Products failing to perform reliably in their intended working environment gain a high profile from time to time with media reports frequently highlighting products which are unreliable in the field. Everyone experiences products that do not have the durability expected of them, generating a resolve not to make the same purchasing mistake twice. Brand reputations are won or lost through environmental performance and performance costs. Manufacturers and retailers are now offering three- or five-year warranties, and there is a growing customer demand for 25 years of fault-free service in applications where access for maintenance and repair is difficult.
To remain competitive, as a manufacturer or as a retailer/importer sourcing private label products, you will be looking to extend your warranty terms and to ensure your products will function effectively over their expected life. The cost of an environmental simulation test necessary to support an extended warranty can be set against the cost of failures in the field and loss of reputation. And if you design in environmental requirements right at the product design stage, you stand a greater chance of a better product, faster to market, with much lower costs of design corrections.