When is the best time to plan for the quality control of your manufacturing process and product?
It is best to start planning for quality control during the design phase of the product to work proactively to resolve potential defects or issues throughout the process.
If your designer is as experienced as they say, then they should thoroughly understand and be able to explain the manufacturing process that they plan to use with your design. Knowing the method then allows you to have a better understanding of potential defects in addition to where and why they occur. Not only does a designer need to understand aspects of manufacturing processes, they also need to be aware of any issues if the product requires assembly. Will the parts fit together correctly? What is the possibility of the product breaking during shipping or even during assembly by the customer? Overall, material selection and assembly must be considered carefully and completely to ensure compatibility and usability. If a product is defective based on material or design once in the consumer’s hands, issues beyond customer satisfaction occur, causing widespread product failure that could tarnish the company brand and reputation.
Manufacturing is not a 100% defect-free process. There will always be issues with quality, which is exactly why you should have a strong quality control plan in place to determine and resolve these defects prior to delivering your product to consumers.
Do you have a part that fits together with another part? If you answered yes, then why not consider getting a jig made to ensure that the parts fit correctly? Depending on the quantity being manufactured, you can check 100% of the parts or, for larger volumes, perhaps 1 in 50. If a part does not fit together correctly, then the manufacturer needs to put that particular batch to one side, or place the manufacturing process on hold, so that the other parts can be checked before being released to you.
Selecting a reliable and reputable manufacturer is vital as these individuals should already have a comprehensive quality control plan in place. If defective products are shipped to you, then the cost is yours. However, if the mistakes and defects are picked up during manufacturing, the cost is the responsibility of the manufacturer. Do not let your manufacturer send you rejected parts because this will cause you further headaches, wasted time, a poor reputation and customer loss.
In reducing or even eliminating the defect rate of your manufactured products through extensive quality control, you will not only raise your customer satisfaction levels, you will also reduce costs. Effective quality control plans that are established well in advance serve to proactively eliminate mass manufacturing of defective products, which is a large waste of money, resources and time. In catching defects prior to manufacturing completion, manufacturers are able to adequately resolve issues prior to distribution to the consumer.