How to Solve Quality Issues in Manufacturing | In-line Improvements #7 | InkJet, Inc.

No matter what industry a manufacturing company is involved in, consistent high-quality production is a common goal. Regardless of whether one is involved in producing aerospace/automotive parts, bulk food packaging, or pharmaceuticals, ensuring product quality is an essential part of daily operations. Without quality-assurance measures, companies can inadvertently distribute flawed products, leading to soured partnerships, costly recalls, and even legal action in certain cases. 

There are guidelines to enable companies to foster complete end-to-end traceability, prevent counterfeiting, and eliminate the presence of NCPs (non-conforming products). If these quality guidelines aren’t met, it can cause havoc in the supply chain and damage the offending company’s public image. 

In aerospace and beyond, companies seek to avoid these problems by continually discussing how to solve quality issues in manufacturing. To aid this discussion, here are three tips to employ in your operation.

Quality control is an essential part of any manufacturing operation, and for it to be successful, it must be completed with diligence and a close eye to detail. Accordingly, it’s important to monitor every step of the manufacturing process to find any potential defect sources.

For example, a common problem facing ink manufacturers involves leaking bottles. During transit, the environmental changes and physical movement may cause bottlecaps to break loose from the pressure of the ink expanding, spilling the bottle’s contents. To solve this problem, many companies use heat sealers to create strong bonds between their caps and their bottles.

However, the seals will only be successful if the sealer is set to the optimal temperature and positioned correctly. Further, other procedural factors may cause inconsistency in product weight. In response, workers must periodically inspect both the equipment and the sealed bottles to ensure that they:

  • Are sealed correctly
  • All contain the correct amount of ink based on weight (determined by weighing the first, middle, and last units in a batch)
  • Display the correct label information in a clear, legible manner

While these specific steps are closely tied to the ink production process, the concept of close procedural monitoring is useful to manufacturers across the industrial spectrum.

Although it’s important to have somebody continually monitor the manufacturing process, workers can’t catch every mistake. This is especially true when it comes to coding mistakes. For markings like barcodes and data matrices to be successful, they must be printed at a high enough resolution so that scanners can easily read them.

With manufacturing lines producing thousands of products per day, workers can’t possibly check the code quality on every single unit. Fortunately, Defect Detection Systems offer a simple way to automatically inspect all products to verify that their markings are properly placed and machine-readable.

Through the use of deep learning software, cameras, and sensors, Defect Detection Systems are able to:

  • Confirm the readability of all applied codes and markings
  • Inspect product surfaces for any abnormalities or defects
  • Validate that all units conform to the proper specifications

With a combination of hands-on quality control and automated defect detection, manufacturing operations can consistently identify flawed products at an early stage. Of course, once these defective units are discovered, they must never end up entering the supply chain.

To prevent this possibility from becoming reality, companies must establish written procedures on how to:

  1. Separate the NCP from the other conforming products
  2. Document the specific problem
  3. Dispose of the NCP in a proper manner

A simple way to streamline this process is by using kick-out technologies on your line. Used in conjunction with Defect Detection Systems, kick-out measures respond to the presence of NCPs by automatically removing them from the production line. Utilizing measures like swipe arms, air systems, and drop-out platforms, kick-out technologies ensure that NCPs are placed in an isolated location where workers can properly dispose of them. 

By implementing kick-out measures and creating clear disposal guidelines, manufacturers can take great strides toward elevating the overall quality of their product output.

Wondering How to Solve Quality Issues in Manufacturing? Call InkJet, Inc. Today

Manufacturing operations live and die by the quality of their products. Mistakes can be costly to fix, and if they aren’t caught early, they can cause major issues along the supply chain. If you’re struggling with maintaining a high level of quality of printing and labeling in your product line, the experts here at InkJet, Inc. are here to help. 

With a few simple measures and equipment upgrades, we can help you reduce product defects and improve overall quality. Call today to learn how. 

To learn more about how to solve quality issues in manufacturing, contact us online today or call 1(800) 280-3245.