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Yield and DPMO - what can they tell us

Utilizing Cpk in functional testing



Yield and DPMO - what can they tell us

Jukka Antila

Yield is one of the main metrics in test area. It is easy to use and very practical for various measuring needs. Not much data is needed to calculate yield. Everything you have to know is how many products passed test operation without failures and how many products you have tested altogether.

Another metrics which could be used instead of yield or to complement it is DPMO. You need more data to calculate it, but that all is information which is known or collected in the production line anyway. DPMO comes from Defects Per Million Opportunities and is specified in IPC-7912A standard.

Here we have a practical case showing the different view to quality these two metrics have.

Among other key metrics Production manager presented Factory manager the weekly Yields figures:

Line 1
Product A

Line 2
Product B

"Why Line 2 quality is week after week so much worse than Line 2?" Factory manager asked. Production manager kindly explained him that products are different: A is much simpler. This answer did not totally satisfy Factory manager and he asked for more details. After the meeting Production manager walked to production engineer's desk and asked him to analyze the situation with test engineer and report what is the reason for different yields.

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