When it comes to industrial manufacturing, speed and hardware reliability are both essential to overall profitability. Modern production lines move at hundreds of meters per minute, and operators must know that all of their machines are able to meet these high-speed demands and perform their tasks as needed. If a machine falters, not only can it result in profit-draining downtime, but nonconforming products may be produced as well.
Officially defined by the FDA as any “product that does not fulfill its specified requirements,” nonconforming products can cause a number of major problems. Depending on the source of nonconformity, these problems can include supply chain complications, operational failures, and other contract-threatening issues. Across industries, one of the most common causes for nonconformity is coding/marking failure.
Trades such as pharmaceutical production, aerospace/automotive engineering, food packaging, beverage bottling/canning, and chemical manufacturing all maintain strict guidelines that require goods to bear specific information to foster traceability, inform consumers, prevent counterfeiting, and ensure product quality. Commonly taking the form of batch codes, best-by dates, serial numbers, and QR codes/barcodes, these required markings must be clear and legible on product packaging or else companies will face high fines and possibly legal consequences. Along with coding failure, companies must also be vigilant about discovering nonconformity issues like material contamination and proper size specifications.
Fortunately, it isn’t difficult to discover and prevent nonconformity issues with the right hardware. Follow these steps on how to reduce defects in manufacturing
1. Utilize a Defect Detection System
To ensure that no flawed products end up along the supply chain, companies can incorporate defect detection technologies into their production lines. Built with advanced cameras, sensors, and deep learning software, Defect Detection Systems are able to inspect product surfaces to ensure that all codes are legible and machine-readable. Using non-contact methods, these systems also guarantee that all surface morphology aligns with specified requirements—an especially important measure for those making parts for automotive or aerospace applications.
With the help of Defect Detection Systems, companies are able to ensure that all of their products align with production standards without the need for time-consuming manual inspections.
2. Use Integrated Labeling to Reduce Coding Mistakes
For maximum protection against nonconforming products, defect detection should just be one part of a fully integrated labeling system. By connecting all production elements into a centralized IT system, not only are problems more quickly discovered, but the overall packaging process becomes more efficient as well.
Rather than having to spend time manually developing labels and creating action items on individual printers, companies can leverage integrated systems to:
- Automatically create labels by pulling information from a main database, thus reducing the possibility of improper formatting and messages.
- Remotely operate hardware facility-wide for overall labor reduction.
- Alter labels in a streamlined manner to align with evolving governmental regulations or supply chain guidelines.
By integrating defect detection into your larger labeling system, you can minimize both the possibility of product defects as well as your labor needs.
3. Introduce Kick-Out Line Technologies to Automatically Discard Nonconforming Products
Once a nonconforming product is discovered, it must never find its way into the supply chain. Any flawed product must be separated from conforming products, secured in an established location, have its issues documented, and then either corrected or destroyed. The easiest way to begin this process is through the use of kick-out technologies.
The concept of a kick-out add-on is simple: if a nonconforming product is discovered along the manufacturing line, the kick-out add-on automatically removes it. To meet the needs of different line setups, kick-out technologies take a variety of forms including:
- Swipe arms, which redirect any offending products from the belt and into a reject bin.
- Air systems, which blow problem products off of the line and into a reject bin.
- Drop-out platforms, which discard products by opening a shoot in the middle of the conveyor belt.
These measures ensure that all nonconforming products are safely stored away in contained areas, preventing them from entering the supply chain.
Have You Been Wondering How to Reduce Defects in Manufacturing? InkJet, Inc. Has Answers
Nonconforming products have the potential to disrupt supply chains, strain company partnerships, and even violate federal and state laws. In the face of these steep consequences, many companies can be left wondering how to reduce defects in manufacturing processes. If this sounds familiar to you, don’t worry—InkJet, Inc. has the expertise necessary to eliminate any operational mistakes.
Offering decades of industry knowledge, a range of reliable marking technologies, and a diverse ink portfolio, we here at InkJet, Inc. know what it takes to make operations as efficient as possible. Call us today to learn how our services can benefit your enterprise.