Thinking about mass manufacturing? Key issues to consider for quality control
So you have developed a great product and drawn up a promising business plan. Now is the time to come up with a strategy to mass manufacturing your product that will output the best quality level of products.
What should we consider when evaluating how we are going to manufacture the product?
Cost of manufacturing:
This was probably the first one on your lists and it’s the first on ours. Manufacturing cost has a direct influence over the total project cost and will have a significant impact on the competitiveness of your product and its chances to penetrate the market. As a rule of thumb, the market price of a product is 6 to 7 times the direct cost of manufacturing. Every cent you can trim off your manufacturing costs, will have a major payback in your final product pricing.
So let’s look at the major cost areas in a little more detail.
- Labor costs: The team running, controlling and managing manufacturing . The cost of labor in France, USA, Japan, Germany, Italy Scandinavia, Israel, and other developed countries is significantly higher than labor costs for example in India, China, Mexico, Vietnam, The Philippines and Thailand.
- Material costs: Bill of material: electronic parts, plastic, wood, metal, textile, packaging, etc. Locating your manufacturing in a market where the raw materials you need are plentiful, will have a direct impact on the cost of these materials and the flexibility of supply. The Chinese market is a good example, where high material availability creates a very competitive market, which in turn keeps material costs to a minimum.
- Process costs: The machinery and tools required to run and control the manufacturing process. In many cases your process costs are also going to be heavily influenced by the availability of machinery and tools at the planned manufacturing location. But it is vitally important for your production monitoring and quality control.
Quality in Manufacturing:
A great team is going to be a key factor in the quality of the manufacturing process and product quality control. This means recruiting, hiring and training a professional team.
A “manufacturing culture” takes long term exposure to the needs of a mass manufacturing process. Creating a new team from scratch, without prior experience in mass manufacturing for efficient and high quality in manufacturing processes, is difficult, expensive and will take a lot longer than you predict.
Availability of manufacturing material:
A competitive market for your product material is essential. It will not only allow you to maintain your product cost, perhaps even reducing it over time, it also means you can quickly react to shortage of material for your manufacturing line and find alternative material sources if your current vendor does not meet expectations (material quality, lead time, flexibility and of course the cost). Relying on a single vendor for key materials is very problematic and eventually undermining your efforts of setting up a sufficient production quality control system. You’re going to need to keep a close eye on the number of items in the bill of material that are supplied by single vendor. Be aware of the implications and risks of single sourced items.
The product’s geographical target market:
In some cases (for example in consumer electronics type of products), setting up the manufacturing line near the primary target market is a big advantage. You will be able to serve your clients better, address their immediate requirements and in general be more flexible in responding to their needs and reaching better quality control in production. Proximity also eliminates, or at least reduces, the need to maintain an expensive finished goods inventory and international transportation costs.
Quality in Manufacturing starts here
QualityLine lets you regain control over the production quality of your manufacturing line if it is located in your own facilities or even if it is located on the other side of the world.
The system ensures production monitoring and helps significantly improve quality, increase yield and minimize downtime incidents.
How does it work?
Testing data is automatically and continuously collected from your testing stations located on your manufacturing line, analyze and securely upload it to analytics dashboards exclusively set for you.
You get 24/7 accurate information about each unit tested. You can overview and drill down up to a single unit, conduct quick root cause analysis to improve quality control over the production.