Sorting & Inspection Services
Sorting and inspection is an essential function of manufacturing quality control. Devoting minimal effort to quality assurance causes significant issues for a manufacturer in the form of increased returns, reputation damage, loss of business, and more.
At Blue Grass Manufacturing Co. of Lexington Inc., we offer sorting and inspection services to suppliment customers' manufacturing processes. Our services are especially valuable in high volume or automated manufacturing applications where a defective part can stall an entire production line.
Inspection and Sorting in Manufacturing
Manufacturers who place a high value on quality assurance practices will gain a competitive advantage over competitors.
The Cost of Defective Parts
The costs associated with defective parts include:
Air freight costs for rush replacement parts
Loss of business
Once you add up these costs, the value of sorting and inspection quickly becomes evident. Sorting and inspection processes significantly lower the number of defective parts per million (PPM). The costs associated with sorting and inspection equipment, personnel, training, or outsourcing may seem intimidating, but they are ultimately negligible in comparison to the risks of delivering shipments containing a high rate of defective PPM to a customer.
Benefits and Applications for Sorting and Inspection
Sorting and inspection services provide tangible benefits that have a positive impact on a manufacturer’s bottom line, including:
More accurate reporting of defects
Higher quality shipments
Improved customer relations
These benefits are a cost-effective means of reducing costs associated with low quality control, which outweigh the costs related to decreased PPM.
Applications for inspection services include:
Sorting of incoming parts for forming
Inspecting for molding or casting defects
Ensuring correct assembly
Reviewing parts for insufficient or excessive plating
Checking for paint defects
Lot numbers or date codes from the defective parts can be recorded and problem parts can be quarantined for return to the vendor. Acceptable parts can be packed into the original containers, then corrected for count with makeup parts or specially packaged according to customer needs.
Our sorting and inspection services incorporate a variety of methods. Each process offers advantages for specific applications.
Visual inspection locates surface defects and is among the most common inspection methods used by manufacturers. This method identifies and separates parts that show surface cracks, corrosion, contamination, discontinuities, and finishes which may lead to the structural or mechanical failure of the part. Visual inspection includes both naked eye and magnified inspection processes.
Gauging - Go/No Go Gauges
Gauges measure whether an object conforms to specified dimensional standards. While measuring checks the actual dimensions of the object, gauging evaluates the dimensional variation of an object from an established standard. When used for quality control processes, gauging identifies and separates parts that fall outside the allowable tolerances specified by the application.
Inspection of parts with complex geometries often requires a custom designed tool known as a check fixture to verify that the part is within appropriate tolerance limits. Pins attached to a base stabilize a manufactured product over a pattern that fits the desired shape of the part.
Some separated parts may have correctable defects like surface finish, cracks, marring, or slight tolerance variations. These parts can often be reworked to appropriate specifications using processes such as:
If economically feasible, problem parts can be reworked in-house. We can work with customers to have parts sent directly from their vendor to our facility for incoming inspection.
Quality Control in Manufacturing
Quality control is essential to cost-effective manufacturing. Best practices for quality control include adherence to the following principles:
Six Sigma is a quality control methodology that uses the acronym DMAIC:
Six Sigma practices focus not only on identifying defects, but on analyzing processes to remove the root causes of those defects.
Lean principles take a minimalist approach to manufacturing. In Lean production, processes are optimized to ensure they produce minimal waste. By implementing Lean methodology, we can help customers to minimize waste by lowering their overall defect rates.
Industry standard compliance is a key function of inspection and sorting services. Our part sorting and inspection services are ISO 9001:2015 and UL compliant.
High-Quality Sorting & Inspection Services at Blue Grass Manufacturing
Sorting and inspection services from Blue Grass Manufacturing include visual, gauging, check fixture, and part reworking services. Our highly trained team of inspectors adheres to advanced quality control principles such as ISO 9001:2015, UL, Six Sigma, and Lean methodology.
We can provide stop gap coverage of parts until replacement tooling is completed or a permanent solution is in place, as well as, containment services including but not limited to sorting, inspection and rework of non-conforming parts.
Other services BGM offers:
Warehouse and fulfillment services
Precision tube cutting
We provide complete reports regarding the percentage of defective parts, the type and degree of defect, and affected lot numbers. In addition, our Six Sigma-trained staff can work with customers in developing better process controls to prevent future part issues.