When customers are in the process of choosing a custom silicone rubber manufacturer for their keypad or product, most of the time they are looking for low cost, fast delivery, and for a consistent product that meets their expectations time after time. SiTECH believes that those factors are important, and to be able to meet them you need to have total control over your manufacturing processes. At SiTECH, quality is something that we take great pride in. We know that the key to supplying our customers with a quality product on time is to follow procedures. Our vision statement is “to ensure that customers receive the finest service and best possible product every time.” We achieve our vision statement by having highly qualified technicians and by tracking our products from the time raw material comes through the door to the time products are shipped out.
Processes and Procedures
The key to be able to supply a quality product on time is to follow procedures. Taking the time to set up and make sure the proper procedures are in place requires an understanding of every step of the process, with verification and signoffs for accountability. To ensure reputability and control of producing a quality product, you must have processes and procedures that start from first contact to final acceptance of the product. You also need to make sure everyone is trained properly to follow the procedures.
Knowing your process is just a part of the picture to ensure consistent manufacturing. Procedures are not just needed for the manufacturing. They should also be used for other areas such as order entry, verifying that the customer’s purchase order (P.O.) matches the part drawing and revision (Rev.) level to ensure you are making what the customer wants; and for the material, what durometer and burn rating is documented.
Another important step to remember is the tracking of material. The original batch number is documented for traceability and retained in the history in case it’s needed. A quality silicone molding manufacturer also checks to make sure whether the customer has specified packaging requirements for shipping and transport.
Documentation and Inspection
One area that is critical is whether the silicone molding manufacturer has its own published documentation on mechanical and cosmetic inspection acceptance. There should be a tolerance block that states tolerances for molded sizes. It should state a tolerance for printed location to an edge or some mechanical location. There also should be cosmetic criteria such as parting line flash, voids, flash, sinks and dirt and debris. Color is very important, not just for the first part, but showing consistency for the life of the product one example is testing parts throughout a run by using a spectrophotometer. There should be a tolerance for color, a good rule of thumb would be 1 delta plus or minus.
When looking for a silicone molding manufacturer, there should be no hesitation in discussing quality, procedures and process controls. They should have a system that documents each process with a QA’s signature approving the part meets that process. The most important ingredient for a successful business is its employees. At SiTECH, all of our employees are well trained in the processes and procedures. They know how important it is to follow every procedure and have checks in place to ensure that multiple people are responsible for the quality of every part.
Contact our office for more information on your silicone rubber keypad or component needs at either CS@SiTech-corp.com or 757-887-8488.