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Quality Assurance

FSTJ 2008-4 Cover Image

2008-4 (Vol.44, No.2)

The Fujitsu Group has given itself the mission of providing its customers with products and services that have highly competitive value as regards performance and quality. This special issue describes the features of quality assurance at Fujitsu Group, including activities to raise the quality of our services and support, and our dedication to high reliability.

2008-4 (Vol.44, No.2) Contents

1. Preface (436 KB)
In recent years the attitude of corporations towards quality has come under renewed scrutiny. In response, the Fujitsu Group has given itself the mission of providing its customers with products and services that have highly competitive value as regards performance and quality. This special issue describes the features of quality assurance at Fujitsu Group, including activities to raise the quality of our services and support, and our dedication to high reliability. ---[Hiromasa Kimura, Special Advisor on Quality Issues]


2. Fujitsu's Activities for Quality Assurance (580 KB)
Fujitsu's basic policy is to use advanced technologies for providing products and services that offer quality superior to those of our competitors. Fujitsu's quality assurance is characterized by activities of the Quality Assurance Group that controls the quality of individual products by using information shared among related divisions. We take various actions in providing our customers with high-quality products and services on a continuous basis through direct support. For example, we have ensured high product reliability in social infrastructure systems and mass-produced consumer products, increased the number of purchased components, improved product development and production processes (such as by entrusting plants to affiliated companies), secured stable system operation at customer sites, and ensured compliance with laws governing quality. We have also made continuous environmental improvements and regularly reviewed our quality assurance processes. This paper describes how Fujitsu achieves its high level of quality from the stages of development and design, to the stages of manufacturing, testing, and maintenance. ---[Masahiro Sakai, Akihiko Nagakura, Naoko Goto]

