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Create more accurate product warranties by adding restrictions based on virtual testing and analysis versus speculation.
Can you recall a time when you wish you had known the consequences of a decision before you went through with it? If you’re a business owner or an engineering manager, this scenario may resonate with you when thinking about your product warranties. Whether your company has a general warranty or you base your warranties off similar products, you don’t know precisely when or how your new product will fail unless you have an easy way to test it.
When you virtually simulate your designs in various environments and under different conditions, you gain better insight into your designs and can plan your product warranties accordingly by:
- Implementing an accurate warranty time span
- Specifying warranty restrictions
- Reducing the number of costly replacement parts given away
Implementing an Accurate Warranty Time Span
If you’re smacking any general warranty on your product without virtually optimizing it for structure and strength, your warranties are probably not as accurate as they could be. For example, say you are designing a load bearing beam with certain screws attaching the beam to other components. With virtual design simulation, you can place your 3D CAD model in various virtual environments and determine how much weight will impact those screws. You will know exactly when it will break and can now accurately place a one-year warranty on that product, opposed to a two or three-year warranty, with the confidence and knowledge that your part will only last for that one year.
Running these virtual tests can effectively linearize your design process and provide answers to questions precisely to best guide subsequent decisions, such as your product warranties.
Specifying Warranty Restrictions
Companies are subject to significant dollar loss when their warranties are too broad or ambiguous. For example, say you are designing a product that should not be exposed to extreme heat. By virtually simulating that product in multiple design scenarios and environments, you can determine at which temperature the part will fail in a matter of minutes. Then, you can add the restriction to your warranty stating that this product is not meant to be exposed to temperatures above 200 °C as an example. Later down the road if that part comes back melted, you can deny the request instead of having to reimburse the customer due to a vague or generic warranty.
Reducing the Number of Costly Replacement Parts Given Away
Knowing when and how your products will fail allows you to turn away costly cases because you can see into the future and set accurate time spans and restrictions. Simply stating that there is a one-year warranty on a product if it cracks or breaks is not enough. If the product cracks or breaks anywhere, it can be returned for a full refund or a brand-new part. When you virtually simulate that part and determine that in one year your part will crack along its support arm, you can then specify that in your warranty to reduce the number of parts given away. If there’s a crack in a joint or on a pin, that would not be covered by your warranty — which now saves your company a lot of time, energy and money!
Stop Guesstimating and Start Validating Your Designs
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- How much load can it endure?
- What is the lifespan of the bicycle hitch?
- What type of environments can it withstand?
- How can you reduce its material costs to stay within budget?