Connecting the Dots: Pre-Process Validation to Production Process Monitoring 

By their body language and words, companies say it all;

“Why monitor our crimp process with more than the most basic of tools? After all over the years, our products have performed with no problem without adopting more than is necessary?”
On the surface this may be true. But lurking under the surface are problem issues that can costing your company now and in the future.

Consider the following scenarios:

  • Internal process rejects or rework that goes unreported. Like a bad crimp that is simply clipped off and an operator re-strips the wire and crimps a new terminal to the wire. Adding variation to the process by manually processing the wire without validating the results.
  • Mismatched wire and terminals. A mismatch between the terminal and wire, especially the terminal being too big for the wire can cause excess variation in the crimp process and electrical performance issues like high resistance. Process variation is a hidden cost to production while high electrical resistance is a potential long term product failure.
  • Worn production tooling creating batches of parts which can create assembly issues upstream. Deformed terminals from compensating for worn tools are one problem.

Mainstream OEM terminal suppliers invest an extensive amount of resources to ensure the connector they design performs properly on the factory floor and in the actual product over it’s life expectantly. They provide the processing test requirements to assure the terminal is assembled properly. So why do so many companies not validate their assembly to the recommended specifications, never mind monitor their assembly process?

Consider the Cost of Inaction (the status quo) as a reason.

So let’s talk about the transition from pre-process validation to process monitoring. For that you need to think about this fact:

In a lab environment, processes are controlled and highly repeatable. In a production environment, external variation exists which can affect the final product quality.

Without real time process monitoring, depending on single or spot in-process inspections does not give you any solid information on the capability of the terminal crimp process. And that is a missed opportunity for process improvement which can provide improved efficiency and reduced process costs. Which is the Benefit to the Cost of Quality.

One important point to remember is that process monitoring tools do not improve quality in and of themselves. But they can raise issues on individual setups which should be reviewed at the time. Otherwise you can be trapped in the CFM Cycle.

Using the right tools in crimp development and validation in addition to process monitoring can provide the opportunity to improve crimp quality. Establishing a base line of quality and deploying a quality improvement strategy can reap great dividends in cost reduction, customer retention and potential for new customer acquisition.

CrimpQuality.Solutions provides end to end support with your terminal crimp process.

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