The consumer electronics industry needs more sophisticated methods for assessing product reliability than those documented in traditional reliabilitv handbooks such as the widely adopted U.S. Military MIL-HDBK-217 hand book, as standard laboratory tests fail to consider the fact that each individual device sold to different consumers are subjected to different operating environments with different usage profiles. Standard tests cannot distinguish between two identical devices from the same production line that may have been used a little and were well taken care of, while the other may be used heavily under rough conditions. Condition-based monitoring not only assesses device on an individual basis but also provides manufacturers with information to optimally revise warranty support programs to enhance cost effectiveness. Further, anv product misuse and maltreatment can be readily detected to reduce the cost of providing warranty claims from consumers who violated the terms and conditions of warranty coverage.
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