Quality has always been a focus of manufacturing, but now more than ever there is a trend toward increased quality control, inspection and traceability. This mandate has come from consumers, who are now exposed to a global rather than a local market. Whether they’re shopping for a car, a DVD player or the year’s newest gadget, consumers have become more discerning and demanding.
The advent of the critical consumer has hit at the same time that companies from every industry are trying to drive down prices. A global market means global competition. Manufacturers are faced with the challenge of increasing quality dramatically while at the same time pulling down cost structure and pricing.
The way to meet both of these goals is to squeeze waste out of the system at the same time that you improve quality. Automated process validation systems check each part as it’s manufactured, allowing you to halt production at the first sign of error. This replaces the “Go, No Go” checks of the past, whereby parts were periodically pulled off the production line and manually inspected. In that scenario, a defective part meant that a number of potentially defective parts could have been produced causing a major hiccup in production. In our next blog, we’ll cover the benefits of process validation and vision inspection systems in more detail.