21 December 2014,
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Industry Challenges

Time is money. Nobody understands this more than those supplying and working in the big and vast industries, such as in the automotive sector. In order to remain both competitive and profitable, companies must deal with quality issues immediately before they can cause additional problems. And if a problem occurs, it is not just a small piece of cake…

For example, you may have heard or read a piece of news about car recalls. If not, you can check this link about how many cars have been recalled in China during 10 years. In worst cases, such as the GM Recall, there are fatal crashes linked to a faulty car part.

Usually, what happens in the automotive industry recalls is that someone detects a risky or defective part in the car. For avoiding future accidents that could occur because of a faulty part, the car manufacturer recalls all the cars that have the part of the same batch as the faulty one has come from.

How to prevent recalls?

The cost of inspection today is an ongoing issue between the automotive companies and precision parts manufacturers. As the automotive parts manufacturers work to reduce price by means of improving the efficiency of the manufacturing process, their inspection costs have risen dramatically.

One car has millions of small parts and components, so inspecting all of them is definitely not an easy task. But what inspection companies, such as SBE do, is a 100 % inspection called sorting. This means that the inspectors perform a quality control inspection for all the components in the batch for non-conformance. This way bad parts are prevented to getting to your customer. Sorting is done especially in the automotive industry, where a 100 % inspection is critical – you cannot afford any faulty parts in a car.

So how sorting deals with it?

  • – inspect suspect material according to clearly designated quality control checklist.
  • – separate and mark each inspected part as conforming or non-conforming.
  • – quarantine rejected or defective parts
  • – keep you informed as the work is done. Inspection reports are normally delivered on a daily basis.

Here some examples of sorting projects SBE has previously done…

Automotive Electronic Components

Here is one example of a working station and the tools that are used for a sorting. This inspection was for a electronic car part in order to detect any short circuit or appearance issues.

tools for sorting

Here are the tools used:

  1. Instructions for the inspection
  2. A multimeter
  3. A magnifier glass
  4. A marker for marking each product after the inspection
  5. Liquid for cleaning the magnifying glass
  6. Brush for cleaning the product of dust
  7. Towel for cleaning
  8. Glasses
  9. Gloves
  10. A lamp

 

workers at warehouse

Automotive Steering Wheel Components

Here is another picture of a working station. This sorting was for checking the appearance of car leather sets, which means that you don’t need so many tools:

sorting for leather

Seat Leather Sorting

This one was also for a automotive company. The workers checked around 2600 leather sets for cars:

sorting leather seats

Sorting in other industries

Besides the automotive industry, we have done sorting for others, too!

This one was a sorting for mobile phones. Altogether, we checked 6000 smart phones (This was a tough one for our inspectors as the last day of inspection was 18 hours long!):

 

phones sorting

We have also checked 100 000 pieces of blue bolts. It takes time!

blue bolts
The sorting can be done at the supplier’s factory, your factory or in a third-party warehouse before delivering the products to your customer. The sorting can be done at any time of the production process, you name it. Most of the time though, it is done after the factory is just about to finish the production or when all the products are ready. In sorting, you concentrate on one or few specific problems, such as appearance, rather than do a full inspection including all the attributes that could be checked.

Stay tuned for a case story about a sorting project in Shanghai.

In the meantime, check when is the right time to inspect your products!

 

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