We can all agree that consistent quality is essential to keeping customers happy and brands strong. And while it might be tempting to only check parts at the end of the production cycle, you’re missing a key opportunity to get consistent quality parts out the door, and potentially costing your company money in the process.
The trick to determining the how-many and how-often of quality inspection cells depends on a few things:
- Are your suppliers checking quality before they ship components to you? If they aren’t, or you don’t know, checking incoming components prior to putting them into production is an easy way to eliminate potential quality issue.
- How complex is your manufacturing process? The more complex, the greater chance of a quality issue. We aren’t suggesting that you integrate quality at every stage of your manufacturing process, but we can help to identify key stages where quality issues are more likely to occur.
- What percent of your parts are you checking? If you are currently doing random quality checks, establishing a baseline for minimum checks per production run or per shift and tracking how many and what the quality issue is for rejected parts is a strong starting point. We’ve found when working with our customers on process review and improvement, simple updates to process are enough to catch and minimize quality issues.
- What are the costs of parts not meeting quality standards? If you aren’t shipping quality parts to your customers, are they in a shut-down situation? What are the costs of rework, reorder or repair for your company? Shutting down your customer’s production line is potentially justification enough for integrating some additional inspection stations within your process.
Integrating quality inspection stations throughout your manufacturing process doesn’t have to be expensive. Attribute gauges are a lower-investment, simpler form of quality inspection and may just do the trick. Sometimes investing in automated quality inspection cells feels like a significant investment at the front end until you balance the investment with your manpower, costs of rejections and opportunity costs of 100% inspection and variable data capture.
So, to answer the question, is quality inspection during production necessary? Only if you care about repeat customers, your brand and your competitors.
To learn more about options for integrating quality inspection in your production process, email us – we’d love to have a conversation. [email protected]