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02nd Dec

Inspection Methodologies
This article discusses Inspection and Testing methodologies and outlines the multipath approach to Quality and Inspection adopted at Tenkay as part of our “Right First Time” philosophy. At Tenkay we are occasionally asked why we do not have 100% Inspection of our products. 100% final inspection is often seen as the only way to ensure that fault free, quality products reach the customer. In fact, far from ensuring that no defects reach the customer Juran, in his book “Juran’s Quality Handbook”, has written that, based on his studies performed on Inspector accuracy, 100% inspection is (only) about 87% effective. (Juran, 1999) Dr Deming discusses the role of inspection in his book “Out of Crisis” in which he sets out 14 key principles for management to follow for significantly improving the effectiveness of a business or organization. His Third principle states “Inspection does not improve the quality, nor guarantee quality. Inspection is too late. The quality, good or bad, is already in the product.” (Deming, 1982) This does not mean that Inspection has no role to play in producing a quality product, it means that quality has to be built into the organisation such that products are manufactured “Right First Time”, the role of Inspection shifts from being a safety net to the role of maintaining, and improving, the quality of the process and products. To quote Dr Deming again “Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality. Eliminate the need for inspection on a mass basis by building quality into the product in the first place.” Shigeo Shingo is considered by many to have been the worlds’ leading expert manufacturing practitioner and was a powerful force behind the Toyota Production System. He was the person behind Poka-yoke (Error proof) and Just-In-Time methods. In his views, there are three types of inspection: Judgment Inspection – inspections that discover defects Informative Inspection – inspections that reduce defects Source Inspection – inspections that eliminate defects Judgment inspection is an inspection that is performed after the fact to discover defects. The batch is produced, and then inspection is performed to determine if the lot is acceptable or not. The safety net approach. In Shingo’s words “It (Judgment Inspection) remains inherently a kind of post-mortem inspection however, for no matter how accurately and thoroughly it is performed, it can in no way contribute to lowering the defect rate in the plant itself.” Shingo continues to state that the Judgment Inspection method is consequently of no value, if one wants to bring down defect rates within plants. Informative Inspection is an inspection that helps in reducing defects. This method feeds back information to the work process involved, thus allowing actions to take place to correct the process. Shingo describes three types of Informative Inspections. Statistical Quality Control Systems – This is the system where production data such as efficiencies and failure rates are monitored and analysed in order to identify trends or out of control processes, and thus aid in getting the process back to stability. Successive Check Systems – This is the system where the component gets inspected by the next operator in the line. Any defect is identified and corrected almost immediately by letting the previous operator know. This is sometimes known as a “Buddy Check” Self-check systems – This is the system where the operator can inspect the work that he/she did, and fix the problem immediately. The final category is Source Inspection. In this category, the feedback loop is so short that as soon as the error occurs, the feedback kicks in preventing the error from becoming a defect. An example of source inspection is First Off Inspection. The key in determining value in the inspection process is the length of the feedback loop. Judgmental Inspection is the least value adding in this regards because the product lot is already built and completed. Informative Inspection is value adding, since the feedback loop is considerably shorter. Finally, the source inspection is the most value adding since the feedback loop is the shortest. Thus, the shorter the feedback loop, the higher the inspection method’s value. (Jose, 2015) Here at Tenkay we use a Multipath approach to inspection and test which uses a combination of all three inspection types. There follow two examples. 1 Printed Circuit Assembly PCAs assembled at Tenkay can be either conventional through hole plated which are hand assembled or Surface Mount assemblies which are silk screened, component placed and reflow soldered by our state of the art SMT production line. The inspection regimes are the same for both except for an additional reel and feeder inspection before assembly commences on the SMT line. In all cases a single board or panel is assembled and soldered and then presented for first off inspection. The test department will perform a 100% inspection and full functional test (where applicable). Assembly is not permitted to proceed until the first off has successfully passed this stage. Any errors are immediately fed back and corrected. (Source Inspection) The Assembly of the batch then proceeds. A sample of the batch is then 100% inspected. The sample size is determined by the Inspection team leader based on the pass rate history but is typically 5%. If a single error is found the entire batch is sent back to the PCB line for self-inspection and rework by the operative. (Informative Inspection). Finally, all PCAs are Functionally tested, this will pick up any component failures that inspection alone cannot find. Any faulty PCAs sent back for rework (Judgement Inspection). Data such as failure rate is recorded and analysed to ensure that the quality of the process is maintained (Informative Inspection). 2 Wiring Loom Assembly Wiring Looms and cable assemblies follow a similar regime where by a single example is made this will be presented for first off inspection but first the operator will test the assembly for shorts and opens as well as a voltage stress test on our Automeg ATE system (Source Inspection). The test department will then perform a 100% inspection on the first off. Assembly is not permitted to proceed until the first off has successfully passed this stage. Any errors are immediately fed back and corrected. (Source Inspection) The Assembly of the batch then proceeds. A sample of the batch is then 100% inspected. The sample size is determined by the Inspection team leader based on the pass rate history but is typically 5%. If a single error is found the entire batch is sent back to the operator for rework and retest by the operative. (Informative Inspection). Data such as failure rate is recorded and analysed to ensure that the quality of the process is maintained (Informative Inspection). At the beginning of this article I said that we are occasionally asked why we do not have 100% Inspection of our products. Hopefully this article will have demonstrated why 100% inspection alone is unsatisfactory and the advantages of our multipath approach to inspection and test. References Deming, W Edwards. 1982. Out of the Crisis. Out of the crisis. 1982. Jose, Harish. 2015. Is Inspection Value Added? My notes....Quality, Data Science, Strategy & Lean. [Online] August 30th, 2015. [Cited: October 12th, 2016.] https://harishsnotebook.wordpress.com/2015/08/30/is-inspection-value-added/. Juran. 1999. Measure of Inspector and Test Accuracy. [book auth.] Joseph M Juran. Juran's Quality Handbook. s.l. : McGraw Hill, 1999. If you need to subcontract part of your manufacturing process and need a reliable partner, call us today to see what we can do.

