As we’ve shared in the past, when electroplating electronics components such as connectors and contacts for mission critical applications, quality is of key concern. Quality objectives are defined and monitored by quality standards such as ISO9001 and AS9100, and the organizations that support them. Selection of which matrix to monitor is at the discretion of the management team, with the exception of the required objective of on time delivery. When determining objectives, consideration is given to the customers, auditors and what information will be made public. This leads most to select product quality, on-time delivery, and supplier control. The true determination of the chosen objectives should be based on what benefits the company the most, while continuing to deliver a quality and consistent product to the customer on time. 

It's no secret. The goal of all companies is to increase profit margin. One obvious way to achieve this is  by reducing manufacturing costs, but without compromising quality.  For instance, in our electroplating process, consistent thickness across a job and from order-to-order is critical.  Achieving this requires tightening and constant monitoring of solutions and process parameters.  

How Can Electroplating Process Costs Be Reduced?

There are many ways to achieve cost reduction. Let’s look at a few. One way is by working closely with suppliers to be sure efficient and innovative solutions are provided to accommodate process improvements. Another fruitful approach to cost control is by employing routine preventative maintenance. Making schedule adjustments and being consistent have proven their worth in ensuring process variation remains minimal. Further, equipment life is extended by reducing wear and tear. Downtime and its related headaches and profit loss are reduced when multiple aspects of the process are continuously monitored and improved. 

Understanding Key Process Elements

The fishbone diagram shown here names the process elements which are likely to impact both cost and quality.  Defining the method of monitoring the elements effectively should be included in the process planning activity or brought up when cost increases are being seen. Continually monitoring possibilities for improvements provides lasting benefits for the company, and ultimately the customer. 

Quality Management Process Elements Diagram