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Remote Control Remote Control

Summary

  • Failure mode Faults in remote control button connectors or electronics & physical damage, such as a broken battery compartment can prevent the remote from working
  • Durability feature A robust case and good quality tested electronics. TV compatibility with universal remote coding as a back-up.
  • Cost

Good practices

  • Good practicesClear user instructions
  • Good practicesRobust remote control casing
  • Good practicesStrong battery cover retainer & clip
  • Good practicesGood quality electronic design/inspection and testing
  • Good practicesDuplicate key function labels on remote casing as well as buttons
  • Good practices TV compatible with universal remote control coding / smart phone apps
  • Good practicesPhysical controls on the TV

Bad practices

  • Bad practicesPoor user instructions
  • Bad practices Poor PCB design
  • Bad practicesNo PCB inspection and testing
  • Bad practicesLabels printed on remote control buttons that wear out quickly
  • Bad practicesRemote not to Universal Coding
  • Bad practicesNo controls on TV body

Key facts

  • People expect TVs to last 5 to 10 years.
  • Barriers to buying own-brand products is the perception that they are less reliable.

Icon key

  • Failure mode Failure mode
  • Durability features Durability features
  • Cost saving Cost saving
  • Low cost Low cost
  • Cost neutral Cost neutral
  • High cost High cost

Key failure modes

Early life

Faults can be due to user error, inserting the batteries the wrong way round or not following the instructions. Damage to the remote control case (e.g. battery compartment catch) can occur at any time.   

Later in lifetime

Electronic faults can develop on the PCB in the remote control (or IR receiver in the TV). This can be caused by poor connections, component failures and battery leakage / corrosion. The print on the keypads may also get worn.

Specification for improved performance

The specification below provides the recommended improvements needed to improve product durability. They are ranked from bronze to gold based on the effectiveness of the change in improving durability, with bronze being the minimum and gold being the maximum.

Surface mounted components; soldered connections; durable materials

  • Surface mounted components on the remote PCB where possible
  • Soldered connections
  • Strong polymers (e.g. ABS) case
  • Strong battery compartment cover with wide clips in ABS and retractable cord/strap to attach it to the remote
  • TV compatible with universal remote codes (and hence a universal remote and some smart phones/tablets can act as a remote)

PCBs to comply with inspection standards and test requirements

  • Remote control PCB to comply with IPC610E and IPC-J-STD-001
  • Drop test to be undertaken *
  • Quality control procedures to be in place and documented ** 

* 10 randomly selected units to remain 100% functional after a series of 10 drop tests to EN 60068-2-31. 

** A random sample of 1% of each batch of remote controls to be inspected to ensure 100% good quality moulding and 100% functionality with TV for: on-off, programme selection; volume control 

Testing to demonstrate performance

Check the build quality of the remote control case and the clarity and durability of print on the buttons and case. 

Ask for clear evidence of meeting the requirements listed, e.g.:

  • technical specifications, drawings, photographs
  • test data, quality control data

Cost implications

Improved reliability of components can reduce early returns and improve brand reputation which, in turn, can lower business costs and increase long-term sales.

To calculate overall cost savings for your business, use the WRAP cost/benefit analysis tool (currently in draft form and available on request).

Saving

Neutral

Increase strength and rigidity for remote control casing
Small changes to mouldings and material specification should only add a few pence,  assuming tooling change is minimal. 

Remote drop testing
Drop testing of a small number of remote handset designs will add minimal cost.  

Low cost

Surface mount technology

The use of surface mounted components could add a significant cost depending on the volumes made and production techniques available in the factory of choice.

Remote control and PCB inspection on the production line

Inspection and functionality testing will add a small labour cost which should just be pence per unit. 

High cost