When people talk about producing “high-quality” products, there is often a perception that this simply involves conducting tests at the end of a manufacturing process to ensure that the products coming off the assembly line have achieved or exceeded any applicable standards for their functionality, appearance, etc. However, at Rapport we’ve found that in order to produce everything from battery packs to wiring harnesses that are of the highest caliber, we must build quality into our products at every step.
Quality Assurance vs. Quality Control in Battery Pack and Wiring Harness Production
In discussing the quality of battery packs, wiring harnesses or any product, it is important to make the distinction between quality assurance and quality control. While the terms may seem synonymous, there are subtle differences in their meaning.
According to Wikipedia, quality assurance is “a way of preventing mistakes and defects in manufactured products and avoiding problems when delivering products or services to customers; which ISO 9000 defines as ‘part of quality management focused on providing confidence that quality requirements will be fulfilled.’ This defect prevention in quality assurance differs subtly from defect detection and rejection in quality control and has been referred to as a shift left since it focuses on quality earlier in the process (i.e., to the left of a linear process diagram reading left to right).”
In other words, quality assurance is more focused on process, whereas quality control focuses on products. At Rapport, we incorporate both of these mindsets in our quality program.
Battery Pack and Wiring Harness Production at Rapport: Quality Begins with Step 1
Before the details of a project even make it to the production floor, both inside sales and a production lead or manager review the drawing we receive from the customer. This allows both sales and production staff to bring their special expertise to bear on developing a quote and later ensuring workers on the floor are positioned for success in assembling the battery pack or wiring harness.
Each of our inside sales representatives establishes a rapport with all of her/his customers, to enable our reps to become very familiar with the product lines of our customers. If a new customer request seems unusual or out of character for the company, the rep may be the first to spot it. The production lead has insights accumulated from overseeing the assembly of many different types of products through the years. If an aspect of the drawing raises a concern, the lead will ensure it is addressed.
Once we have reviewed the drawing and made a list of the necessary components, we formulate the bill of materials (BOM). After the customer has accepted the quote and we have received the order, the BOM is entered into our ERP (enterprise resource planning) system. Then, we pull the components needed to complete the work order and bring them together into what is called a “kit.”
Each step of the way, we double-check our work to ensure the item is ready for assembly. This includes the assembler comparing the drawing to the BOM to ensure that the kit is correct and that it contains all the necessary parts before assembly begins.
Quality Control: Confirming That Battery Packs and Wiring Harnesses Are Built as Designed
Although we expect each person in the production life cycle to check their own work, their review of what they have done is not the last time their work will be evaluated. Each person does a quality check of the step preceding theirs to ensure that their contribution to the battery pack or wiring harness assembly process is building on a solid foundation.
In the final quality control check, we review the finished goods from the assembler but we also confirm that the components listed on the BOM are what were used in the assembly process and that the product conforms to the build instructions and the print.
By following this proven process for every assembly that we produce, we can ship products to customers confident that those items are of exceptional quality and will perform as expected. Our approach also provides customers with confidence—as they incorporate the battery packs or wiring harnesses into their products—that their customers will be happy with the end result.
Our full-service facility in Colorado can take battery packs and wiring harnesses from prototype to final packaging, quickly and cost-effectively. Contact Rapport, Inc. today to get your project started!