Initiatives Aimed at Improving the Quality, Safety and Long-Term Reliability of Products
(Updated on August 3, 2012)
Initiatives Aimed at Improving the Quality of Products
Sony pursues design-, manufacturing- and parts-related initiatives aimed at improving product quality.
Design-related quality initiatives
At the start of the design process, the individual in charge of a particular business group verifies new technologies and new parts and, from a user's perspective, determines how a product is to be used. At the conclusion of the design process, the individual in charge ascertains the degree to which the intended level of product quality, reliability and usability has been realized. In addition, to ensure our ability to provide customers with products of a quality worthy of the Sony brand, we required OEM/ODM companies and parts suppliers to comply with Groupwide quality standards. Compliance with these standards is also tested at the end of the design process. Such approaches prevent the occurrence of problems pertaining to new technologies and product parts, as well as ensure product designs that incorporate consideration for user convenience.
Manufacturing-related quality initiatives
In its efforts not to receive, manufacture or ship anything with quality-related problems, Sony adheres to a policy of workmanship at all of its production sites that ensures customers can use Sony products with confidence. Initiatives include establishing important independent quality-related targets at each site and pursuing continuous improvements in product quality and the achievement of such targets through implementation of the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle.
Sony has also established standard product quality rules to ensure Sony products manufactured by OEM/ODM companies are of the same high quality as those manufactured at Sony production sites.
Parts-related quality initiatives
Recognizing the importance of parts, and resolved to manufacture products built for long-term use, Sony carefully selects key parts independently for each of its major product categories and is pursuing focused efforts aimed at increasing the reliability of the parts it uses through cooperation with relevant departments and Sony's headquarters.
Initiatives Aimed at Improving Product Safety
As another part of the effort to improve the safety of its products, Sony has established an in-house committee to address product safety from a medical perspective, and has prepared related internal standards, which it updates and modifies as necessary to reflect the ever-evolving understanding of human health. Sony is also promoting efforts company-wide to strengthen internal processes for ensuring that Sony's products are in line with applicable laws, regulations and standards.
When developing products employing new technologies, Sony also seeks advice on product safety from a medical perspective from experts outside the company, which it then incorporates into product development, design and engineering. When deemed necessary, Sony also conducts evaluation tests to verify safety with the assistance of a specialized organization.
Sony recognizes the safe and comfortable viewing of 3D televisions, which it commercialized in 2010, is a significant issue. Since 1997, representatives from Sony have sat on committees set up by various industry organizations and have attended meetings on international standardization to handle image safety, in order to obtain advanced knowledge of potential health risks or concerns including motion sickness. With the aim of leveraging such knowledge, Sony is also participating in various conferences on 3D images.
Initiatives Aimed at Improving the Long-Term Reliability of Products
The Quality Reliability Lab, established in January 2009, continues to enhance Sony's product reliability, thereby ensuring Sony's ability to deliver safe, durable and reliable products to customers.
Sony has assigned specialists to work full time on improving technologies essential to product reliability and continues working to ensure the long-term reliability of its products by developing elemental technologies for preventing the deterioration, wear and corrosion of materials and parts, as well as technologies necessary to ensure the reliability of new technologies and products and evaluate such technologies and products.
The reliability and evaluation techniques, and the information obtained through these activities, are openly accessible and available to all Sony employees via training sessions, seminars, and websites, and are utilized to improve design and parts selection processes.
Sony also presents some of its own knowledge on new evaluation techniques at academic meetings and industry conferences and gatherings, in its efforts to contribute to industry.
For example, a drop test method, using strain gauges applicable to surface-mounted semiconductor devices, has been adopted by Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA) as its standard, illustrating how Sony extends its contributions to industry and acts above and beyond the responsibilities of a manufacturer.