Canadian Manufacturing

Why do electronics manufacturers need to optimize quality control?

by Emily Newton, Editor-in-Chief, Revolutionized   

Manufacturing Research & Development Sales & Marketing Technology / IIoT Electronics advanced manufacturing electronics Manufacturing marketing Research sales Technology

Companies selling IoT devices in the U.S. must prove they meet specific standards to earn the latest IoT security label, which could help boost sales.

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

Quality control is a critical step in any manufacturing line. Mistakes or inefficiencies at this stage can lead to considerable losses, delays and waste, so optimizing it as much as possible is essential. Electronics manufacturers face more pressure to optimize their quality control than most.

An Increasingly Competitive Landscape

The electronics industry’s rapid growth is one of the most significant reasons quality control is crucial in this sector. There are almost 4,000 consumer electronics manufacturers alone as of early 2023, which has steadily grown since 2020. As the industry becomes increasingly crowded, product quality will become a more important differentiator between competitors.

Rising Production Risks

Errors in quality control are also becoming increasingly costly. The ongoing semiconductor shortage is a prime example of the rising production risks reliable quality control can mitigate.

Chip shortages will likely last through early 2024, straining manufacturers’ inventories. Amid these stock shortages, production lines can’t risk mistakes, as rework and scrap could decrease their component inventories further. Optimized quality control will help prevent those errors, conserving limited resources.


Tightening Regulations

Electronics manufacturers may also face regulatory pressure to improve their quality control workflows. Companies selling IoT devices in the U.S., for example, must prove they meet specific standards to earn the latest IoT security label, which could help boost sales.

Optimized quality control prevents errors that could make products fall short of regulations. It also improves process transparency for increased audibility.

Electronics Quality Control Best Practices

Amid this rising pressure, electronics manufacturers must take the opportunity to review and improve their quality control processes. While specific fixes vary between facilities, some general best practices can help any manufacturer.

Quality control is often a bottleneck, so manufacturers should seek to make it as efficient as possible. Processes like in-circuit testing can test products within just a few minutes or less, so organizations should prefer methods like this.

Automation is another excellent way to improve quality control speed. It’s also an important step in reducing the risk of human error in these workflows. Machine learning algorithms are ideal for these applications — their accuracy improves over time as they gather more data from inspecting more products.

Electronics manufacturers should also regularly review and test their quality control processes. That involves recording current data to set benchmarks, setting goals based on that data and reviewing these KPIs over time to monitor progress. These audits will help recognize potential issues faster and enable ongoing improvements.

Quality Control Is Crucial for Electronics Manufacturers

With modern technology, manufacturers don’t need to choose between accuracy and speed in quality control. Regular review and implementing tools like machine learning will help these processes become reliable and efficient.

Improving quality control will help electronics manufacturers stand out amid rising competition, mitigate production risks and comply with regulatory standards. If organizations can do that, they can remain competitive as the industry grows and develops.


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