Recalls resulting from product safety problems with consumer electronics cause severe damage to brand reputation and profits. It is crucial for brands and importers to ensure products are safe and working properly before they reach consumers.
In this article, we will explore ways that brands and importers of consumer electronics can implement quality control during the manufacturing process.
How To Control Quality During Electronics Manufacturing
Quality control is an ongoing process that is improved and refined over time. It can occur at all stages of manufacturing from qualifying suppliers all the way to container loading.
Here are four steps you can take to control product quality during the manufacturing process:
1. Create A Quality Control Checklist
A quality control checklist serves as a written guide for your strict product requirements. It contains extremely detailed instructions on what to look for in regards to:
- Packaging requirements
- Possible defects
- Special requirements
- And more
Every importer needs to have a quality control checklist to clarify their product requirements to inspection staff. If you don’t have one, it is recommended that you create one before you begin manufacturing.
2. Components Management
Electronic parts are only as good as the components that make them up. The best way to control quality at the earliest stages of manufacturing is to de-risk the procurement of your critical components.
Low-quality or counterfeit components that wind up on your circuit boards can degrade the overall performance of your product and even pose safety hazards. The best way to avoid this is to implement the following quality controls:
- Keep records of your parts - certify your parts and trace your suppliers to ensure that all components are coming from reputable sources
- Perform product inspections - Product inspections at every stage of the manufacturing process can help ensure that only authentic, manufacturer-grade parts are being used.
3. Establish Inspection Frequency
Quality control should occur throughout the entire manufacturing process. It’s important to work with your inspection team to establish the inspection frequency. This includes:
- Pre-production inspection - These quality checks take place before manufacturing begins and usually focus on the condition of the raw materials.
- During production inspection - These checks take place midway through production and used to identify defects and prescribe corrective actions.
- Pre-shipment inspection - These checks occur toward the end of production and are used to verify unique product requirements and Acceptable Quality Limits.
- Container loading - These checks ensure that your goods are being transported safely and will verify the correct quantities and documentation are included.
For tips on establishing inspection frequency, you can reference this post.
4. Consistent Processes
The key to controlling product quality is consistency. This means ensuring that you have strict processes in place through the entire manufacturing cycle.
Manufacturing can often take weeks or even months to complete. This means you will have different workers, inspectors, and sometimes even different factories involved in making your product — and that equals a high degree of variability.
Developing and instituting standard procedures will help you develop consistency and guarantee product quality.
With Consistency Comes Quality
The Electronics market is highly competitive and there is a constant need to innovate and outdo other products on the market. Establishing and enforcing a system and checks and inspections during manufacturing can help to prevent defects and outliers.
AQF can add even more value to your quality control processes. Based on our consumer electronics expertise, we can set up and execute a customized inspection procedure, monitor the results, and help you to put in place the necessary corrective actions to reach your quality objectives and lead-times. Contact us to learn more or sign up for AQF Online to book your next service.