10th Jun

One year on – A look at the impact of our new SMT line
At Tenkay Electronics, we strive to provide the best service for our customers. To do this, we invest in the latest technology to improve the quality of our offering. For our SMD pick and place processing, we installed the new Yamaha iPulse M20 SMD placement machine for its high accuracy and adaptability. Whether we’re placing components on 1 or 10,000 PCB’s, the M20 has the most exacting technology that will achieve accuracy even with the most hard-to-place boards. Read our blogs for more about the capabilities and installation of our new machine. In keeping with the iPulse philosophy of designing flexible, high-specification SMT placement machines, the new M20 series addresses both current and future manufacturing requirements. This will enable us to cater to future customer needs as required, while maintaining and improving existing services. Many standard features usually associated with machines of much higher cost are included, such as controlling the downward pressure of placement, board warp detection and continuous monitoring of machine accuracy. The range of feeder bank and optional tray handling configurations also allows for very fast product turnarounds. Since its installation, the M20 has doubled our PCB SMT output speed, whilst continuing to provide a better quality product with more placement accuracy. The recent addition of our new PCB Engineer, Rares, has refreshed how we operate at Tenkay, and provided insight into how we might improve a number of areas within the PCB section of the business, areas such as tooling control and component storage. Rares has previous experience dealing with high volume production, and it’s this experience that has helped us to further optimise our manufacturing processes, as well as improve our efficiencies. Now that we have more resources, the responsibility of the SMT programming has shifted to the Engineering department, which has given us more control. Furthermore, new PCB Engineering methods have been adopted throughout the PCB area, to ease the creation of production documentation, which will reduce customer queries and delays. If you need to subcontract part of your manufacturing process and need a reliable partner, call us today to see what we can do.

