Detecting Common Assembly Line Issues

Today’s manufacturers often prefer to carry out final quality checks at the end of production, but at Shark Design we regard this as a relatively weak approach when it is the only criteria for assessing risk. Remember the objective is not only to identify a faulty component but to prevent it from happening in the first place, which means delaying quality checks until the end of the manufacturing process can end up costing you way more.

Defects come in many forms, ranging from small and barely noticeable aesthetic flaws to genuine health and safety hazards. In any case, detecting these errors when the items are already complete will usually necessitate that the product is reworked, absorbing more of your time and additional materials costs. The risk of shipment delays is very real, along with extra freight costs, and implications for product reliability.

Assessing the Whole Manufacturing Process

Post production quality control is insufficient, then. We recommend that clients avoid putting too much emphasis on their final random inspection, and instead assess the whole manufacturing process. This is the best way to drastically improve the quality of finished products. Here we list some common failings that negatively influence final product outcomes:

  1. Incoming materials are not adequately checked or stored.
  2. Workstations are not correctly configured.
  3. Operators run processes outside of the agreed parameters.
  4. Station workloads are not standardized.
  5. Settings of test equipment and tools are incorrect for the task at hand.
  6. Poor understanding of product quality requirements. 
  7. Inspection and test plan for outgoing goods or sample size is lacking in detail. 
  8. Poor level of quality control during the inspection process.

Examples of Common Assembly Line Mishaps

We think it’s important to recognize that the complexity of the manufacturing process will vary widely depending on the type of product you are making, and so will the risks involved. A more sophisticated device like an automatic coffee machine or an air fryer, or a more intricate assembly process, will most likely bring a significantly higher risk of complications. 

Other contributing elements include the experience and expertise level of the factory workers, the physical capabilities and limits of the production line, and the team’s understanding of your product requirements. Of course, errors on the assembly line can result in faulty products, which, in some cases, can be anticipated ahead of time and preempted. Examples include:

  • Missing parts
  • Manufacturing tools left inside the finished product
  • Use of incorrect critical components

Thankfully, with Shark Design as your product developer, you don’t have to worry about any of these pitfalls. We offer deep support to analyze, assess, and enhance manufacturing processes. Our dedicated approach takes an in-depth look at all aspects, ranging from outsourced materials to final assembly. The benefits of our service include:

  • Development of best practices and opportunities for improvement
  • Refined and perfected critical processes
  • Customer satisfaction and significantly reduced returns. 

Interested in learning more about Shark Design’s quality control processes?

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