Activities for Quality by Product Category

3. Quality Assurance Activities for Enterprise Application Software Packages (743 KB)
Fujitsu supplies the GLOVIA series of business software packages for various fields of enterprise service. These packages are for back-office business processing (such as accounting and production control), front-operational processing, and mobile processing. Each package provides the functions required for specific processing, and combining these packages enables global, systematic business activities. The quality assurance activities for these packages include those for product quality assurance, customer relations, in-contract support, post-contract support, and cost-performance. These five types of activities are unified as "Service quality" activities, since our most important policy is pursuing quality of service. General product quality is assured in ordinary quality assurance and improvement activities. Moreover, particularly important functions and points of product quality in each field of service are given special consideration and handled accordingly. For example, in April 2006 we conducted development process improvement activities to achieve CMMI level 3. This included in-company activities for an early improvement of operation quality. We also conducted activities to maintain high reliability, availability, and robustness necessary for providing customer service, and emphasized the verification of basic functional conditions. This paper introduces our product quality assurance activities for the GLOVIA/SUMMIT and GLOVIA-C accounting service packages, and the BC ContactPlus front-operational processing package. It also discusses the future direction of our quality assurance activities for these products. ---[Kazumasa Taneike, Hideaki Okada, Hiroshi Ishigami , Hidenobu Mukaiyama]
4. Quality-by-Design Approach to Developing Servers (507 KB)
Given the shorter product life cycles in recent years, the ability to promptly develop and produce high-reliability products is now the key to success in business. Fujitsu has significantly reduced the development span of its core products (servers). As a result, releasing products within a fixed time limit has become increasingly difficult using traditional development methods. Moreover, any problem that may occur at the evaluation or mass-production stage has a critical impact on product assurance. Under these circumstances, we have been working on improving product assurance based on the "quality-by-design" approach. This activity helps us look at problems involving LSI remakes necessitated by design errors as one of the major factors causing scheduling delays at the development stage. This paper describes Fujitsu's activities for improving server product assurance to achieve zero LSI remakes relative to proprietary LSI circuits for servers, and discusses the simulation techniques involved. ---[Yasunori Fujioka, Mutsuhiro Tanaka]
5. New Evaluation Techniques for Achieving High Reliability and Availability of ETERNUS Storage System (594 KB)
Fujitsu provides storage system products that protect the important data of customers and continue operation, even if any part of the storage system should fail. In developing these products, we have verified the error recovery function by repeating various pseudo-error generation tests in the configurations of customer systems. Through these tests, we can improve product reliability, availability, and the validity of error recovery procedures to be used during operation. Before 2002, all pseudo errors for these tests had been manually generated, resulting in limited coverage. In 2002, however, we developed new evaluation techniques that significantly expanded coverage. This paper describes our work in developing some new evaluation techniques for the ETERNUS series in 2002. These techniques use a test robot called "BBC," error-generating disk drives, and error repetition tests for achieving high reliability and availability. ---[Mamoru Komatsu, Masashi Sakita]
6. Structural Requirements and Evaluation Technology for Notebook PCs (652 KB)
Newly developed technologies, improved social infrastructures, and an enhanced AV environment have contributed to much smaller, lighter, and more powerful notebook PCs, which are now gaining wider market acceptance. In fact, these PCs have become an indispensable tool in business and are also being widely used for personal purposes. Greater portability allows notebook PCs to be carried comfortably in a bag, but at the same time has resulted in many calls for improved durability, such as a stronger body, scratchproof exteriors, and more durable external connectors. Preparing for the expanded scenarios of using these PCs necessitates the ability to quickly identify customer requests for feedback to the product development and evaluation stages, so as to offer new models that customers can use conveniently and reliably. This paper introduces Fujitsu's design approach and evaluation technology for the structure of notebook PCs that it has developed in recent years. ---[Ryuichi Usami, Hiroshi Kawakita, Ikuo Fujino]
7. Technical Improvements and Front-Loading of Cellular Phone Mechanism Evaluation (1.24 MB )
Fujitsu has ensured the sufficient mechanical strength of cellular phones by carefully considering the expected conditions of their use and by repeatedly improving the design based on the results of various evaluations. Currently in Japan, more than 96 million people, or about 76% of the population, have a cellular phone contract, and it is very difficult to cultivate new customers in this market. To win in the market, it is important to rapidly develop and offer attractive devices that meet the market needs ahead of competitors. This paper describes the technical improvements and front-loading of the mechanism evaluation that Fujitsu has implemented to help achieve rapid development of cellular phones. This paper then describes the results of making these changes. ---[Masayuki Satou, Yutaka Nozaki, Taketsugu Kawamichi, Sigeo Ishikawa]
8. Guarantee-of-Quality Technology for Mechanical Components (696 KB)
The bill recycling units of Fujitsu ATMs transport notes at a high speed of more than 10 notes per second. The bill recycling units developed by the Mechanical Component Division include 6500 parts and feature an extremely complex control system. Because both newly issued and old notes must be handled, the units must respond to changing conditions of the notes. These units must also be able to respond to changes in such environmental factors as humidity. Prior to assembly, we check and guarantee the functions of each part of these units, in addition to evaluating product reliability and stability as for other Fujitsu products. This paper describes the quality assurance techniques employed by the quality assurance division from the development evaluation stage of the mechanical components to the commercial production stage by using the example of a bill recycling unit. ---[Hitoshi Okiji]
9. Reliability Technology for Submarine Repeaters (719 KB)
Fujitsu's submarine repeaters have been installed on the seabed worldwide. In 1969 Fujitsu delivered its first submarine coaxial cable system laid along the Uchiura Bay route off Hokkaido, and now deploys the most advanced optical-amplifying repeaters. Fujitsu has thus far delivered a total of about 2400 submarine coaxial and optical repeaters in its latest cable systems. Fujitsu repeaters are widely acknowledged as being the most reliable products in the submarine cable industry and have never required ship-based repair during commercial use since the inception of this industry. These highly reliable submarine repeaters have been achieved thanks to a consistent concept of developing components, design, development, manufacturing, and inspection. Fujitsu has also built a mechanism for promoting close communication among all personnel and organizations concerned to sustain and improve reliability skills. This paper describes the various activities undertaken by Fujitsu with regard to its highly reliable submarine repeaters. ---[Shinichiro Harasawa, Makoto Sumitani, Kenji Ohta]

Stable Operation of Customers' System

10. Pursuing Stable Operation by Reforming Service Quality (618 KB)
In line with a growing awareness of customer satisfaction (CS) both inside and outside the industry, customers now expect the quality of maintenance services they receive to be improved. In response to this expectation, each business unit of Fujitsu has been developing CS and service quality activities under such guiding concepts as "customer focus, on time, high quality, and speed." This paper introduces the "Speed de No.1" service quality reforms developed by Fujitsu's maintenance service division. The maintenance division implements Speed de No.1 activities to achieve its primary goal of ensuring the stable operation of customer systems by promptly providing maintenance services. We have drastically accelerated these services by reforming the operations of CEs and the call centers through which our customers contact us, and by establishing a new structure for assessing service quality and feeding back information from our customers. ---[Kumiko Kenmoku]
11. Providing Support Infrastructure in Consideration of IT Management (580 KB)
In complicated network systems, system infrastructures change very quickly and there are wide-ranging problems such as burdensome infrastructure management and infection by computer viruses. Conversely, there are growing customer expectations for more sophisticated, more secure, and safer services. To meet such expectations, Fujitsu has been making great efforts to utilize IT for maintenance work on open network systems, improved efficiency, and the development of related support infrastructures. Moreover, we have received ISO27001 and ISO20000 certification in strengthening our security management of IT systems, and established advantages that allow customers to entrust our support service for open network infrastructures. This paper introduces the systems and structures (technologies) employed to meet customer demands and social needs based on the stable operation of existing systems utilizing our support infrastructures, and describes the effects on their application (in case studies). ---[Mitsuru Hasegawa, Kenji Honda]

