When introducing a product into a new market, determining the current market players' reliability performance may lead to a competitive advantage. Or, if your competition is using reliability as a marketing lead, does your product match their performance or do they have the advantage?
During the Competitive Analysis, we compare the major reliability features of your product with those of your competitors product and use a scoring system to rank the results.
Also, understanding the methods used may lead to insights on improving your reliability program. The results are used as input to the gap analysis to determine appropriate next steps to improve your organization's reliability program.
A Competitive Analysis is valuable because it helps steer resources to appropriate areas for reliability improvement efforts. Whenever we set out to improve the reliability of a product, we must be concerned about cost. The Competitive Analysis will show you in what areas you need to improve and by how much in order to become the industry leader in reliability without pricing yourself out of the market.
The analysis may consist of many different techniques, from comparing reliability predictions or FMECAs to performing side-by-side Environmental Tests or Highly Accelerated Life Testing. One key aspect of the analysis is that a scoring system is developed that can be applied to the products in the same way. This sometimes can be tricky, especially if two products achieve the same results using different technologies.
One valuable analytical technique during the Competitive Analysis is the Teardown Analysis.
In the Teardown Analysis, we start with one sample of each product. Then we take each product apart and perform a detailed reliability analysis on each review number of components (parts count complexity), failure modes and failures rates of major technological elements, analysis on wear of mechanical components, soundness of seals, and more. Our experienced reliability engineers have an eye for how products fail. For each component and assembly, we are looking for these types of potential issues. Below is a list of possible areas of analysis:
Notice in this example the customers product has some distinct advantages in the area of workmanship and manufacturability but there is room for improvement in several other areas, especially in the robustness, and the mechanical and electrical design.
We can use similar scoring systems for other Competitive Analysis methods to come up with an overall understand of product strengths and weaknesses. Then we can select specific reliability techniques to help improve these areas.