How to Conduct a Quality Audit on Your Injection Molder

Posted by Matt Bishop on Apr 13, 2017 9:14:00 AM
Matt Bishop
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Injection-Molder-Audit.jpgThe quality of plastic components is, in part, determined by the injection molding partner you choose. Properly vetting new, different or specialized vendors involves qualifying a pool of potential molders based on your project needs — i.e. ISO and other certifications, design capabilities, clean room specifications, and value-added services like assembly and overmolding. However, taking the vetting process one step further by conducting on-site quality audits will reveal which has the right level of expertise, facilities, and quality procedures in place to deliver to specific project requirements.

Simply put, being on-site provides some answers about your potential injection molders that the paperwork and certifications don’t necessarily reflect. You are able to personally assess the tangibles and intangibles that will impact your final decision, including:

People 

Interacting with staff from design and quality engineers to customer service reps will give you a better understanding of whether a trusted, mutually beneficial working relationship can be fostered.

Processes

Reviewing quality and qualification processes with the engineers who perform them gives you the opportunity to validate expertise, ask questions and determine if current protocols are complementary, so as to consistently ensure time to market deadlines are met.

Equipment and technology 

Visually assessing equipment on the shop floor and receiving demonstrations of technologies the molder currently has in place will give you a first-hand feel for what they can and cannot do in terms of tooling, scientific molding, and injection molding design. It also allows for you to validate the age and performance capabilities of the machinery that has been discussed.

Facilities verification 

Protecting yourself from misrepresentation or inaccuracies in the documentation submitted by injection molders in response to your RFP/RFQ is just smart business. Being at the facility allows you to confirm that all assertions made by a molder are true, such as their clean room configuration and standards.

Mold and/or part certification

Inspecting a sample mold or complex part on-site gives you a chance to give and receive immediate feedback, plus gain some insights as to communication styles, proactivity and problem-solving skills.

Software capabilities

In conjunction with visually assessing injection molding equipment and technology, evaluating the software systems that support enhanced capabilities, such as moldfill analysis or the sensors used in the scientific molding process, is essential to understand overall operational proficiencies.

Undoubtedly, traveling to injection molding facilities is time consuming. However, the effort pays off when you’re confident in selecting the complex injection molder that aligns with your short- and long-term expectations and needs.

Expert injection molders like Kaysun will easily pass your on-site quality audit and likely offer capabilities and services in excess of your minimum requirements, including value-added post molding processes that can reduce your supply chain risk.

Find out more about the different types of molders and what type would be best for your next project in our free guide, What Type of Injection Molder do You Need? Click the button below to download your free copy.

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Topics: General Manufacturing, Injection Molding