Catching errors is fundamental to meeting the demands placed on manufacturers. These standards have been in place for years and will continue, even becoming more stringent.
During the assembly process, quality control is a crucial part of all manufacturing operations. Processes will continually need to be changed and improved in efforts to achieve maximum efficiency. Error proofing and quality assurance is a responsibility held by all, not just by one department or only done at the end of the line.
Here are six reasons you should be checking fasteners during the assembly.
1. It will save time in the end
Making mistakes wastes time. It’s as simple as that. Once a mistake is made, you will need to catch that mistake and fix it, which can cause backups on the assembly line. As the saying goes, time is money!
If an error goes unnoticed until further down the line, the whole operation or line needs to stop, and operators must then go back and fix that mistake before restarting production. Or even worse, errors won’t be caught until the product reaches the consumer.
2. It ensures quality control
Don’t wait for your products to get to your customers before you find out that there was a quality control issue. Operating a successful assembly line means you need to have the highest level of quality control. Your products need to meet or exceed your customers’ expectations. Quality control is one of the most fundamental aspects of running an assembly line, as it informs other factors like minimizing waste and increasing productivity.
One way to ensure that you are operating at a high level of quality assurance is to use smart tools and accessories to count screws. Counting screws is a process that helps operators ensure they have fastened the correct amount of screws during the manufacturing process. Missing screws or fasteners not correctly installed are two of the most common symptoms that plague quality control.
You can utilize a screw counter to catch and eliminate screw-fastening errors during the assembly process.
3. Reduce damage to the product
When you make mistakes assembling products, you run the risk of permanently damaging them — for example, stripping or cross-threading. Ensuring you have the right tools for the application can help you with this.
For instance, a right-angle screwdriver will help you fasten screws in hard to reach places. Although an inline or pistol style tool may work in the application it can be tough to maneuver into the best tightening position potentially leading to fasteners being installed incorrectly. Further to that, using improper tools can not only put you at risk for errors, but they can also cause strain in the operator. Using the right tools ensures that each screw is being put into place correctly and efficiently, without damaging the product.
Errors in production could be quite sensitive depending on what you’re producing – for example, if you manufacture pacemakers, the last thing you would want is a defect when your product is being used. Mistakes ultimately affect product performance.
Uncovering mistakes is crucial, but knowing where you are making the most mistakes on the assembly line will show you where you need to improve.
It only takes one batch of bad products to hit the market, which will result in:
- Losing customers
- Damaging your brand
- Taking away from your bottom line
- Negatively impacting shareholders
If you do not take advantage of technology to help you track your products across the assembly line, it will be almost impossible to recall a defective or contaminated item. Traceability allows you to keep moving down the path of continuous improvement.
5. Avoid a lawsuit
Let’s say your assembly line manufactures products that have to do with the medical technology industry. Let’s use pacemakers again as an example. If you can produce one million pacemakers a day but have a 1% defect rate, then that means you would be making 10,000 defective pacemakers per day. 1% doesn’t seem like a large number, but in reality, potentially 10,000 people can be very heavily impacted by the faulty product.
As the manufacturing company, you can be held liable for these faulty products. You might find yourself in legal trouble, or worse yet, you could get your manufacturing plant shut down.
Pacemakers, circuit boards or other delicate products require the utmost accuracy; otherwise, they will fail. The consequences of these products failing can be more severe than others. Using torque control and calibration, you can lower your product defect rate from 1% to none.
6. Keep a clean reputation
Having faulty products ultimately tarnishes your reputation once your customers receive the product. You’ll most likely suffer bad reviews and complaints that are time-consuming to follow up on and rectify.
Once you experience a significant dip in terms of ratings, it’s hard to climb your way back up. The best course of action is to avoid this situation altogether.
Manufactured products that are free from error results in a safer world for everyone. Controlling torque and using the right tools is essential for manufacturers to ensure that their products are reliable and safe. Failing to tighten a fastener properly or even worse missing a screw altogether can lead to a significant drop in efficiency or failures down the line, which causes more even trouble.
To learn more about why you should be checking fasteners during the assembly process or about tools such as industrial electric screwdrivers, call Delta Regis Tools at 1-888-500-2755 or contact us here.