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How to Avoid Automotive Recalls


Car Birth CertificateThink of all the parts and assemblies that go into the modern day vehicle.  Now think of the millions of vehicles that are produced annually.  What if there is a warranty or safety issue with a set of vehicles?  Wouldn’t it be great to have detailed birth certificates on each of the tens of millions of vehicles in service to determine which vehicles may have the issue that needs to be resolved?

With today’s technology, this form of Industrial Big Data can be a reality today.

Warranty containment is a huge challenge in the automotive industry.  The cost of warranty issues in just the U.S. Automotive Market can be $15B annually.  Much of that cost is attributed to flaws in the design (i.e. on the engineering side).  However, as much as 40% can be attributed to issues during the manufacturing process.

A complete “birth certificate” of the vehicle needs to include the history of all the parts, components and sub-assemblies.  That birth certificate also needs to contain the manufacturing history of those parts, components and sub-assemblies.  With all this information, the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) can analyze issues and limit recalls to the specific set of vehicles that have the problem, as opposed to recalling a significantly larger set that includes all vehicles that may have the problem.  On one recall alone, this could save millions, if not hundreds of millions, in warranty costs.

The real secret is to create an early warning system within the manufacturing process itself and fix the problem before it every gets to a consumer. Error proofing systems are common in automotive manufacturing today. To ensure that manual operations are performed correctly.  It can also alarm on conditions when automated processes are not performed correctly.

Some manufactures realize the power of Industrial Big Data and are creating comprehensive birth certificates, not only on their own manufacturing processes but those of their suppliers.  The real thought leaders are those that are focused on error proofing all key manufacturing processes and building vehicles right the first time.

How can this Industrial Big Data solution apply to your business?

Rich Breuning

About Rich Breuning

An expert in the development, deployment, sales and marketing of manufacturing software, Rich believes you can learn a lot just by walking the plant floor and seeing how everyone, from managers to operators, use information. With 25 years of experience in automotive industry, he’s always on the lookout for ways to work smarter. Connect with Rich on LinkedIn.

Comments (1)

  1. That approach has been used in the aircraft industry for many years. The standards the parts are required to meet are very stringent and therefore costs are extreme. It will be very beneficial if the automotive industry with it’s buying power driven by volume adopted the birth certificate concept. How both industries may benefit is at least an interesting experiment.

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