Despite all the advances in technology over the last thirty years, most of the human industry involves the manipulation of metals. As such, not much has changed in thousands of years. Civilization still relies on being able to create high-quality metal objects, from bridge girders to dehumidifier condensers.
As such, companies need to implement high-quality standards. Failing to meet exacting tolerances could render products obsolete.
But how can you do that? That’s what this post discusses. We explore how automation and metalworking technologies can ensure proper QA and enable any manufacturer or workshop to produce world-beating products.
Table of Contents
- Define Specifications
- Implement Proper Process Control
- Conduct Regular Inspections
- Test Non-Destructively
- Aim For Continuous Improvement
The first step is to establish specifications and drawings that outline dimensions and measurements of interest. Engineers should understand materials’ tolerances and how they will impact the machines working them.
More generally, operators should ensure they meet various ISO requirements for the relevant industry. Sticking to these parameters increases the likelihood of products meeting minimum specifications and operating as expected in the real world.
Implement Proper Process Control
The next step is to implement proper process control across the supply and production chains. Engineers should understand the proper machine settings and calibrations required to get the desired results. Professionals must also take into account customer requirements, material properties, and cutting speeds.
Companies like EMG recommend automation of various processes to improve accuracy and reduce error. The goal should be to implement statistical control systems that can detect increasing probabilities of mistakes before they occur, preventing product recalls and brand damage.
Conduct Regular Inspections
You also want to conduct regular inspections of your procedures and protocols to ensure accuracy and relevance. As such, you’ll probably need to add some new steps and subtract others if you are moving between product categories or retooling.
When inspecting, use the proper tools or specialist services. Check the surface quality, the material integrity, and any heat damage caused by improper processing or tool selection.
You can also implement so-called “non-destructive” testing methods, enabling you to better inspect finished products and identify problems. Companies assess defects using ultrasonics, X-ray, or eddy current testing, looking for defects in materials.
This testing type can help you examine more products coming off your line. This way, you can avoid shipping entire batches that fall short of your specifications and standards. You can also avoid potentially damaging media exposure to the poor quality of your products. Sending all items through an X-ray helps you rule out problems and more confidently offer customers a manufacturer guarantee.
Aim For Continuous Improvement
Finally, you’ll want to aim for continuous improvement if you’re in the metal-working industry. The more refinements you make, the greater your competitive advantage will be.
Try instilling a culture of improvement in the organization itself. Get employees to actively approach quality, telling them to make changes or inform you if they notice problems with your process.
Also, start using analysis software. Modern tools make it simpler to identify problems with your existing approach, letting you improve materials and equipment over time.