Technology changes rapidly. Every day, new products emerge and innovation expands — and the high-tech industry is leading the charge. But with innovation comes the need for quality, which is where Pelco by Schneider Electric’s Suhas Deshpande comes in.
Suhas joined Schneider Electric 10 years ago as part of the company’s solar business, after working in the technology industry for the last 32 years. In March 2016, Suhas joined Pelco as its Quality, Customer Support and Service Director with the goal to spearhead the company’s quality assurance initiatives. “I’ve always been in this line of work because it’s my passion,” he says. “I strive to answer the question: How can we design products for long-term reliability where our customers get the optimal life-cycle cost driven by reliability and high quality? In solar photovoltaic power conversion products, quality was one of the biggest differentiators. Now, we are adapting some of those best practices and techniques in building robustness in Pelco’s products.”
In the security marketplace, customers have a certain expectation of the lifecycle of its video surveillance investments. Customers expect higher quality images, high reliability and a lower total cost of ownership. “To put it in other terms, it’s like buying a car. You’re spending a lot of money upfront, and if it’s not built with quality at its core, you’re going to invest more money on repairs and updates throughout the life of the vehicle,” Suhas says. “When we design products, we look at the best value and strive to be proactive with how we deliver that value to our customers.”
As part of that initiative, the Pelco quality team coordinated with the Product Management and Research and Development teams to create a tiered approach to improving the quality of Pelco’s offerings. To accomplish this, Pelco has adopted four main quality assurance initiatives:
- Upstream during the design phase the DFxx (Design For Safety, Quality, Reliability, Serviceability) approach is implemented to ensure there is adequate design margin and capability to meet the expected service life and drive robustness. The components and assembly parts used in Pelco’s solutions are selected to meet or exceed the expected service life requirements. Early risk analysis and mitigation best practices are implemented to ensure the designs meet or exceed the challenging application environments, such as extremely low temperatures, shock, vibration, snow, dust, etc.
- Software quality and continued improvement. As part of improving the quality of Pelco’s software offerings, Pelco has implemented a more structured DBT (Design, Build, Test) agile adherence that ensures software engineers work to fix code bugs immediately after the code is input. To significantly improve customer experience, Pelco is incorporating a wider range of use cases during the test process to simulate real-life conditions as closely as possible. These improvements are already delivering initial success with an all-time low deficit index on our recent releases. Then to complete the validation, we are enhancing the scope and horizon of our BETA testing programs.
- This design approach and suite of analytics is further advanced by extensive validation testing, as well as reliability testing to uncover potential design weaknesses before mass production. Pelco has implemented some of the industry’s best practices for image quality, which creates another level of differentiation in the crowded camera market.
- To ensure these significant gains in product robustness achieved in the design phase are continued and enhanced in manufacturing, we drive manufacturing excellence in the plants. Continued process reviews and qualification before and after mass production ensures a strong manufacturing process, capable of delivering the targeted product quality. Pelco works with all its global partners to drive manufacturing excellence throughout the product life cycle to ensure consistent product quality to meet our exacting standards.
Because Pelco’s newest product offerings represent a transition for some customers in system design, configuration, and familiarization with the system and user interfaces, Pelco has developed a first encounter initiative that ensures new customers working with our latest products have on-site, hands-on, 24/7 support until the system is installed, commissioned and signed off by both the systems integrator and end user. This is a collaborative effort that relies on aggressive communication and coordination between Product Support, Professional Services, Product Management, Quality and Research and Development teams.
“These steps are the main pillars to launching safe and reliable products,” Suhas says. Customers can expect consistent, reliable solutions with significant reliability and overall lifecycle savings. “Security being paramount, reliability is becoming extremely critical in our industry because our customers want a surveillance solution that will work every single time — especially when an incident occurs,” Suhas says. “Pelco is dedicated to delivering robust security solutions that provide full situational awareness to protect people, employees and assets from threats.”