Quality control in electronics manufacturing is an integral part of the production process. It always belong as a top level priority for most electronic manufacturers since QC electronics heavily dictates the outcome of the product hence the name of the process: quality assurance. Also big companies can struggle with proper testing as Samsung’s problems with exploding batteries and braking folding displays illustrates.
Quality assurance in electronics manufacturing does not only serve as a determinant for the electronic products but also fulfills the electronic company’s reputation and business success. All electronics manufacturers acknowledge this fact which is why they tend to focus on implementing a proper electronic quality control plan. Here are six critical processes need to be implemented for quality control in electronic manufacturing.
1. Hiring the Right Quality Engineer
The success of an electronic quality control plan can only be attributed to the quality engineer behind it. Engineering is a vital factor for quality control in electronic manufacturing and having a bad quality engineer in place will expect terrible results along the way. Hiring the right quality engineer is crucial to the project and you have to make sure you hire the right person for the job. This quality engineer must be equipped with the right knowledge, skills and experience suitable to your electronics quality control needs.
You can also shop for quality engineers by checking out other electronic manufacturing companies. Most of these quality engineers are willing to work with multiple companies whether they’d be doing PCB quality control for a certain company and facilitate the entire quality assurance electronics for a different company. Picking professional quality engineers are perfect for your QC electronics needs since they are the ones who possess the right skill set and experience for the job position.
2. Risk Management
The risk management process keeps costs at a minimum by avoiding setbacks and losses. It also covers meeting deadlines and make sure everything gets delivered or achieved on time. Mitigating risks is imperative for any electronics manufacturing company to keep liabilities at a minimum and discover potential issues then resolve them before they impact the entire manufacturing process and cause a setback. A risk management plan should be included in all quality control plans and not only in electronics.
Risk management detects problems before they even occur and become detrimental to the manufacturing process. Here is a good example on how the risk management process plays its role. When ordering for electrical components for the PCB, the risk management plan makes sure the parts arrive on time and everything works according to the lead time expected. The risk management plan will further assure all of the financial risks are evaluated in case mishaps occur and a fall back plan is in place to avoid serious issues down the manufacturing process. Technical details can be found here.
3. IPC Inspection
The IPC is a trade association who aims to standardize electronic manufacturing and serves as an initial level of quality assurance in electronics manufacturing. This association is the official group which determines the Acceptance Quality Level (AQL) of any electronic component. The AQL is the determining number whether an electronic component has a number of defective units which could merit rejection. Substandard products are classified as Class 2 IPC which means dedicated service electronic products while Class 3 IPC products are critical when it comes to standards.
4. TTC System
The TTC system is an advanced technology method being implemented by most electronics manufacturing companies these days as a part of their electronics quality control process. This is a traceability system which regulates manufacturing processes and stabilizes factors in human-critical working environments to make sure products are all safe and reliable. TTC system oversees components, collects data and record human operated activities as statistics to reduce errors and possible issues.
5. First Article Approval
Electronic manufacturers check the first product off the production line and let it go undergo a thorough electronics quality control before the rest of the batch is a given a go for massive production. The First Article Approval does not focus on the manufacturing process but aims to match the end product expected out of the batch. As long as the end product is passes all quality standards regardless of lead time and any other factors, then the First Article Approval will be released.
The First Article Approval is critical for the production line. It is a prerequisite document which approves mass production. Regardless if there are mistakes along the way within the manufacturing process, the First Article Approval signifies approval for mass production and is a huge leap for the QC electronics process since it approves the end product is as expected despite all of the problems/issues suffered within the manufacturing process if there are any.
6. Quality Certifications
Quality certifications are added bonuses to any quality assurance in electronic manufacturing. These certifications could cover equipment, workers’ skills and working space sometimes overlooked with traditional quality control in electronics manufacturing. Having these factors credited goes a long way in which further establishes your company as a certified electronics manufacturing company. There are clients and customers who are enticed with quality certifications as they speak so much for your electronics manufacturing company and acts as a service guarantee.
All of these critical processes for quality control in manufacturing serves as prerequisites to have a stable QC electronics process. If a quality engineer misses to have one of these in place, then there is a possibility wherein the QC electronics process could be flawed resulting to products of substandard qualities. Failure in the quality control department could result to waste of resources, poor products, human errors and failed product specifications which are nightmares for all electronics product manufacturers.