27th May

How could Brexit affect the UK’s manufacturing industry?
How could Brexit affect the UK's manufacturing industry? Time’s running out before we have to make our decision on the EU referendum in June. So what does the UK manufacturing industry need to consider before voting? We take a look at the key points for and against a vote to leave the EU. Twitter Poll results We conducted a Twitter poll last week to get an idea of how many of you wanted to leave or remain in the EU based on the short and long term effects on the UK manufacturing industry. The result? It looks like we’re still split down the middle with 52% voting to leave the EU vs 43% voting to remain and the remaining 5% being undecided. Are you surprised by these results? Let us know on Twitter using #ukmfg #Brexit. So what are the key points to consider? Trade A vote to leave would require new deals to be negotiated not only with the EU, but with non-EU countries as well. The Office for National Statistics shows that in 2015, exports of goods and services to the EU accounted for 44% of the total exports. The share of exports has fallen by more than 10 percentage points over the last 15 years. Between Quarter 4 (October to December) 2015 and Quarter 1 (January to March) 2016, the UK’s trade in goods deficit with the EU widened by £0.7 billion to £23.9 billion – the widest on record - reflecting a 1.6% increase in exports and a 2.3% increase in imports to £57.5 billion. Exports to non-EU countries increased to £12.3 billion and imports from non-EU countries increased to £47.1 billion. So how easy will it be to continue trading with EU markets if the UK left? With bigger exports to the UK than imports from it, how difficult are these existing markets likely to want to make continued trading with the UK? If the UK removed itself from the single market, will the desire of non-EU countries to trade with us be affected? Obama has already announced that despite our ‘special relationship’, if we vote leave on 23 June, we will end up at the back of the 10 year queue for new trade deals. But how real is that threat? The UK would need to quickly cement existing trade agreements while finding new deals elsewhere in the world. Some will see this as an opportunity for the UK to go bigger and better, others a long hard slog to get back to where they were pre-Brexit. Regulation / legislation For some, the carrot of the vote leave campaign is the reduction in red tape in this heavily regulated industry which costs businesses time and money. But what about the argument that leaving the EU may just make it harder to unravel what’s already in place, only to have to continue playing by the rules if new EU trade deals are to be agreed? According to accountancy and advisory firm, BDO LLP’s survey of 632 British mid-sized companies, although the majority want to remain in the EU, 63% wanted less red tape and those polled wanted to see regulatory offsetting by removing an existing EU regulation for every new regulation adopted. Would the EU ever agree to such a request? Supply chain Although we may win when it comes to reduced regulation, many predict that pulling away from the free trade agreement and the tariffs that would be imposed as a result, would see an increase in supply chain costs including the costs to source raw materials and other imports from the EU. But what if we updated our sourcing strategies so we are not purchasing key supplies exclusively from Europe? And could we find cost-savings through improved efficiencies within the supply chain, such as improved stock management and waste reduction? With careful and thorough contingency planning, we could surely limit any negative repercussions of a Brexit. Investment The EU invests 15% of its £11 billion budget in the UK for innovation programmes. Would innovation programmes simply stop? Or would we start to see UK manufacturers invest themselves? The majority of foreign investment in the EU comes to the UK. Would Brexit make investors uneasy and encourage them to send their money elsewhere? An EEF survey shows that 50% of manufacturers would be less likely to increase investment if the UK were to leave the EU. Is this simply a pessimistic view based on an uncertainty of the repercussions, or does this spell the beginning of the end for manufacturing in a stand-alone UK? Skills With manufacturing facing a skills shortage, will restrictions on free movement of people from member states in post-Brexit Britain exacerbate this further, or could this present an opportunity for a more targeted immigration policy, bringing in the skills we need? Perhaps this could be the wakeup call needed to begin actively promoting manufacturing as a career path in schools, as well as reviewing the pay UK workers receive? On the other hand however, if the manufacturing industry begins to deteriorate and we see fewer job opportunities because of possibly fewer or weaker trade deals, less EU and foreign investment, as well as less investment from manufacturers themselves, will we be forced to watch, powerless, as high skilled workers move overseas, taking their skills away with them? Conclusion With many influential figures split on the decision to leave or stay, it’s no wonder many are struggling with the importance of this decision. It’s a case of weighing up the positive and negative scenarios and identifying which way tips the balance to get Britain the better deal. Whether we remain part of the club and help reform the EU from the inside, or leave and make going it alone work, one thing’s for sure, we have a long journey ahead of us. How do you think a Brexit will change the UK manufacturing industry? We’d like to hear your thoughts or predictions, so please share them with us on Twitter using #ukmfg #Brexit. Do you know which way you will vote?

15th Feb

New i-Pulse line boosts placement capacity at Tenkay
New i-Pulse line boosts placement capacity at Tenkay Tenkay is featured in the Blundell newsletter this month, having recently purchased the new M20 SMT placement machine from the leading equipment manufacturer. The article explains Tenkay’s new and improved capabilities, such as the expansion of on-machine component stock, enabled handling of more complex PCB assemblies and the ability to assemble printed circuit boards of up to 1480 x 510mm. To learn more about these new capabilities, read the article on page 3 here.    

