Browse Prior Art Database

Accurate Monitoring of Effective Product Usage

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000105651D
Original Publication Date: 1993-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-20
Document File: 2 page(s) / 62K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Crumplin, P: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Described is a method of accurately monitoring the effective power-on-hour (POH) usage of a product, taking into account the duration and ambient temperature of each period of use. This provides an indication of whether a field returned product should be repaired or scrapped if it is nearing end of life. Savings in warranty costs and improved reliability result.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Accurate Monitoring of Effective Product Usage

      Described is a method of accurately monitoring the effective
power-on-hour (POH) usage of a product, taking into account the
duration and ambient temperature of each period of use.  This
provides an indication of whether a field returned product should be
repaired or scrapped if it is nearing end of life.  Savings in
warranty costs and improved reliability result.

      When products such as displays and PCs have failed in the
field, they may be repaired and put back into stock as a service
replacement with few checks made as to the precise state of all
constituent parts being reshipped.  Some parts may have seen
excessive use well before their normal end of life point and
reintroduction to the field may lead to reliability problems on
repaired units with resultant customer dissatisfaction.

      One approach is to scrap all assemblies greater than a certain
age which is wasteful as the majority of scrapped assemblies will be
good but are scrapped to catch the small percentage of assemblies
nearing their end of life.  The problem is how to obtain accurate
indication of product usage cost effectively.  A solution is to
install an elapsed time indicator inside the product which may be
electromechanical, electronic or chemical.  Chemical elapsed timers
offer the cheapest solution, sacrificing a little accuracy for a
large cost saving.  Standard chemical timers are typically accurate
to within 5%.  These are glass tubes of mercury with a visible index
moved across the tube by electrochemical migration driven b...