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Updated on August 23, 2017

Improving the Quality, Safety and Long-Term Reliability of Products

Improving the Quality of Products

Sony pursues design-, manufacturing- and parts-related initiatives aimed at improving product quality.

  • Design-related quality initiatives
    In the initial stages of the design process, the individual in charge of a particular business unit 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 confirms 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 require original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and original design manufacturer (ODM) companies and parts suppliers to comply with Group-wide 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 new product parts, while also ensuring that product designs incorporate consideration of user convenience.
  • Manufacturing-related quality initiatives
    In its effort not to receive, manufacture or ship anything with quality-related problems, Sony adheres to a policy of workmanship at all of its manufacturing sites that ensures customers can use Sony products with confidence. Initiatives include setting important targets at each site and implementing Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) processes, thereby facilitating the achievement of such targets and the continuous improvement of product quality. 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 determined 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 among relevant departments.

Improving Product Safety

Providing reliable products that customers can use safely is top priority for Sony. Accordingly, at every stage of its business activities, including product planning, development, design, manufacturing, marketing, and after-sales service for all products and services, Sony takes steps to comply with safety standards based on laws and regulations while constantly striving to surpass those standards in order to maintain the safety of its products. As part of these efforts, Sony has established a team in charge of product safety assessment from a medical perspective. When developing products employing new technologies, Sony also seeks advice on product safety from a medical perspective from outside experts in order to ensure products do not affect customer health, and this advice is then incorporated into product development, design and engineering. When deemed necessary, Sony also conducts evaluation tests to assess safety with the assistance of a specialized organization.

In addition, Sony strives to ensure that the safety-related explanations and information it provides to customers are accurate, easy to understand, and clearly presented. If a safety-related problem involving a Sony product is reported, Sony immediately collects information and examines the facts, and then takes the steps necessary to rectify the problem.

Improving the Long-Term Reliability of Products

The Quality Reliability Lab 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 to evaluate such technologies and products.

The reliability and evaluation techniques, and the information obtained through these activities, are utilized to improve design and parts selection processes. Sony also presents some of its own knowledge on evaluation techniques at academic meetings and industry conferences and gatherings, seeking to go beyond its own walls and contribute to the industry.

Efforts to Improve Quality of Security of Products

With more products connecting to networks, there is a heightened danger of, among others, personal information leaks and the falsification or destruction of data. As a consequence, it is very important to improve the quality of the security of products and network services.

Sony has a function for collecting security risk-related information from outside experts, researchers and other individuals. Sony assigns managers responsible for the software security of products and has a dedicated department for it at headquarters. The department coordinates with business units to address issues with the security of products. Based on the information received, the department-led by these managers-assesses the impact of risk on customers from a software security perspective and implements appropriate measures.

To ensure its ability to deliver products that customers can use with confidence, Sony has also established internal guidelines pertaining to the quality of the security of products and network services and continues to implement employee training programs. In 2009, Sony began to implement security inspections prior to product shipment using a software vulnerability detection tool. Sony is also working to further fortify its efforts to improve the quality of the security of products by introducing a system that will ensure the security of products over their entire life cycle from planning and shipment to disposal.
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