Does Your Contract Manufacturer Do Product Testing?

Posted by Dave Harman on Mar 8, 2017 4:52:00 PM

Over the years, we have worked with a variety of different companies that all had different needs. This experience often lead us to discover interesting questions. When that happens, we always try to pass along the information, because we want customers to be knowledgeable and prepared.

Did you know that not all contract manufacturers do final product testing? Sure, they may carry out fit and function tests in the prototype stages, but they don’t go much further after that. It is an important part of proper quality control and your injection molding and assembly team should be carrying out tests throughout production runs at different points in the process.

Read on to learn more about how you can ensure that your manufacturing partner is taking all the right steps during and after production.

Why Testing is so Important in Contract Manufacturing

Without carrying out finished product tests, crucial elements can be missed. For example, everything may fit together, but a part could have become sheared during the assembly process. It is also possible for a part to get stuck in place during anodization, electroplating, or painting. There is also a chance for part failure, particularly with more complex plastic molded parts. Everything may have looked great on the design, but once the walls and cavities have settled and cooled, there is a chance for physical part failure.

You simply cannot tell these sorts of things without going through those additional testing steps.

How Does Your Contract Manufacturer Handle Issues?

There are a lot of companies out there with sterling reviews. You look and people only say good things about them on social media and company controlled pages. There never seems to be an issue. That right there should raise a red flag. Mistakes happen. It’s a fact of life.

The impressive part about a company is not that that everything is seemingly perfect, but more what action they take when production doesn’t go according to plan. To find out if your contract manufacturing partner is prepared by considering the following questions:

  • If final product testing goes awry, is it something they have the experience to deal with on their own?
  • Did you grant them authority to deal with it? If so, how well do they document it?
  • Are they testing to the appropriate standards?
  • How quickly will they report the issue to you?
  • Will they continue running parts even if an issue has been detected?

What Kind of Testing Standards Does the Manufacturer Adhere to?

Different industries have different standards of testing and validation. You’ll want to know whether the contract manufacturer you’re working with is certified in the proper testing standards needed for your business. You should also ensure that they’ve kept up to date on the latest advancements with industry standards. You can verify this information by checking with the contract manufacturer and the certifying organization.

Ferriot is certified in a variety of standards and we work with companies in many industries including automotive, industrial, medical and more. Contact us for more details on how we can help you keep costs down and deliver on time. And, for best practices to minimize part costs without compromising your design goals download our free guide, Seven Ways to Cut Costs on Injection Molded Parts.

Click here to download "Seven Ways to Cut Costs on Injection Molded Parts"

Topics: Contract Manufacturing, testing, quality

Dave Harman is Ferriot's Director of Sales and Marketing.
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Specialized engineering assistance, complex thermoplastic material development, injection molding, finishing, contract manufacturing, and commitment to total quality management.

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