When trying to find a manufacturing partner, most companies look for two things: They want a competitive price and they want their orders to come on time. The problem is, reducing those two factors often come at the cost of product quality. Ultimately, when product quality is inconsistent it creates a lot of expensive returns that drive up the cost and slow down the delivery. Whether a manufacturer is producing teddy bears or high tech PC’s, measures have to be taken to ensure that every piece of product being delivered is identical and meets quality standards. The manufacturer should also be able to provide you with updates of progress or issues in quality along the way. If a manufacturer has efficient quality monitoring processes, they can keep their prices competitive and hit deadlines without sacrificing quality. We have created a checklist for you to use to recognize if a manufacturer you are looking at or already use has optimum or substandard quality monitoring methods in place.
Incoming Quality Control
As a rule of thumb, for operational costs and efficiency control, it’s better to stop any nonconforming materials before they slip into factory inventory. Premio’s Incoming Quality Control (IQC) inspection serves well for this purpose. Our IQC check point setup is armed with detailed item-specific checklists, supplemented with extensive visual-aid guidelines to ensure that no wrong, damaged, and/or defective items are being accepted. An online IQC program manages the inspection process and keeps component records. The IQC program also flushes material serial numbers and flags any second-time returns from suppliers to ensure the related non-conformances have been fixed.
Work In Progress (WIP) Status
Premio has developed a sophisticated Manufacturing Shop Floor Control (MFG SFC) system to control all product-manufacturing operations. The SFC system generates real-time product-specific manufacturing data and summarizes correlated trends and special events against historic records on 24/7 basis. To minimize scheduled production downtime introduced by workmanship, component or software failures, an instant WIP notification is generated electronically to our manufacturing quality team for quick response and prompt escalation for containment and resolution. The quality team will segregate all failed items with detailed rejection/non-conforming tags attached to repair stations. In the meantime, all SFC system records with pass/failed descriptions are electronically linked to the system serial numbers to avoid any non-conforming product being shipped out to customers.
Out of Box Auditing (OOBA)
In order to ensure each product works properly and consistently, there has to be a last line of defense in place to test the products before they are shipped. When a product passes the Final Quality Check (FQC), it will be routed to the packing station with a notification generated by the SFC system and routed to the OOBA station for sampling and inspection. OOBA inspectors should perform a product-specific inspection to simulate the “end user experience” for the new product. A detailed online checklist guides them through this process to validate the functions, cosmetics, accessories, serial numbers, model labels, etc. to match required product specifications. In case of any non-conformity to product specifications, electronic notifications would be sent to related parties for immediate corrective actions before OOBA releases the orders for shipment.
Premio believes that people are the key to manufacturing quality. As a part of continued improvement initiatives, we created an Employee Certification Program to ensure that only qualified operators will be on-duty for all manufacturing operations. If you want to go even a step further you can dig into a company’s organization and management. We believe effective inter-departmental communications and collaborations is another key element to measure the effectiveness of manufacturing quality. We conduct daily production meetings with related departments to discuss the production schedule, MRB disposition, quality, and any other issues for immediate decisions. Our online Corrective/Preventive Action system orchestrates and tracks CA/PA implementations for both internal use and suppliers’ performances.