Whether you’re producing products for retail or you’re creating the hull of a boat, design is a primary part of the manufacturing process. From sketches to digital drawings to the final product, design can literally shape the way that a product turns out, which is why a flawless design is so critical to your success.
Identifying and Correcting Design Flaws in Your Manufacturing Process
But what happens if your designs are flawed? In some cases, it could mean that your product doesn’t work as well as it should, and in others, it may spell disaster. As such, it’s imperative that you find and correct these flaws as soon as possible to minimize any damage they may cause and create a better solution for your clientele.
At its most basic, a flaw is something that doesn’t work correctly. It can be a simple mistake or weakness in the overall build, but the bottom line is that it is something that must be corrected. For the most part, the term defect and flaw are interchangeable, but there are two different types of flaws that commonly can occur in the manufacturing process.
A design flaw is something that is built into the DNA of the product. An example of this would be if a chair was created to have a point in the middle of the seat. The defining characteristic of a design flaw is that if the product is built correctly to spec, it still would be faulty.
A manufacturing flaw is when there is an issue during production that makes the product defective, and usually happens by accident. If a chair was designed to have a curved seat, but was built with a pointed one, that would be a manufacturing flaw.
Case Study: Samsung Note 7
Let’s look at a real-world example. We all remember the short period when Samsung Note 7 phones were notorious for exploding and catching fire, and it can all be traced back to both a design and manufacturing flaw.
According to Samsung, the initial round of batteries that were included with the phones had a design flaw that caused sparks as a result of electrodes being in the wrong place. In this instance, the batteries were built according to the specifications provided, but they were still faulty. Interestingly enough, when Samsung went with another battery manufacturer, there was a flaw in the production process, wherein high welding temperatures broke the insulation tape that prevented overheating.
In short, two types of flaws conspired against the tech company, resulting in faulty smartphones being sold to consumers. Fortunately, these flaws were fixed, and now the phone is safe to use.
Avoiding Design Flaws
Obviously, you don’t want to have the same kind of fallout that Samsung did, so it’s important that you identify flaws before they become a problem for your consumers. There are a few important steps to take to improve your manufacturing process:
If you’ve only developed your designs on paper, it's important that you make sure that your design will work in actuality, before committing to production. Thus, creating a single product following your specs will help you identify any design flaws. This won’t necessarily omit manufacturing defects, but it can give you valuable insight and provide an opportunity to catch design flaws early on.
Once you’ve made sure that your design is flawless, then you need to ensure that production runs as smoothly as possible. Inspections and fail-safes will make sure that you don’t have any issues like the Note 7 battery.
Finally, an excellent way to make sure that you don’t get any manufacturing or design defects is to rely on a high-quality fabricator to make your products. This way, each item produced will be checked and rechecked to ensure proper specifications.
You’ve Found a Flaw, What’s Next?
Should the worst happen and a weakness makes it all the way through to the consumer, then you have to figure out the best way to remove and fix the issue. Here are some basic methods that can be applied to a flawed design:
- Back to the Drawing Board: If the flaw is inherent to the design, then you may have to rework the specifications so that it won’t continue to be a problem.
- Cost vs. Benefit Analysis: Sometimes, the flaw may not be a major issue for consumers and can be corrected with an updated version of the product. If that’s the case, you can simply switch to the new design without much blowback. However, if it causes significant damage, you may have to do a full recall.
- Use a New Fabricator: If your flaw was caused by the manufacture, finding a new high-quality manufacturer that can produce your materials quickly and without any defects will save you a lot of future headaches.
If you want to ensure that your products are free of flaws, then you should see the Naimor difference. From design to production, everything is held to the highest standard – yours. Visit us online to find out more about what we have to offer.