Sky – Intelligent Repair

Our journey with Sky began in 2004 as a fulfilment operation providing delivery of Sky set top boxes to its national workforce of field engineers. Having successfully demonstrated our ability to add real value to the Sky logistics requirement, in 2009, Sky awarded UTL its set top box (STB) repair business. They were won over by our ability to think differently, our adaptability, cost control and passion to deliver a market leading, revolutionary repair process which was (and still is) absolutely focused on an exceptional customer experience.

We aspired to be much more than a basic transactional repair supplier and saw the opportunity as bigger than simply improving the quality and cost of the repairs process. It was also about reducing the long term need for this process by capturing the root causes of failure and relaying them back to the manufacturers.

As a world-first for set top box repair, we introduced an automated, objective test programme with over 140 points checked in a 30 minute period, complemented by Flying Probe technology to further diagnose faulty components on PCB Boards at high-speed. This use of cutting edge technology provides accurate and objective testing to ensure correct diagnosis and repair and also generates an extensive data set for ongoing analysis.

The test data captured was utilised alongside closed-loop feedback processes to link repair teams directly with field engineers and Sky Manufacturing to learn from each other in continuous joint improvement. This knowledge and insight is then utilised to provide enhancements to future product versions to either improve reliability and/or reduce future repair costs through a ‘design for service’ concept.

UTL also operate a Technical Evaluation Suite which allows for deep dive diagnostics and understanding of the product, including:

  • STB Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) and ‘longer run extended ‘life cycle testing’
  •  mean time to failure & FMEA analysis
  • establishing new methods for STB testing, that better identify fault found conditions
  • providing Technical support and guidance to the Sky contact centre and technical divisions

The solution quickly realised huge benefits for Sky, the level of No Fault Found Units was halved, demonstrating that significantly more faults were being correctly identified in the test processes and, most crucially, repaired prior to the unit being re-introduced to the supply chain. This ensures Sky customers receive a product that has been comprehensively tested and confirmed to meet the high standards expected.

The Flying Probe technology has reduced fault diagnosis time from 30 minutes through an engineer to just 3 minutes. It comprehensively tests 3.8 components every second and is accurate to 12 microns (half the width of a human hair).

The enhanced knowledge and data from our processes has enabled UTL and Sky to jointly identify a number of product design improvements which have been implemented in the manufacturing process to deliver an enhanced set top box solution

In essence, the intelligence and knowledge generated at UTL’s Sky Repair Centre, is underpinning a relentless focus on end-to-end reliability that meets the justifiably exacting expectations of over 11 million subscribers.

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As operators of the UK’s Largest Mobile Phone Repair Centre, we successfully repair over 100,000 devices per month.