Why are certain manufacturers in demand and others are not? Quality products and better service are the main reasons clients choose a manufacturer. Quality plays a significant role in any production environment, and you’re going nowhere without it.
This article undertakes a detailed overview of what defines quality in all aspects of the metal stamping industry—why it’s important, what are the requirements, techniques&tools, and how quality inspections are performed.
Quality is a product characteristic that shows its value and excellence. It should the best and most obvious trait of a product—quality in the metal stamping industry is achieved when the components and/or parts are manufactured with precision and accuracy.
Without quality control, there are no quality products. It is a process or a system of maintaining the value and excellence of a manufactured product from raw material to finished product. Quality control (QC) ensures that each product is free from defects that might impede deliverables. Here are a few benefits that show the importance of QC in manufacturing:
- Avoiding repeat fabrication saves time and money, which lowers production costs.
- Meeting client needs and specifications enhances your reputation,resulting in word-of-mouth referralsfrom clients and partners.
- It improves the overall healthof your business, empowers employees, professionals, engineers, etc.
- It ensures qualityand safety for employees and end users.
Most important is a fully developed plan. Talk with the experts (e.g., Gold Precision) regarding your product specifications—what will it look like, what materials to use, and what features the product will have?
Have a detailed design or engineered drawing of the part you want to achieve. It should include adequate measurements, defined limitations, and desired characteristics. These steps are the footprints of a successful product. Be specific with:
- The thinness or thickness of the stamped metal
- The desired length and final weight of the end product
- The circular and cylindrical tolerances neededtoensure that the 3D form is round and straight along its axis
- Concentricity, uniformity, and flatness are also vital for stamping
The desired output and functionality are primarily based upon the requirements. In order for everything to be accurate, there are tolerances we need to know. Tolerance is defined as the amount of acceptable deviation from the assigned dimensions. Tolerances are an integral part of the design and these are crucial for production.
One requirement that needs to be prioritized is tight tolerance; this is the ability of the metal to produce components of maximum quality. It is a priority because tolerances that are too tight may lower productivity and increase costs. If you have the tolerances correct, manufacturing benefits are:
- Higher efficiency
- Better fit
- Reduced costs
When you have decided the characteristics and requirements, the next thing to do is pick a suitable material from a trusted supplier. Remember, the same class, size, and quantity are required for all raw materials purchased. This makes it easy for you to inspect all raw materials upon delivery.
Part requirements serve as the stepping stone, so create a record and document standards.
Good documentation is a successful quality control system’s foundation. It is your bucket list of goals necessary to ensure your manufacturer meets your quality requirements and needs so that the end result is your desired product. The documentation should include:
- A detailed process, and clear procedures
- Complete instructions from fabrication to the use of equipment
- The manufacturing team’s responsibilities, foremost of which is a solid work ethic
- Inspection and test plans
- A list of solutions coveringissues that may arise during production
- All essential records, such as equipment capacityand tolerance capabilities
Quality Standards is the document that provides guidelines, specifications, and requirements that define the parameters of material acquisition, products, procedures, etc. that affect the function and purpose of the manufacturer.
ISO 9000 is the international standard of quality management used by various industries worldwide. It comprises Quality Management Systems (QMS) for requirements, quality of the organization, guidance, auditing guidelines, and quality management principles.
Gold Precision is a metal stamping industry that complies with ISO 9000 standards and ensures every client’s specifications are met.
Accuracy is key in metal stamping, and accuracy is the foundation of a stamped part’s quality. The manufacturer needs to know the calibration tolerances and standards in order to understand their repeatability and reproducibility.
Calibration, Standardization, and Tolerances
Maintaining accurate measurements means your manufacturer calibrates both the components and the equipment, while following the standards and the tolerances provided.
Calibration tolerance is the sustainable variation between the standard and the calibrated device. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has established various measurements and inspection tools to enable compliance with the calibration standard.
Gage R&R is an accepted method of attaininga measurement system’s repeatability and reproducibility. Let us first discuss these two Rs. Repeatability is means measuring the same part multiple times with the same tool and under identical circumstances and getting the same result each time. Reproducibility is two or more people doing a repeatability test successfully.
The measurement system is successful when the percentage of Gage R&R is below 10 percent.
The following statements list of benefits and advantages of using Gage R&R:
- Costly measurement errorsare prevented.
- Good measurements lead to better decision-making.
- It offersrapid and effective plan and design opportunitiesusing minimal resources.
Quality control is not complete until there has been a thorough inspection from processing to shipment. All industries, especially metal stamping, undergo initial, in process, and final inspections to guarantee quality in creating the parts needed for equipment and machines.
Initial inspection begins with cross-checking tools, materials, and equipment before production, to prevent failures during manufacturing. In-process inspection precedes manufacturing stages to preclude possible errors.
Best practices demand inspections in the early stages of fabrication to avoid errors that may lead to higher costs and longer production times, and keep the project on budget.
In large production runs, final inspection requires random sampling of chosen components based on Acceptance Quality Level (AQL). Sampling plans can enhance the effectiveness of product inspection and reduce the inspector’s workload while producing statistical results.
Remember, these assessments should always be recorded to ensure that the manufacturer is providing you with what was agreed upon.
Quality control does not end when production has started, nor does it end when the final component is manufactured. It goes on through the packing and delivery of the parts. Remember, “Quality is everybody’s job.” Proper planning and healthy communication with experts, trusted partners, and workers, in concert with tool and equipment checks, are the key to achieving quality.
Here at Gold Precision, we are dedicated to helping our clients launch their products in the shortest possible time using our micro-precision stamping mold and hardware solutions. We also have assembly and packaging services to ensure that you quickly receive your finished, stamped parts ready for production when you receive them.
Visit us today!