Activities for Quality across Product Category

12. Quality Assurance Program for Purchased Parts (581 KB)
We continuously promote quality assurance activities to provide our customers with highly reliable, high-quality products in keeping with our company slogan of "Fujitsu reliability and creativity". The quality of individual parts used in our products is an essential factor for achieving high overall quality. Moreover, product recalls involving quality and safety issues have recently become a growing social concern, and are attributed to the inferior quality of such purchased parts as batteries. Based on our extensive experience, we have constructed an approval system for evaluating all parts used in products designed by Fujitsu. Through the evaluations made under this system, we clarify the impact of parts quality on product reliability and implement an ongoing quality improvement program based on a partnership with parts suppliers. In this way, we can prevent failure on the customer side. This paper introduces such a quality improvement program. ---[Teruhisa Kitani, Motoko Sazanami, Masaru Seita]
13. Improving Product Quality through Audit System Established for Development Processes (501 KB)
Fujitsu has implemented a product development project audit system involving a series of third-party evaluations of each product development process in order to incorporate quality in the upstream processes of product development and prevent failure from affecting downstream processes. Under this system, the quality assurance unit and selected members of the development division team audit the state of development based on the experience of development personnel and criteria based on the CMMI model. An audit is conducted in three phases of development: planning, implementation, and pre-production testing. As the audit progresses, the team determines a schedule and necessary action to promptly and reliably correct any problems extracted from the audit. In this way, the quality of our products is assured through compliance with product development processes, along with comprehensive and continuous improvements made to these processes. ---[Souichi Nagata, Satsuki Shimada]
14. TMP for Assuring Quality of Hardware Products (693 KB)
Today's high-end servers require leading-edge hardware designs and growing numbers of components made by outside manufacturers. This makes it increasingly difficult to ensure the highest possible quality of such servers. We have therefore developed a Test and Maintenance Program (TMP) that assures product quality throughout the life cycle. The main development goals for this TMP are high fault detection performance, powerful fault analysis functions, and simple operability. The quality assurance and field support units use TMP to verify the design of Fujitsu's hardware products and maintain the products at customer sites. This paper describes the development policies for TMP and the technologies employed. ---[Shinji Miyahara, Takeshi Ibusuki, Hitoshi Tanaka]
15. Evaluation Approach for Stable System Operation (628 KB)
The extensive and widespread trend toward open systems has resulted in increasingly complex and diversified IT systems. IT vendors test their products using various methods to confirm compliance with their quality standards prior to shipment. At the same time, customers expect the total quality of IT products to contribute to the stability of their systems. As a total IT system vendor, Fujitsu has engineering teams with top-class evaluation skills that thoroughly test our products to ensure compliance with the criteria of mission-critical systems. These teams also test products to ensure sufficient connectivity for use in multi-vendor system environments. Moreover, they incorporate customer applications into their test beds and work on preventing potential problems from occurring. As a result, the products we ship offer proven high quality for our customers. This paper describes the activities and evaluation tools of Fujitsu's engineering teams. ---[Yuichiro Kuroki, Yoshifumi Jonishi]
16. Outline of Fujitsu's Quality Information System and Its Companywide Application (659 KB)
To support the ongoing openness of IT systems, we recently started using components conforming to global standards in our IT products and had to develop a new system for their quality control. We have also developed a companywide quality information system (QIS) whose aim is to ensure our hardware products have the highest quality and reliability to meet our customers' need for 24/7 operation of IT systems. QIS integrates the management of information covering the entire lifecycles of Fujitsu products, from design to recycling. This paper outlines QIS and describes the company-wide improvements we have achieved through its use. ---[Shigehiko Suzuki, Yasunori Ushio, Yoshino Miyazawa]

Quality Surveillance by Each Customer's System

17. Fujitsu's Quality Improvement Model: Qfinity (717 KB)
We launched a High Reliability Program back in 1966 to enhance the reliability and functions of Fujitsu products, using the watchwords of "reliability" and "creativity." This was followed in 1997 by Value Engineering (VE) activities intended to reduce product costs and rationalize work procedures. Then in April 2001, Fujitsu launched its Qfinity program that builds on the results of previous programs to meet today's needs for quality. The Qfinity program follows the Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) cycle not only in the exhaustive pursuit of functionality and enhanced reliability, but also in improving quality in many aspects of work, including customer response, product delivery, and costs. This paper gives an overview of the quality improvement activities under Qfinity. ---[Shinji Sugimoto]