Managing Quality Effectively

Effective quality management is essentially the process of making corrective decisions to repair mistakes or to prevent a mistake from happening. A good metal stamping firm should always be able to demonstrate proper and effective quality management in practice, as well as an effective method of identifying problems.

One of the most well known processes throughout the metal engineering industry is the 8 Disciplines method, or 8-D. 8-D uses a team approach to solve the problem. Initially, the team will describe the problem in measurable terms  and then begin to determine short-term corrective action. Once the problem has been temporarily stopped, the team will then begin to isolate the original cause of the problem. The team then verifies corrective actions that have been proposed and then implement them in order to prevent any recurrences.

Another part of this process is taking the time to mistake-proof the project and future projects whenever possible. It differs from the various branches of the industry, for instance tool designers will always have to consider a product’s tolerance and better dimensional stability. Designing better tooling goes some way to making the process essentially mistake proof before tooling is even manufactured. Also, in-die sensors not only protect the tooling, but can also detect any discrepancies in designs or often small insects or slugs and will then completely halt the designing process, again eliminating the potential for a faulty product.

Metal stampers should have processes in place that allow them to learn from mistakes and apply the lessons learned to like processes. One helpful tool is to maintain a searchable database of problems and solutions accessible to employees all along the production line. Not only does a solid and consistent IT system help the metal stamper achieve quality performance, but it also enables a customer to conduct quality checks more easily and quickly. For example, the metal stamper should be able to instantly retrieve such data as manufacturing records, inspection history, and shipping date by part number when required.

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UK Automotive Industry Reports Strong Numbers

Despite a decline in sales for the European automotive industry, UK sales have recently reached a four year high in both production of vehicles and international exports.

In 2012, Manufacturers based in England had produced 1.46 million cars, of which 1.21 million were shipped abroad.

Both production and exports had increased at 8% and 9% respectively.  This is strong growth, especially after statistics revealed that EU sales had dropped by 17%.

The SMMT expects 2013 to be better yet.

Statistics also reveal that approximately 4 out of every 5 vehicles is exported to another country, however, production was still able to increase due to a growing domestic demand.

Total new car registrations in the UK rose 5.3% in 2012, helping to drive up domestic demand for UK-manufactured cars by 15%.

Of the UK’s car exports in 2012, 50% went to other parts of the EU, with another 15% going to the rest of Europe, 16% went to Asia (of which 8% to China) and 13% to the US, the SMMT said.

However, there have been certain issues; for example the manufacture of commercial vehicles such as trucks and vans fell 6.8% last year due to a decline in universal demand, which again began to steadily rise in December 2012.

 

 

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Categories in Tubing

When selecting tubing for a product, choices are numerous and can sometimes become overwhelming. These choices are mainly down to the characteristics of the tubing, which include material selection, dimensions, tolerance, and what process is used to manufacture the tubing. The three methods used in tube fabrication are called seamless, welded, and drawn. Each of these methods has advantages and disadvantages respectively.

Seamless tubing is fabricated by drawing the material through a die. This produces a seamless tube, which does not have the variants usually found in welded products. There are two potential problems caused by this process. However, due to the limited use of various materials, the diameter of the tube is smaller, which means that there is the risk of the lubricant used in the drawing process not being fully removed from the inside of the tube, thus leaving impurities.

In terms of the requirements needed for a quality tubing, the three methods have strengths in various fields, such as:

Burst strength – seamless provides the strongest burst strength for the same material type and tube dimensions.

Roundness – welded tubing can have a problem with roundness, which is eliminated in both seamless and drawn tubing.

Consistency of wall thickness – plug drawn tubing provides the most consistent wall thickness, while seamless provides the least.

Corrosion resistance – seamless tubing has the greatest corrosion resistance, as the tube is made of all the same material without any weld seam.

Cost – seamless is the most expensive option and welded is the least expensive.

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Important Alloy Tips

There are many ways in which to weld metal alloys together, however all members of the metal pressing industry agree that beforehand all components must be properly regulated. Here are a few simple rules which are common to all metal alloy compounds.

Use Similar Alloys

If you don’t use Alloys with similar characteristics, it could potentially be disastrous. Not only do they often have different melting temperatures, but they also require different welding rod or wire.

When dissimilar alloys have to be used, they should be joined together by other means, such as bolting. In cases

Only Use Alloys With Similar Thicknesses

This is one of the most basic rules of welding. However it is also incredibly easy to get wrong. When parts of dissimilar thickness are welded together, the chance of suffering a burn through the finished product is increased.

The reason why it is necessary to use alloys of similar thicknesses is simple: if two pieces of metal are being welded together, and one piece is double the thickness of the other, it means that twice the amount of heat will be required for one than the other. This would mean allowing the welding rod or wire to linger longer on that thicker piece.

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How To Identify Quality

The term quality seems to be a term that goes without any contestation. However, “quality” can mean a lot of things. What makes it variable is the application for which the term is applied. An acceptable level of quality for medical equipment will not be the same as for a home appliance. This means that the quality level of a product is always determined by the way that the component will be in use.

One place where this is prevalent is in finish quality. A smooth, flawless finish is essential to a new product, as it not only minimises any surface issues, but also indicates quality and care to the customer. However, in many cases, that high quality finish is only provided for appearance, and does nothing to add to the actual value of the product. Granted, consumers generally won’t buy a product which isn’t finished nicely, but this can easily become overdone.

In order to ensure that these types of issues are eliminated, every product undergoes a quality review process. The review is usually only based around whether the quality level required on this drawing is appropriate for the application in which it will be used. Most of the time, this step can eliminate excessive cost as well as guarantee that the quality of manufactured components are appropriate to their intended use.

