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Contract Manufacturer's warranty policy

Susan Christiansen

#5634

Contract Manufacturer's warranty policy | 19 March, 2001

My company is a small to mid size contract manufacturer, and relatively new to the business. I was wondering if anyone could tell me what a typical warranty policy is for PCB assemblies. In an effort to get needed sales, I am afraid our sales department has overextended our warranty, in some cases 5 years. This is for products which we did not design, nor specify raw materials. Now these products are going into systems, being exposed to various esd hazards, etc. by the end user, and we are expected to repair and foot the bill for damages.

Any input would be appreciated.

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#5635

Contract Manufacturer's warranty policy | 19 March, 2001

What no box of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts with each delivery? ;-)

Could we have the number for one of your sales types? We're thinking about contacting-out our dog boards. ;-)

Cereally, your intuition is correct. Your sales types don't know what they're doing, should be eviscerated with a hot soldering iron and dykes, and made to "give-back" commissions in proportion to spending on wacky warranty claims.

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#5645

Contract Manufacturer's warranty policy | 20 March, 2001

Susan,

If you are not doing design then your warranty must state that it's only for "workmanship". This excludes failures resulting from design or materials. In the event of an issue concerning product failure in the field have an independant laboratory do the analysis to find the cause of the failure, ie. design, materials or workmanship.

Pete

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CAL

#5660

Contract Manufacturer's warranty policy | 20 March, 2001

Susan- My son would be very happy if you would guarantee his happy meal electronic toy for five years.

As previously noted, "workmanship" is the key. CAL DRISCOLL CONTRACT MANUFACTURING, Inc. (if there were such a company) would build to IPC 610 or J-STD-001 and warranty to the "workmanship" using these standards. If you are just required to build (possible test) warranty on workmanship alone.Warrant only what you do.Undersized components and poor board design should not be you responsibility. We are often called in for Third party verification to settle disputes. Cal

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Susan Christiansen

#5673

Contract Manufacturer's warranty policy | 21 March, 2001

Our standard warranty states material and workmanship. The problem is the cost involved in determining cause of failure(these are smt boards containing approx 400 placements). Since most of these products are tested before they leave our facility, and then go through various tests at our customers' facility (including a burn-in), the most likely cause is component infant mortality(we purchase the components, and are therefore responsible for their function).

My original question still stands. What is a typical warranty period for electronics contract manufacturing? I have heard SCI gives 90 days.

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CAL

#5674

Contract Manufacturer's warranty policy | 21 March, 2001

Susan - Thank you for providing more information. It is hard just to give a rule of thumb on warranty time. Comparing other contract manufactures is also misleading. I have seen 30 days to 10 year warranties from contract manufacturers. Here are some variables in determining warranty structure: 1) Vendor Certification - certify companies supplying parts. Buying parts from Radio Shack you may not want to warrant the assemblies for 5 years. Log and track records of suppliers to ensure quality. A PCB assembly is only as good as the worst part on it. The PCB you are assembling with 400 parts- if one of those parts is guaranteed for 30 days from the vendor, a 5 warranty maybe a stretch. 2) you need to determine the class of assembly, class 1,2,3. Rating the assemblies may be a good benchmark for warranty. This was my point in my first response. class 1 (Happy meal electronics or those athletic shoes that light up) may have strictly a functional warranty. If it works when it hits the customers dock you�re absolved from any other obligations. A class 3 may be more stringent (Satellites) and need a longer warranty time will be needed.3) The destination for the end use. If you do not know or control the end use for that assembly, you may want to reduce the warranty time. If the same pcb assembly is used in a controlled atmospheres VS. harsh atmosphere you need to consider two different warranty times or choose the lesser warranty time..

Use a numeric value to determine the degree of difficulty and have that value correlate to class 1,2,3. Class 1,2,3 and the known destination of the product will identify warranty A,B or C.

I guess this long winded response can be summed up as there is many variables that need to be taken into consideration when guaranteeing something. Identifying these variables will help to structure proper warranty. A lot of these variables you are not in control of. Each assembly (no matter how insignificant the difference is) should have its own warranty criteria.

Hopefully this sheds some light on you issue.

If you are looking for someone to say � Warrantees from Solectron is 2 years, Celestica is 2.5 years, SCI is 4 years, and Kbyte is 5 years� (when the assembly and end use is unknown) so you can fairly and competitively price yourself then I can not help.

Please feel free to contact me at anytime, Cal

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