Guest blogger Dave Selin, European Sales Manager, writes:
Process engineers who are most successful in keeping test-intensive manufacturing costs to a minimum often seem to be the same ones who learned that early childhood lesson about sharing and playing nicely with their mates.
From the point of view of someone who has helped process engineers design leak detection solutions, success is often a result of how well a company shares a common Rolodex of expert contacts. When I’m called in to help unravel unacceptable gauge repeatability and reproducibility (R&R) studies for full-scale production lines, it is quite common that the process engineers I’m working with had not thought to share access to no-cost consultations on designing leak test solutions with their product designers. A frequent consequence is that test cycle times do not match production rates for good R&R, because the internally approved test process was not validated against agreed production cycle times.
For example, a design team that simply stipulates that a medical device must be leakproof and gives specifications for acceptable leak rates can save colleagues on the process engineering side many headaches by checking early with the same leak test experts to determine the issues that will reveal themselves when the new product is pressurised for the first time. Knowing that you have to accommodate residual heat from an upstream process or part flexibility when it is filled to test pressure, for example, might lead to a modified device or fixture design, or a new test process.
When you consider that detailed consultations for custom leak detection equipment are provided by Uson and others at no charge, I can’t imagine the downside of giving everyone in the company the ability to call upon the same set of experts.
Sharing a Rolodex should not be any more complicated than adding a CC address to an email.
Companies that spend less time worrying about drawing walls around departments and areas of responsibility and instead focus on cultivating a commonly shared knowledge base will come out ahead. Those are the types of companies that have assemblies that shave seconds off leak test cycles during production right from the outset. And that adds up. Multiply that many times over among companies with a culture of sharing information and expert contacts, and you’ll see why your Mum made such a point to teach you to share.
— Dave Selin, Uson