Many international buyers have experienced inconsistent quality with suppliers in China. The factories usually look good, proper certifications are in place, samples are acceptable and qualities of the first few shipments are satisfactory. However, quality issues, some quite serious, quickly become notable from the same suppliers.
●Profit maximization is every company’s ultimate goal. In order to attract new customers or orders in tough competition, the first few shipments are typically produced with special quality control resources and supplied at basically no margin;
●As orders continue to come in, some factories begin to cut costs by reducing the material grade; and
●Compliance to TS16949 becomes lax in quality and process control, resulting in quality issues not being effectively identified and addressed.
What can the international buyers do?
●Establish clear, precise criteria for quality acceptance with the suppliers, assuming technical and quality engineers are available on the buyer side;
●Set up China offices or hire experienced technical or quality engineers in China for quality control;or
●Contract 3rd or 2 nd party organizations in China to assess the risks of the suppliers’ quality management systems and/or help continuously improve their quality capabilities.
By Felix YUAN
Primary failure modes:
●Cracks, usually caused by nonconforming materials, improper casting technologies & processes, and damages by external forces.
●Vibrations, usually caused by nonconforming materials, improper technologies, processing equipment that are not sufficiently rigid, and products that are unbalanced
With substandard materials the main factor for brake disc quality issues, the following suggestions should be considered:
●Inspections of raw & auxiliary materials
●Optimization & adjustment of production process
●Advanced equipment with sufficient rigidity
●Constant hardness monitoring
By Andy ZHANG
Hydraulic Shock Absorbers
Primary failure modes:
●Oil leakage, usually caused by loose welding or inferior oil sealing
●No damping force, usually caused by piston parts falling off, improper compression valve assembly, missing components.
Proper inspection requires each shock absorber be tested with damping-force for performance. During the test, the damping curve should show no signs of idle running or distortion, and there are also no abnormalities such as leaking, blocking or obvious noise with the tested items.
By Ying. WANG
The ability of a supplier to meet the requirements continuously and consistently with its product, process or systems.
The practice of making continuous improvement, mostly through small changes and more importantly with changes led by senior management or cross-functional teams. The term, a business concept that originated in Japan, has become one of the cornerstones of quality management for the automotive industries.
Qing Ming (or Tomb-Sweeping) Festival, is an important public holiday in China to remember and pay respects to the ancestors and the deceased. It is the 108th day after the Winter Solstice in the Luna Calendar (4th of April in 2017) People usually take several days off for this holiday, and factory visits are not recommended during this period.
SHENTOU SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT CO. LTD. is a Shenzhen, China, based company serving international automotive clients in the implementation of their China strategies and programs. CHINA AUTOMOTIVE SUPPLIER QUALITY MANAGEMENT BRIEFING is a bi-monthly newsletter published by Shentou to address the specific and unique quality challenges and concerns international automotive companies face with suppliers in China. Comments are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to subscribe.
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