Quality Control for Metal Stamping & Specialty Manufacturing

quality controlIn “Minding Your Business: What to Expect from a Metal Stamping Provider,” David Dunn argues the importance of a metal stamping supplier to be a manufacturing partner throughout the process. He presents this argument by explaining the correlation between stamping providers’ extended capabilities and quality control.

As mentioned above, Dunn’s purpose behind this article was to present the argument that it is necessary for metal stamping companies’ capabilities should extend beyond just stamping, including quality control capabilities. However, I would argue that specialty manufacturing, such as with metal stamping, could actually help improve quality control results.

I agree with Dunn’s sentiment that the engineers and designers at any metal stamping company should see each project through from start to finish. Still, it would help to streamline the process if the supplier is a specialty manufacturer, as the designers and engineers would have less equipment and fewer projects to oversee.

Dunn fails to mention the role that equipment plays in this industry, as well as in quality control. Metal stamping requires the use of top-of-the-line, expensive equipment. Reducing the amount of services offered will reduce the amount of equipment needed, ultimately reducing equipment malfunctions and defects. This is especially true for high-speed and high volume production runs. Companies can also invest in add-ons for their specialty equipment to improve quality control processes. These add-ons include sensors and variable frequency drives (VFD).

Training employees to use the specialty equipment properly to improve quality control is imperative. The less equipment needed, the more streamlined training will be. Employees should know how to use the equipment human-machine interface (HMI), as well as how to accurately collect and archive data from the equipment.

As Dunn states, stamping work is often only one part of a project, as metal stamping is often used to manufacture parts used in the assembly of final products. This would mean, though, that it is critical for part quality and consistency to meet quality control requirements to avoid problems with the performance of the final products.

Dunn recommends looking for a supplier that will work with you on design changes and process decisions, as well as the engineering capabilities to meet quality standards. This is always an important part of any firm’s sourcing relationship, but it is not always necessary to choose a supplier that can function as a one-stop-shop. You may want to consider sacrificing time and money to make sure that quality comes first so that you can provide your customers with the finest final product possible.