Japan's electronics industry has developed its quality management techniques since the 1940s, based on the work of American experts like Deming and Juran. Japanese experts have advanced these concepts into peerless total quality management and continuous waste reduction systems; however, Japanese technology is associated with solving problems incrementally. There is nothing particularly revolutionary or strategic about their quality and reliability methodologies. Japanese equipment is very good, very accurate, and very well maintained. When Japanese firms have a quality or reliability problem, they investigate it thoroughly. They do not investigate areas that are not problems unless that is demanded by the customer or unless there are competitive issues. Most of the research is targeted at improving next-generation products, components, materials, equipment, or processes. It is by dominating in materials, equipment, and manufacturing processes that Japanese electronics firms have been able to provide the highest quality and reliability in today's electronics markets.

Published: February 1995; WTEC Hyper-Librarian