to understand the challenges of achieving electronic hardware manufacturing quality.

Given the rapid pace of change in electronic product innovation over the last decade, new product designers and production engineering managers face increasingly complex electronic designs and shorter product development cycles. These pressures increase the likelihood of using uncalibrated test equipment. Needless to say, the implications for device quality and testing are significant; out-of-calibration test equipment can profoundly impact product quality and production yields. When devices incorrectly pass because equipment inaccurately measures the results, there is a negative impact on a company’s brand image due to products being out of spec.

Growing Complexity Makes the Need for Calibration More Crucial

The survey findings reveal just how critical calibration is to designers and engineers. According to the findings, 64% of respondents confirmed that ensuring product quality is getting more difficult due to the increasing complexity of electronics and corresponding complexity of the testing required to measure quality. Respondents reported that quality challenges originate from escalating customer demands and tighter measurement tolerances.

The findings also highlight the risks out-of-calibration test equipment can have on product quality. Design and product quality issues directly impact a company’s bottom line by increasing costs, delaying new product launches, and disappointing customers with poor quality which directly impacts brand image.

Looking closely at quality issues, survey respondents reported that out-of-calibration test equipment caused product rejection, recalls, losses, and product returns. Further, 49% of the companies surveyed said they lose $100,000 or more for every 1% loss of yield.

Product Quality Issues Hit the Bottom Line

While extreme product quality issues often make headlines, 92% of survey respondents said that they suffer significant business impact from error-prone test equipment. In addition, respondents reported that quality issues frequently impact the bottom line. They cited increased costs to repair or dispose of defective products and lost business, potential lawsuits and regulatory penalties, as well as lost time-to-market or market advantages, damaged customer relationships, and damage to brand reputation.

The results of the survey validate our assumption that calibration is an important element in a test strategy and production workflow. Calibration should be at the forefront of your plans and not buried in test plans as an afterthought. If it is not considered a critical success factor, you could suffer a hit to your brand image and bottom line.

If you’d like to know more about this topic, check out the full report here.