Thermal Simulation Is Key to JVC CCTV Product Reliability
by Matt Barrett
With the continuing trend toward lower cost of manufacturing for electronic devices and greater
use of integrated components, we have become used to seeing manufacturer warranty periods
well in excess of the traditional 12 months. This does not necessarily mean that the
manufacturer of the device actually expects the product to last as long as the warranty. It
simply means the manufacturer has made a cost calculation that takes into account the fact
that only a percentage of products that fail within the warranty period actually end up being the
subject of a warranty claim. With a relatively low-priced item like a CCTV camera, it is common
to simply purchase a replacement.
However, the process of replacing that camera can be very expensive. Warranty or no
warranty, the cost of sending a technician up a ladder to replace a failed CCTV camera often
costs more than the camera itself. Plus, it is important to consider the potential damage or theft
where the camera is not providing surveillance.
The best way to avoid the expense and inconvenience associated with a CCTV camera that
fails is for the camera not to fail in the first place. But if the warranty period is not a true
indicator of likely product lifespan, how is it possible to determine a realistic picture of expected
The answer is to examine data such as the FR (Failure Rate) and MTBF (Mean Time Between
Failures) that a manufacturer may publish. JVC is one of the very few security products
manufacturers that is proud to publish such data. FR and MTBF figures, established through
well-established analytical modeling techniques, provide a clear guide for product lifetime
expectations. JVC's mini-dome cameras, for example, have a published MTBF figure of 90,000
hours. That's more than 10 years of 24/7 usage. These calculations are borne out in the field
by users all over the world. For example, a well known national supermarket chain, which has
had more than 7,500 JVC security cameras installed over the past eight years, has
experienced less than 40 failures. That's less than one in 200 over a significant timespan.
Causes of mechanical failure
The reason for the incredible longevity of JVC products can be traced to a fundamental design
philosophy relating to thermal and environmental issues. To a great extent, the longevity of key
components such as integrated circuits and capacitors determines the life span and failure rate
of the products in which they are used.
Reliability White Paper – Page 1 of 7
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