By Chris Cox, Quality Engineer at C&M Corporation
New Product Introduction (NPI) and qualification can be, at times, a huge undertaking, driven and determined by: what the product is, what it is made of, how it is made, where it will be going, how it will be used, customer system requirement, and more. But, despite the often substantial work, time and expense involved in a robust NPI qualification process, performing this well is incredibly important for the manufacturer, the customer, and all affected by the end use of the product. This includes the general public within the vicinity of the application to whom we have a moral and legal obligation of care.
At C&M, the NPI process is always a top priority and area of focus throughout our engineering, quality, and operational teams. Reliable products keep people safe and fulfill their intended use. Reliable manufacturing processes are repeatable, efficient, and robust. The better a product is designed and made from the development stages onward, the lower the risk of failure and overall cost of poor quality throughout the product’s lifecycle. Our focus on producing the most exceptional product results in minimizing the costs of poor quality such as: late deliveries due to equipment downtime, rework of scrap due to product defects, and subsequent warranty costs.
A very common framework for strong NPI is PPAP, or Production Part Approval Process, which originated from the automotive industry. The PPAP process considers all factors of product design, production processing, and part verification within the NPI. It ensures controls, verification and risk management steps are developed and proven to be under control, prior to a product being qualified and released into full production. This ensures a successful and seamless product launch, ironing out as many potential problems as possible during the prototype stages.
At C&M, upholding an environment of innovative excellence and the pursuit of relentless continual improvement is inherent in not only how we operate, but how we think, what we believe, and who we are as people. Getting it right the first time, every time, is our mission, and this mission is accomplished by taking whatever means are necessary to succeed.