Today’s advanced product development tools and processes go a long way in helping to ensure product quality. Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and simulation allow components, assemblies, sub-assemblies, and even entire systems to be analyzed for manufacturability, durability and quality in the early upstream stages of product development – well in advance of manufacturing. However, even the best designed and painstakingly manufactured products are not immune to problems. Consequently nearly all manufacturers have implemented quality safety nets to capture noise, vibration and other quality issues before products reach the customer.
This level of quality control often involves a manual parts inspection at the end-of-production. While some implement one hundred percent part inspection others are content to do random spot checks. So what’s the problem? Too many companies continue to rely on the discretion of a quality inspector leading to a subjective interpretation of acceptable quality – subjective decisions that are rooted in emotion and may or may not agree with the customer’s interpretation of quality. Too often quality is more of an art than it is a science; and standards can vary widely.