ha.. this is almost funny. I went through the era of "quality is free", deming classes, TQM, SiX Sigma, ISO9000...etc.. then the industry was taken over by finance and operations people who gave our best manufacturing and product technology to China to "meet the quarter" now we have disposable stuff from china with quality issues and they steal the IP at the same time - is anyone surprised?
I guess I'm one of the lucky ones.
Since I do RF power amp designs I mainly deal with companies like Freescale and Polyfet and find excellent quality and excellent customer support.
I do have other engineers at work who do analog and receiver designs and I know they have some problems in their specific arenas.
oh good grief history always get rose tinted glasses
does nobody remember
1)early microwave ovens
2)chevy engines from the 40s and 50s
3)dodge engines period
5)eveything from detroit from 1970 through 2000
there is a big quality problem whenever there is a rapid change in technology
they don't make things like they used to, there is not enough steel to do that
the good thing is with communication I can usually avoid problem products
1 wait for reviews, don't wait in line for the first one
2 decide what you need, find or wait for a good solution
3 if it doesn't exist and you can't wait build it
Bert, hi... I don't see it as a "good old days" syndrome at all. I see it more as a persistent process issue that probably spans generations. Lousy quality has no doubt been with us forever, but why haven't we come to some general agreement on quality best practices (not just among those who want ISO 9000 awards and Deming plaudits)??
But separately, the issue of quality in electronics components is hugely important, if for nothing else than safety. Increasing system complexity should mean that components are rock-solid quality, but apparently that's not the case.
I'd take issue with you there Bert. I appreciate that all the things you have cited have progressed a lot - technically - from those of yesteryear. But they are built smarter, not necessarily better. A lot of the products you cite would work for 20,30 even 50 years without missing a beat. These days we're lucky if things work for 5 or 10 years without breaking down.
Not that you'd want a 10-year old cellphone. The technology is progressing so fast that just about anyone would want something better. But there is a range of cell phones and modems here that has a name for lasting 6 months to a year and then breaking, and it seems you just chuck 'em.
There's a happy medium somewhere, involving quality of production and also recycleability. The throwaway lifestyle we are used to is not infinitely sustainable and we need to pay more attention to what we do with things that are no longer needed.
This topic again.
Excuse me, but is there anything more (mindless)cliché than the dictum, "They don't build them like they used to"? It might roll off the tongue easily enough, but that doesn't make it true.
I, for one, do not want to go back to the bad old days of drift-prone tubed electronics, analog AM radio, NTSC TV, or just about any electronic products from the past. Nor would I want to go back to the cars of the 1950s, 60s, 70s, or even 80s.
Many years ago, an auto mechanic said to me, "People always say 'they don't build them like they used to.' It's true," he said, "they build them much better."