Product development risk management with DFM and quality partnerships


Product development risk management with DFM and quality partnerships

Cutting edge machining

Posted: Tuesday, April 12, 2022 – 12:03 PM

FFrom design and prototyping to manufacturing and scaling, manufacturing involves many risks. Machining of critical parts may not be on the agenda until product development is well advanced. It is not in the interest of the stakeholders.

Take for example products with semiconductors as a component. The semiconductor components themselves must be mounted in packages machined from various metals and specialty alloys. The reality is that failure of an electronic product package or non-semiconductor component can be just as catastrophic as failure of the semiconductor itself.

Given the critical nature of these components, the “cutting edge” of machining now goes far beyond the latest CNC equipment and accessories. It also means engaging early in the product development process using the latest Design for Manufacturing (DFM), simulation and process verification processes before cutting the first part.

It is then extremely important to have the flexibility and adaptability to make changes and scale up the production when needed. This includes the ability and commitment to inspect with the most accurate tools throughout the process. The goal of this approach is to let customers know that when machining begins, parts will be 100% correct, flawless, first time, every time.

Typically, when a potential customer is looking for a machine shop to fabricate a complex electronic device case or part, they are looking for the latest equipment and current certifications, including ISO 9001 and AS9100. There is, however, a huge benefit for a customer to look beyond these prerequisites for a machine shop that will work with them, from design phases through manufacturing, to predict and resolve failures before they occur. . The ability to predict when failures might occur requires proactive communication and early engagement with an expert machine shop.

Machining advanced parts involves engaging early in the product design process.

Design for Manufacturing: The Ability to Adapt Early

A design for the manufacturing process allows the machine shop to anticipate possible complications and limitations of the machining process in advance.

“With design for manufacturing, the goal is to make the product manufacturable in an efficient and cost-effective way, and that starts with reviewing the parts and openly discussing the specifications,” says Tony Doan, CEO of Halcyon, based in San Jose, California. Manufacturing, an advanced ITAR registered and AS9100/ISO9001 certified manufacturing facility for complex parts. “The electronics industry needs a cutting-edge machine shop that has both the expertise and the desire to guide its customers on how to get better machined products at a better price.”

This analysis and feedback is part of an ongoing manufacturing collaboration between a customer and their contracted machining partner long before production begins, from the start of a project through to prototyping.

Halcyon applies the DFM protocol to a wide range of metalworking from bar grade 6061 aluminum, brass, copper, titanium, stainless steel and plastics. The company also works with quartz, ceramics, grafting, titanium and a variety of steels, and serves customers in the electronics, semiconductor, aerospace, home defense, automotive and medical.

“When you can use the latest in process simulation and verification technology before you cut the first metal or plastic chip, then when you start manufacturing, you know the parts will be 100% right the first time, every time. times,” says Don.

part being machined at the Halcyon machine shop
Process simulation and verification lets customers know that when machining begins, parts will be 100% perfect, with no defects.

Fast prototype

Rapid prototyping eliminates financial and time risk by providing a cost-effective way to test a full range of designs and materials. With rapid prototyping, many iterations of a part may never make it to production, which can save companies time and money.

“If we understand how the part should work, we can 3D print the plastic item, put it through a few tests, and then move on, rather than rushing to machine parts from expensive materials in the prototype phase. “, explains Doan. . “In addition to initial prototyping, 3D printing can be used to create fixtures and fixtures.”

Adaptability and scalability in production

Electronic device manufacturers’ customers operate in very dynamic markets, and the need to change part specifications and part quantity is high. State-of-the-art machine shops must therefore be adaptable and flexible for any design changes. They must also be able to scale up production to “shut down” manufacturing if necessary without compromising machining accuracy.

“While capacity is certainly important, the overall size of a machine shop is not the most important criteria,” Doan says. “Customers certainly need manufacturing scale, but they also need adaptability as complex manufacturing designs evolve and change. For a machine shop to be an effective partner, it must be agile. »

Control the quality upstream

Finally, to complement machining capabilities and agility, a shop must have state-of-the-art metrology equipment for advanced inspections guided by a proactive, zero-defect mindset.

“It’s not about making parts, sorting out the bad ones, and shipping the good ones,” Doan explains. “You need a machine shop that is committed to not manufacturing defective parts. To produce the most accurate parts, you need to be able to inspect more than finished products. A machine shop needs real-time inspection of things like setups and speed throughout the process, allowing data to be captured for predictive statistical process control.

At Halcyon, automated coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) perform process inspections and produce first article reports. Halcyon also uses a digital multimeter with scanning capability that can take thousands of data points when scanning a complex curved surface. This results in highly accurate, accurate and repeatable product ratings.

Forge a partnership

Companies that rely on machine shops to produce precision parts to extremely tight tolerances with consistency must look beyond basic certifications and CNC capabilities. They should work with workshops that have the expertise to optimize the manufacturing process before any item is made and adjust them as needed afterwards. With this level of flexibility and ensuring a zero-defect approach to every step of the process, players in the electronics industry can proceed with the confidence that the parts they receive are of the highest reliability and without unnecessary additional costs. for their most critical applications.

Gary C. Lisi