Off-shoring EMS and the Barrier of Test-in-Reliability 2008-01-2712
The history of off-road equipment manufacturing has been based on proven designs and long times between model updates. In sharp contrast with this strategy is the electronic manufacturing services (EMS) industry. The EMS industry is driven by the larger consumer product industry's continuing pressure for lower costs. Because of this, EMS tools, processes, and practices have evolved to support rapid technology and component changes. However the increasing consumer demand for features like better user-interfaces, more efficient fuel consumption, and the desire for increased operational controls in equipment have forced the off-road industry to increase the frequency of product updates to meet customers' needs. Equipment manufacturers make running changes leading to a “Learning-by-doing” development and manufacturing process. But rapid changes sometimes have an unpredictable impact on the reliability of the final product. This paper outlines the status, success, and challenges facing vehicle manufacturers as they incorporate electronic hardware in today's off-road vehicles.