Product Qualification & Recall Consulting

Product safety and quality are important considerations for consumers, product manufacturers, regulators, and lawmakers in the United States and abroad. The drive toward safer products is reflected in the regulatory and litigation landscape as well as in the increasing civil penalties levied by US entities and regulatory bodies around the globe. Exponent's multidisciplinary teams address every aspect of product safety, including design, risk, manufacturing, and consumer use issues to develop information that equips the client to make appropriate business decisions.

We draw upon over 45 years of failure analysis and safety evaluation experience to provide a unique perspective on qualifying new products for market. We provide testing services to address a wide variety of common failure modes that are known to have triggered recalls, as well as critical analysis of proposed products from a safety perspective. Exponent's database of more than 300 million accident and incident records enables us to quantify the performance of a particular product line. Assessment of the root cause of warranty claims and potential problems related to a particular product helps to quantify the risk associated with that product, and the affected population, allowing the manufacturer to make informed decisions on continuing production, potential design changes, and corrective action. Our Human Factors consultants evaluate user behavior, warning labels and instructions to ensure appropriate interaction with the buyer and user of the product. We review manufacturing procedures to assess potential process risks. In fact, with more and more products being manufactured offshore, quality process is a significant concern among U.S. suppliers and manufacturers. Exponent's China office addresses specific quality and design issues for U.S. and international clients with manufacturing facilities in Asia and the Pacific Rim. Part of our overseas work involves performing audits of manufacturers on behalf of our clients.

Our consultants work with clients to respond to regulatory agency investigations and have presented findings in front of the major U.S. regulatory bodies, including the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Our approach is focused on the robustness of the product related to particular safety concerns, so that if and when a failure occurs, it will occur safely.

Examples: Product Qualification/Recall Work

  • Product failure/Incident investigations
  • Formal risk assessments of products
  • Statistical analysis of warranty data
  • Design quality auditing
  • Manufacturing quality auditing
  • Design review/Safety qualification testing
  • Regulatory support
  • Qualification planning (testing at manufacturer)
  • Warnings, labeling, and instruction assessment (human factors)
  • Exposure assessments/studies

Examples: Exponent Product Experience

  • Kitchen appliances
  • Exercise/sports equipment
  • Building control systems
  • Heaters and air conditioners
  • Portable electronic devices
  • Battery systems
  • Household and office furniture
  • Medical devices
  • Plumbing products
  • Toys and children's products
  • Jewelry products Lighting fixtures



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