In this episode…
How do you assure that the parts and materials (inputs) your manufacturer receives from their sub-suppliers are good quality and won’t lead to defective finished products?
You perform a receiving quality inspection on the incoming inputs!
Renaud explains what a receiving inspection is, why it’s beneficial, and, most importantly, how you can set yours up right here!
First…a quick update on how Covid lockdowns in China could affect your supply chain…
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00:00 – Greetings and introduction.
01:02 – Covid in China.
A quick discussion about areas under lockdowns to be aware of, in particular, Shanghai is having a lot of trouble, although Guangdong is much improved now.
06:28 – What is a receiving quality inspection?
Manufacturers need to receive materials and components to produce goods from various sub-suppliers. The receiving quality inspection checks these incoming inputs so you know the product has a foundation of good quality materials and components. Renaud gives some examples of BOMs for typical products, they can range from tens up to thousands of items! He also gives some examples of issues to look out for on different types of products. Some inputs are more critical than others, so making the definition between them is relevant for performing incoming inspections on what’s most important.
14:11 – Benefits a receiving inspection provides.
This allows you to avoid poor quality materials and components ending up in finished products. Issues caught in China, India, etc, can be solved by the supplier. Maybe they can replace the problematic components with correct ones instead of you only finding out once products are in use by customers? That’s worth the short delay. It also gives you the opportunity to rework faulty parts or make a deduction for the cost of the bad parts from the next payment going to the supplier if possible. At worst, you can start production with the percentage of good components and work on a solution for the others in the meantime.
16:16 – Some observations about why receiving inspections are needed.
It’s an important part of due diligence. Your manufacturer needs a number of elements for a receiving inspection, such as a checklist for critical components, checking finished products, and plan to check the processes along the way. If they don’t check this, there’s a danger they’ll buy from friends and not check quality at all in order to have good relationships and maintain face, but this could lead to quality and reliability problems for you.
19:22 – How a receiving inspection is made up (5 parts).
The inspection should include:
- Your requirements (checklists, approved samples for comparison, examples of common defects…)
- The most important criteria identified (including critical to quality materials and components)
- A step-by-step procedure
- How to report findings (useful for traceability of batches with issues)
- How to drive suppliers to improve when or where required
21:55 – 1. How to define receiving inspection requirements?
Our requirements (color, finish, materials, etc) must be clearly defined in order to give the quality inspector benchmarks and guidance to work from so they know what we can and cannot accept. A golden sample in hand and 2D mechanical drawings with critical dimensions are very effective tools for inspectors. Informing them of issues occurring in previous batches (if the product has been manufactured before) is also very useful information to help them be wary of possible problems.
23:59 – 2. How to focus on the most important criteria (most critical parts and the highest risk)?
The inspectors should spend more time on the components that carry a higher risk, such as custom-made ones. For critical parts, you may plan to do strict random sampling inspections or even 100% inspections on every part. Boundary samples may be needed if processes are used where some blemishes naturally occur.
26:39 – 3. What incoming inspection procedure to follow?
Many factories may only have a handful of staff rushing through receiving QC to finish the job quickly and with no real process. The process should be as follows for the receiving Q staff:
- Work with the logistics and warehouse team to know what is coming in and when
- Prepare to do the job with approved samples, drawings, etc
- Incoming parts and materials will be quarantined in a clearly signposted area so they can’t mistakenly make their way into production
- Bags may be weighed and/or cartons counted.
- Most inspections pick samples at random, but sometimes 100% of the items are checked (such as for some critical components).
- The inspection will be performed (this may include a visual check, dimensional check, special testing, etc…).
- Identify defective parts, place them aside, and count them. You’ll see if they’re under the AQL limit that has been defined in order for the batch to pass.
- If the batch passes it can be made ready for use. If not, decide what to do with it (an MRB board may make this decision), such as return it to the supplier, have the supplier send some staff to rework them, etc.
31:13 – 4. How to report the findings?
There is a feedback loop between incoming QC and the other teams as well as the supplier. Results must be stored digitally, not on paper. If a product does get shipped that turns out to be problematic, the receiving inspection results can be referred to as a part of the traceability system. Being able to narrow down problem batches helps to reduce exposure to liability and mitigate the damage of recalls if the worst happens.
33:08 – 5. How to drive improvement in the supplier base?
The feedback loop with receiving QC data also helps spur improvement in suppliers. Not only can it be used to show suppliers what was wrong and get them to rework or replace defective parts, but they can also learn from the errors and improve their processes to avoid them in future. That’s better in the long term, so it’s really important to make them aware of the results. The next step is to put in place a corrective action plan.
35:41 – Wrapping up.
- Product Inspection Solutions In China & Asia (from my company Sofeast)
- How A Material Review Board (MRB) Works & Why YOUR Factory Needs One
- How to set up a Receiving Inspection: Checklist, Procedure, Reporting form
- Use a Corrective Action Plan after a Failed Inspection
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