Incoming! What’s that sound?
That’s the sound of manufacturers not having a supplier specification created for incoming materials in their operation.
It’s like the old piece of wisdom: You can’t know where you’re going unless you know where you came from.
While we’re not exactly sure who said it, it applies exactly to what’s needed when it comes to covering your bases from an incoming materials standpoint.
1. Incoming materials are the first opportunity for problems in adhesion-related processes that are central to final product quality.
More specifically, not having a specification in general nor having the knowledge of how to establish an acceptable level of supplier quality are both reasons for this crucial step often being neglected.
The result? Quality, and capital, left out on the floor.
Speaking of the production floor, if your treatment processes aren’t quantified, meaning you have no idea if the type of surface preparation you’re using, and how much, is appropriate for your surface, well…..
2. The non-specific treatment of material surfaces during pre-adhesion processing leads to variable results in final product quality.
Simply put, preparing a surface through solvent wiping, abrading, plasma treating, laser ablading...to name a few, creates changes in the surface that affect the quality of painting, bonding, sealing, coating, etc. Quantifying treatment, through complete understanding of your material system, is crucial to achieving, and maintaining, the highest quality in your operation.
For reference, think: processing a composite or metal surface until it’s “good enough.” The assumption that “simply sanding” a surface (in the instance of abrasion), leaves the door wipe open for a completely new level of understanding to achieve and maintain your best process.
Maintain? Whether human or robotic, it’s a fact of life and manufacturing that processes go out of control, producing negative effects in final product quality.
While we all crave the certainty in business that comes with a perfectly controlled process, and some may call it the Holy Grail of Production, we’re a bit more skeptical in this pursuit.
You can, however, keep your process maintained, but only once your best process has been defined.
3. Maintaining the quality of a surface-critical process eliminates scrap, rework, downtime, and loss of capital due to variable results in final product quality.
While in a perfect world, demand always outweighs production, but most times, storage of components is absolutely necessary for job and large-scale manufacturing.
But, how do the effects of aging actually affect the surface of the materials to eventually be used in your manufacturing operation?
It’s a question not often asked but…
4. Assessing the impact of aging on materials in storage eliminates the detrimental effects of non-optimal surface quality that causes variable results in final product quality.
Your material surface impacts final product quality, and leaving bases left uncovered in your material system, from incoming to treatment to monitoring to storage, means something.
So with that being said:
Has there ever been an instance where manufacturers can gain an unprecedented level of certainty in regards to their manufacturing operation?