08th Feb

Why Edwards used Tenkay to set up in Korea
  February 2016 At Tenkay we never underestimate the importance of customer communication and relationships, that's what every successful partnership needs! Our case studies provide an opportunity for you to gain insight into how we work and the broad range of clients we work with. This latest case study features our client and their need for a partner that could share the knowledge and expertise, as well as the ongoing supportive relationship we continue to provide. Read our new case study Do you think we could help you? For the full Edwards case study click here. "Tenkay's electrical harnesses and service kits are as good as you can get and, despite logistical factors such as cost and distance, they have the reliability, delivery and service capability that we require." Rob Fell, Commodity Manager - Electronics & Technology, Edwards Download the case study here We scored 60! We recently asked our key accounts how likey they would be to recommend us to colleagues. We were really happy with the overall result of +60 on a scale that runs from -100 to +100! Thank you to everyone who took part!

04th Dec

What customers want
What customers want Our customers regularly score us on a range of different areas and, based upon this, you get a real insight into what is important to OEMs. There are the obvious areas such as on time delivery and quality and rejection rates, which our Right First Time, Zero Defects policy has been introduced to support, but there is clearly more to it than that. So what else matters? Our survey shows the additional areas important to customers when assessing their contract manufacturers and what, therefore, should form part of the ‘standard’ package from any provider: Flexibility –  we live and work in a fast moving dynamic world where end user requirements constantly and rapidly change, as such customers need a supplier that can support this need. At Tenkay, we understand that being able to respond quickly, and react and deliver changes when required provides the support, flexibility and confidence that our customers need. Ease of doing business –  it is vital that communication between supplier and customer is easy and responsive. Keeping customers informed and updated is key to any partnership. OEMs need a partner that finds solutions, someone that will manage the process with their best interests at heart and get the job done. Business Continuity Plan –  a business continuity plan demonstrates the supplier's commitment to continue to deliver and minimise any impact on supply, whatever may happen. EHS & Ethics – customers want to know their supply chain partners take their impact on the environment, as well as health and safety and other ethical issues such as conflict minerals, seriously. Responsible contract manufacturers can also help customers with the burden of supply chain audits. We are really pleased with our recent customer scoring – see our infographic if you missed it last time. Having an engaged workforce at Tenkay is at the heart of the service we provide; expertise, proactive problem solving and attention to detail are valued by our customers. If you like what you see and want to find out what we could do for you, or to arrange a visit to our site, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

15th Sep

A personal thank you
A personal thank you Yesterday we had the pleasure of welcoming Mr Kawasaki, Supervisor for Yamaha Motor Co i-Pulse Sales Group, who made a special trip to see our new i-Pulse M20 in place and working and to give us his personal thanks for the order. From left to right: Peter Matthews, Quality and Technical Manager - Tenkay, Mr Kawasaki, Yamaha Motors and Robert Doick, Operations Manager - Tenkay.

07th Aug

What our customers think
November 2015 We were delighted with our recent customer scorecard ratings and have created this infographic to share with you. If you need a contractor who understands your supply chain needs, contact us today on 01903 855 455 to see what we can do for you.   We've been short-listed for 4 awards! Winners will be announced over the next few weeks, so watch this space and wish us luck! 1. Export Award Manufacturer of the Year 2. SME Manufacturing Company of the Year Manufacturing & Construction

07th Aug

We’re proud to announce our new SMT line
We're proud to announce our new SMT line Our much-heralded new i-Pulse M20 SMT Placement Machine is now safely installed and commissioned in the Tenkay factory. Coming all the way from Japan, our M20 arrived on Thursday, August 13.   There’s no doubt the weather could have been kinder to us on the day, but the little matter of a torrential downpour wasn't going to hold us back. Through a great team effort, we succeeded with the delicate process of negotiating entry to the building through a side roller-door and manoeuvred the machine safely to its permanent site. The next morning saw the electrical installation and air-line links established. Completion of the set-up and sign-off followed on Saturday and we were able to trial our first real job that Monday, with the team receiving training throughout the day. We have now been processing jobs for a few weeks and already have a real feel for the efficiency we are achieving. Previously running a capacity of 5,000 components per hour (cph) on our i-Pulse M4e mounting centre, with the addition of the M20 and utilising optimisation software across the two, we are already realising in excess of 18,000 cph. Our increased efficiency and ability to handle complex PCB assemblies and board sizes, means we can improve production rates on almost any job. Contact us today for a discussion about your specific requirements. We'll be pleased to explain how we can help and arrange to show you around.