Supplier Assessment

The client had little visibility into the capabilities and operation details of the factory due to lacking of direct communication. Insight Solutions Global bridged the gap, drove the supplier performance, and increased the yield rate to 92.8%.

About the client

Industry: Consumer medical electronics

Product: Vaporizer

Company Size: Established high-growth company

Location: United States

The target factory in China.

Challenges

  • The packaging equipment was purchased via a US sales agency with insufficient information from the sales rep and no prior visit to the factory; 
  • Failure rate was 47.5% in the US production line for final packaging box; 
  • The packaging machine stopped unexpectedly from time to time, and couldn’t run 2 consecutive hours at a time;  
  • Output was less than 20 pieces a minute: 
  • The printed information on the box needed to be verified to be related to the product box; 
  • The edge seals consistency needed to be checked manually to rule out minimal wrinkling, elimination and more minor issues; 
  • Potential safety and/or functional issues
  • Delivery delay could result from unclear manufacturing process cycle time, and materials readiness status; 
  • The client was too busy to audit the supplier in China; 
  • Supplier visit lasting for a few days was too expensive

Challenges breakdown

Problem

The accuracy of the photocell was affected by external environment such as object shadows, which resulted in the wrong signal given to print and cut. 

Solution: 

A shield for photocell was suggested to mitigate the influence of the environment. 

Photocell

Problem

The equipment continued to run even when there were no boxes available due to lacking of automatic stopping system. But the film would still be supplied, which could jam the equipment and caused the production line to stop and required re-adjustment. 

Solution: 

The contract manufacturer needed to make sure all blocks of the conveyor be filled, and a sensor to stop the film supply when product is missing. 

Uninstalled protection shield

How we helped

Equipment in the factory
  • Insight quality and mechanical engineers had an immediate call with the client to go through the packaging production line requirements including functionality, reliability, and performance data, especially the failure analysis data;
  • Aligned with the client for the machine critical performance requirements;
  • Communicated with the sales rep of the US agency and factory executives for a supplier assessment request
  • Executed the on-site assessment procedure: walked through the manufacturing process from incoming to outgoing, met with factory management team, engineers, operators to review their current manufacturing process control status; 
  • Identified 5 existing issues which impacted the yield rate, tolerance, throughout rate, and 3 other major issue which impacted the machine output performance; 
  • Provided engineering and quality control suggestions to the factories for improvement;
  • Defined the action items for factories and contract manufacturers to follow-up; 
  • Identified the whole supply chain lead time and shipment delay risks and figured out the risks mitigation solutions together with the factory; 
  • Educated  the factory on continuous improvement, set up the real-time measurement data collection requirements. 

Results

  • The client had a full and clear picture of the machine factory capabilities and sufficient visibility on the factory operation details;
  • Bridged direct connection between client’s engineers and factory engineers to communicate directly on requirements and troubleshooting;
  • Provided professional mechanical and quality control suggestions;
  • Enhanced the communication between machine factory and contract manufacturer (assembly factory) for joint effort on machine debug;
  • Yield rate increase to 92.8% after 2 weeks of improvement action execution. 

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