Production testing and quality assurance

Effective production testing ensures customer acceptance and maintains product brand value, production line yield and cost effectiveness by ensuring that finished products comply with the expectations set during R&D, that product quality is consistent and that root causes for faults are mitigated.

Manufacturers care about the product quality they can achieve in their production. Whether they build one satellite a year, thousands of aircraft engines, or millions of microchips, finished products must perform to R&D specifications and customer expectation. If not, they risk low yield, product safety issues, costly recalls, warranty claims and damage to their brand.

Effective quality assurance (QA) requires you to relate the product to the performance achieved by designers in R&D. Some deviations from the ideal may not affect the product, and may be deemed to be within bounds, but others might affect the entire machine or system, or even endanger end-user health and safety. 

Volume, complexity and testing time matter

The type of testing chosen depends on the production volume, the amount of time needed to test and the consequences of a failure. Will you be testing thousands of components or sub-assemblies a day or only a few per year? Are you performing incoming testing to ensure that third-party components meet specifications? Will in-line testing create a bottle neck on the production line and require off-line testing? Does each item need to be tested or will sample testing be more cost effective? And depending on the potential consequences, testing may be automated, standardized and fast, or represent a more complicated in-depth analysis. 

  • High volume sample testing 
    For relatively inexpensive, high volume parts – like smartphone microphones, speakers and buzzers – testing a percentage using simple pass/fail results can be effective, especially when combined with logged data that can be used to establish trends and improve process chains
  • High volume testing of each piece 
    For relatively inexpensive, high volume machined parts – like gears –  where tool wear could be an issue, 100% testing with pass/fail results is likely the most effective choice. Results can be combined with logged data that can be used to establish trends and improve process chains
  • Mid-volume detailed testing
    For higher value and more complex products, such as televisions or automotive parts, testing needs to be more detailed and tends to take longer, particularly as the value of the product dictates that faults are repaired rather than scrapping the product
  • Low-volume, high-value in-depth testing
    For very high-value products where the value of the product dictates that first-time yield (FTY) is a top priority, such as satellites or semiconductor manufacturing machines, testing can be even more detailed and take a long time 

Each scenario presents a set of choices that must be made to achieve the best cost benefit and quality level.

Brüel & Kjær offers proven systems, designed for your industry and that can be customized for your individual requirements to best fit your production line and goals.

  • Production testing for automotive components

    Incorporating acoustic quality analysis and vibration production testing as an integral part of the manufacturing process of automotive components maximizes production line yield and cost effectiveness and ensures the quality and customer acceptance of the entire powertrain.