How Many Times To Test Product Specifications

Manufacturing off shore carries with it an inherent need for testing. Products manufactured domestically also must be tested but there is an additional reason products manufactured off shore absolutely must be tested. The farther away a finished product gets from the factory the more expensive it is to replace or repair. Add to this the time element in replacing a shipment of defective product and the need for testing off shore manufactured items becomes crystal clear.

The question of how many times or when a product should be tested depends upon the complexity of the item as well as the testing required. The finished product must always pass testing; especially testing that must be performed by an internationally recognized lab. For example, in the case or retail items, the finished product must be submitted for testing by a 3rd party, internationally recognized lab fully packaged and complete. If the product fails, a corrected, completed product must be re-submitted.

Long before a product enters production all aspects of that product must be clearly communicated. This includes all testing and inspection requirements. These requirements are every bit as important as the material specifications themselves. The catch phrase “Begin with the end in mind” is appropriate here.

Having a complete description and definition of the item is critical. Materials (specific type of stainless steel or a particular type of plastic), color (specific Pantone code), functional specifications (how it must it perform), fit (if the item is a component is there a joining piece the item must fit into), finish (texture), and features (UV protection, cold crack protection, coating). These are just some of the questions that must to be addressed and clearly communicated at the very beginning of the process.

Testing typically is performed pre-production, in-process, and post-production.

Pre-production: Raw materials correct? In some cases an independent test by a 3rd party, independent lab is warranted for verification.

In-Process testing: Inspection points during the production process ensure critical functionality, fit, and finish are being achieved and quality maintained.

Post-Production or “End of the Line” testing. This is the final check for all required testing and inspection. Ideally, the previous testing and inspections have achieved their purpose and all points of inspection pass. This stage also includes all packaging related testing, if appropriate. If a 3rd party test is required production samples of the final, complete product are submitted. After passing test results are received the product is ready to ship.

Contact ITI Manufacturing with any questions you may have on testing product specs.

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