The current situation regarding supply chain makes technical engineering departments to have multiplied by 10 the workload to authorize alternative components for products that were already mature.
Component shortage forces manufacturers to find replacements and new options on the go and as quickly as possible so that production doesn’t have to be interrupted and deadlines can be met. This may lead to some to authorize parts without having performed all the proper tests to certify their validity, but at DigiProces we have the solution to avoid that any potential error in alternative components homologation arrives to the market.
Read below this case study on how we overcame this complex issue thanks to FACTS software.
At DigiProces we manage from highly adaptable small-size manufacturing to high-volume mass production, always guaranteeing quality and precision. For one of our most long-lasting customers, a leading manufacturer in the lift sector, we produce around 10.000 -15.000 PCB per month since long ago and each unit is tested to meet our quality standards. To handle these amounts efficiently, an automated test system is essential and having a detailed traceability of results is absolutely crucial.
We work with FACTS software, which is integrated in all our tests, and have a data base with the record of all tests and measurements performed on circuits. This creates hugely valuable statistics allowing to easily detect deviations, to anticipate a test system failure that could stop production and to offer our customers statistics of each one of the circuits to know the real results of the whole production, obtaining helpful information to review the designs.
When manufacturing a certain batch of one of these products, the alarm went off, as more than half of the circuits failed to pass the test and it was not possible to deliver the order our customer expected.
The root cause of the problem was unknown, since it could be due to a measurements instability due to a fault in the test system, a recurrent manufacturing fault or a faulty part in a component.
Thanks to statistical analysis in FACTS we found out particular failures in the production. Based on this analysis, an unprecedented deviation was detected in a series of test measurements, which had never appeared before in the manufacturing register.
When investigating the component related to these failures, it was discovered that due to the lack of stock of the standard component, an alternative component validated by the customer was being assembled for the first time, but it had never been used.
As soon as the problem was spotted, we started to analyze it and made a conclusion and informed the customer in the very same day. After sharing the information with the customer, the use of the alternative component was blocked while the client went on to analyze the case to confirm if the component was valid or not.
Finally, the customer confirmed that the alternative component was not valid, so it was removed from the design.