The answer is: it doesn’t matter what Quality means to the spring industry. It does matter what quality means to the customers of the spring industry. The answers for each customer varies, what does quality mean, where the spring industry misses the boat at times is to start talking about quality in their own terms, not the customer. For example, if one were to ask a spring manufacturer, how do you define quality for your company? A typical reply many times is “Well, we’re ISO Certified, or we have CNC Equipment that can hold tight tolerances, or we utilize SPC checking techniques throughout the shop.”
These are all nice tools, and can certainly help in producing parts to customer specs, however as many experienced spring makers know, having the best equipment and technology for producing parts can still lead to frustrated customers, frustrated spring makers and wasted time and money for both. Many customers would probably say in terms of quality, “It doesn’t matter how you do it, just do it smoothly.”
To that end, quality starts in the office, where communication between the customer and spring manufacturer typically start. In reviewing past root causes of quality problems, the higher percentages occur in the office where there has been a miscommunication between customer and spring manufacturer. Consider this simple example; a customer requests a spring to be left-hand wound. The estimator takes the order, but forgets to make the change on the drawing. The shop makes the part to print, but it’s not to the customer specs. If the estimator would have made the change and had the customer sign off on the drawing, chances are the mistake would have been caught before the parts were manufactured and less frustration for everyone.

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Katy Spring & Mfg. Inc.