Tick, tock, tick, tock. The clock hanging on the wall ticks on and on, same tempo, same sound, over and over. Inside the clock is a complex collection of gears and other parts that interlock and move in a way that precisely tells time. But what if you removed one of those gears? Even just a little tiny one? Probably, the clock would stop telling time correctly and might stop ticking all together. And that would be bad, wouldn’t it? You wouldn’t know what time it was, and you would be late for work in the morning, and…well, you get the picture. (Now you can put the gear back in the clock.)
Some manufacturing processes work much like a clock. Just as the parts of a clock interlock together to tell time, the steps of the manufacturing processes work together to make a product that’s exactly the right size and shape and durability necessary. And while some steps may be expendable, other steps might stop the process all together if they were removed. And probably skipping any step would compromise the quality of the product.
Let’s take an industry that manufactures engine parts that must fit together precisely and be made to the right size. The metal must be of the finest quality to withstand heat and pressure. Any defects could hurt the final product. The industry might test the product by putting it into a custom wire basket, then inserting the basket by crane into a tank filled with a chemical solution made to test the engine part’s quality.
Any manufacturer worth its salt will send its products through rigorous testing processes before assembling the ones that will be sold. Engine turbines must be able to withstand incredible heat when they will be moving at high speeds. So the parts should be exposed to burning hot temperatures, but they need to be placed in a container that will withstand this heat. Three M Tool (threemtool.com) can make custom baskets out of a variety of grades of stainless steel. The higher the grade, the higher the temperature the basket will be able to stand—even temperatures reaching over 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. Imagine how strong the metal must be to withstand these temperatures without melting or becoming disformed.
Certainly a manufacturer could skip over these steps and still release a product of decent quality. But not testing your product could lead to some serious flaws that could cause serious problems later on. What if a jet turbine malfunctioned mid-flight, causing a plane to spin out of control and crash to the ground? Manufacturing requires an orderly process, operating efficiently but allowing enough time to check the quality of products before they are sold to the public.
Rigorous testing is necessary to ensure that parts are made well enough. Using custom wire mesh baskets can help to hold parts securely and make the testing procedures easier. Just like a clock, ticking as each part works together, the steps of the manufacturing process work together to produce items that will sell.