Improving processes, procedures, and production are ways to reduce costs and waste in a manufacturing environment. Our culture of Continuous Improvement is core to finding innovative paths for reducing waste, and improving or redesigning our processes, which in turn improves the quality of our products.
Product traceability begins the moment raw material enters our door. During receiving inspection, raw material is tagged with an identification tag. As operators request material, data is logged into the computer system linking the finished part to the raw material being used. All finished parts are tagged as they are machined. The identification tag follows the parts through the facility and out the door to our customers. Several safeguards are in place to ensure that our raw and finished material inventory remains accurate and traceable.
High Quality Tools
Quality production of component parts is a direct result of using high quality tools, calibrated and traceable to each job performed. Quality production also includes inspecting end products with rigorous control procedures. Computer-controlled inspection provides exacting repeatability that simply cannot be duplicated by a human operator. Each MetalQuest gage is identified and tracked through calibration software. A monthly audit of the master index of calibration records ensure all gages are accounted for, tested, and calibrated at all times. An extensive database of testing data, including a history of the tools used to produce the parts, is available for review at any time to our customers.
Corrective & Preventive Action
Anticipating potential problems and responding to identified problems are additional steps in our quality processes. Preventive actions are implemented when our staff identifies situations which would cause manufacturing problems if left unchanged. As quality data is continually analyzed and internal audits occur, adjustments are made. Corrective actions are implemented when a nonconformance in material, processes, or delivered products is discovered. These steps are designed to correct and eliminate further discrepancies. Each corrective or preventive action is reviewed after implementation to evaluate effectiveness.
Computer-controlled Inspection Equipment
A part needs to be inspected for accuracy in its dimensions, potential faults in material, and its surface finish. Each of these details can be very labor intensive and monotonous, especially with close tolerance work, and is subject to human error. Utilizing the advanced technology of computer-controlled inspection machines, literally hundreds of comparisons of diameters, lengths, widths, and angles can be carried out simultaneously and verified against the computer-aided part design within a few seconds. The use of computer controlled inspection equipment is MetalQuest’s commitment to quality parts being produced on each and every production run. MetalQuest Unlimited has partnered with Brown & Sharpe with a variety of machines and software to achieve our quality goals.
Quality means nothing without on time delivery. MetalQuest carefully selects projects to ensure capability and capacity to meet our customer deadlines.
Testing and Inspection
Testing and Inspection of our parts are vital steps in delivering a quality product to our customers.
The steps taken in this process are listed below.
Visual and physical inspection are performed on all operations according to work instructions and/or customer specifications. Results for process verification are electronically recorded.
Incoming material is inspected and electronically documented for every purchase order issued. Our Quality Assurance Department ensures the material matches drawings and specifications as required by the customer. If material fails inspection or is deemed nonconforming at any point, it is quarantined to ensure it does not enter the production process.
All employees of MetalQuest Unlimited are responsible for identifying and segregating nonconforming product detected during production, and preventing nonconforming parts from being produced.
A machine qualification schedule is maintained as another resource in our calibration software. Test results are recorded into the database with statistical process control methods.
The first and last piece inspection is performed per the appropriate work instruction or print. In addition, sample inspections are done throughout the production run. Our production operators test and inspect their work on a real time basis, ensuring work is performed according to the quality management system requirements, work instructions, drawings, and customer specifications.
MetalQuest requires sample lot inspection and testing on all subcontracted product received.