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Ensuring Quality

A quality product can only truly be manufactured if the company producing it has ensured that there is quality throughout the manufacturing process. This means that quality is essential from components to machines to personnel, and the personnel particularly are essential for ensuring that

In order for a product to be considered quality, standards must be considered during every single step of the manufacturing process. As every top quality manufacturing company understands, quality is not by any means an afterthought, as it must be at the forefront of the minds of all personnel.

In order to create a top quality product, standards must be considered throughout the entire process, however in order to ensure quality in your machines, the following must be done.

  • Firstly, you must check that the machine operator has set the machine to manufacture the product to the correct specification and dimensions.
  • Secondly, the first piece that comes out of the machine must be checked immediately in order to ensure that the machine is running correctly.
  • Throughout the machines manufacturing process, you must make regularly check various components that have been designed in order to ensure that the machine has not lost functionality.

Having a quality machine in the assembly process acts as an added bonus for the manufacturers, as it creates quality parts, which in turn minimises production problems and increases overall productivity. This helps increase the company’s reputation in the marketplace, ultimately providing for an increase in sales.

 

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Quality Issues

Many people believe that creating a product at a lesser price automatically implies that a large bulk of the quality has also been compromised. This, however, is not true at all.

In fact, every time materials thicknesses are reduced, lower grade materials are substituted and tolerances are opened up to allow for lax manufacturing methods, which ultimately means that the product quality will suffer. This reduction in product quality can be much more expensive than most people realise.

High quality materials can actually save you money in various areas, in particular production problems, which are not uncommon. The high quality components will assemble with each other much more easily, with less adjustment, less forcing and less trouble in general. The way it reduces cost is due to the fact that less problems mean increased productivity which means less time spent at the machines. One of the most well known secrets is that increasing productivity is a much better way of reducing cost.

The final thing is to have a strong relationship with the suppliers of the material, and ensure they will provide you with quality. Without a commitment to quality, a supplier is going to provide you with the minimum they can get away with. This is the bedrock of combining cost saving with top quality, as a lack of quality materials will result in a terrible product that will be fraught with problems.

 

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What You Need to Know About the Design Process

Designers know that they are essentially deciding everything about the product. Their choices have a ripple effect on virtually every aspect of manufacturing after them. This means that everybody else is left to work on the design and nothing more. These tips should help you understand the designing process.

1 – Part Design and Function

The first thing designers consider is how effective the design is. Designers have to consider what’s necessary to ensure that their product is going to function correctly, even if it requires product design assistance. This means deducing what exactly the machine will be used for.

2 – Material Selection

The materials used will always have an effect on the quality of the product. Certain materials react more effectively to certain fabrication methods, and the designer must take this into consideration.

3 – Quality Control and Consistency

There are some fabrication processes which automatically guarantee a high level of quality and consistency, while others don’t. Many don’t realise this, but the processes used have a large effect on the quality of the final product. However, these processes are always going to be a consequence of the design. Quality and cost must be a consideration in every step of the design and development process.

 

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Gwent Police Crack Down On Metal Thefts

As part of a crack down by Gwent police has seen 21,000 cars being seized since April last year as a way of combating metal theft. There strategy has since been adopted by other police forces.

The new methods have seen 862 people arrested in connection with metal theft offences and a further 761 people summoned into court. Police in Wales have since adopted this method across all constabularies as the best method for fighting metal theft.

Since the fight against metal thefts, Gwent police have worked with other agencies and partners including VOSA, the Department of Work and Pensions, British Transport Police and the Environment Agency.

Almost 22,000 (21,942) vehicles have been stopped, and an estimated 70 van loads of scrap metal has been confiscated.

The overall number of people who have been stopped/searched stands at 8,628, with a total of 1,471 vehicles being seized, approximately 2,600 fixed penalty notices have been issued, approximately 280 people have been referred to the DWP, two scrap yards have since been closed down and a total of 61 stolen vehicles have been recovered by Gwent police.

In July, two men were summoned to court for encroaching the rules of the scrap metal act of 1964. The two men failed to were unregistered and failed to keep records. This was the first successful conviction of its kind.

Chief Inspector Glyn Fernquest was quoted as saying: “The Force is making real progress in tackling this criminality and the fact that other forces are now adopting methods we have used to tackle metal thieves is testament to the skill and determination of our officers and our partner agencies.”

Police across the UK are now urging people with knowledge of metal thefts to come forward in order to stop the rise in crime.

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Market Grows Unstable

The metal market has become increasingly unpredictable in recent years. The industry has seen huge shifts both higher and lower, sometimes within a week. The fluctuations in these markets have been compounded by the uncertainty in the global economy over the past two years.

Copper has been pushed hugher. mark this year, but suffered a drop in July 2010 by almost 15%. Since that time, Copper has been consistently rising again.

Copper, silver, gold and oil tend to fluctuate with the movement of the dollar. As the dollar strengthens, commodity prices tend to dip. On the other hand, if the value of the dollar weakens, commodity prices tend to rise. Since commodities are traded in dollars, they normally follow the up and down movement of the dollar market.

The Steel market, which has been rising since November 2009, appears to have stopped rising and may even be declining.

This pricing fluctuation is as much supply based, as it is demand based. While the demand for steel may not always large, many times mills will reduce their capacities so that they can hold pricing, or even see it increase.

Precious metals (gold, silver, platinum, palladium) have continued to rise all year. Gold, especially, has hit one high after another. People tend to flock to the safety of gold in difficult times, which has been evident over the past two years.

With the current state of the market there is no doubt that the market will continue to fluctuate unpredictably.

 

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