Is it worth it to your company to have 100% automated inspection equipment (AIE)? The answer is always yes if you have the right return on investment. AIE is an investment, but it is also an insurance policy. Instead of parts being checked sporadically by humans or other devices, they are holistically checked, 100-percent. To determine whether you should consider making that kind of investment, ask yourself these three questions:
  1. Do your parts have high value?
  2. Are you receiving kickback from your customers because of defective parts?
  3. Are you dealing with chargebacks and warranty issues?
If you answered yes to all three, you will more than likely benefit from AIE and save money in the process.  Here’s how.

By Catching Early Defects

Let’s say you’re making bolts. Your process includes cold heading, thread rolling, heat treatment, plating, patching, and packaging. Sixty percent of your part’s value is in the very first step: cold heading. If you aren’t using AIE, you run the risk of missing something in that first step that generates a defect in 1,000 of your 10,000 parts. You have to throw away 1,000 parts that have since gone through your entire process, adding to the lost value. Had you been using AIE, you could have caught the defect with the very first part detected, adjusted your machines, and continued with quality production. This is a significant return on investment. 

By Perfecting Your Processes

As you’re catching defects with AIE, you’re also getting real-time feedback about your machines and your processes.  If you’re making bolts on a cold header and you get 100-percent dimensional feedback and visual control on all surfaces, you can recognize, for example, that one of your cold headers wears out six times sooner than another one. Instead of continuing to purchase your machines from a company that is giving you a bad product, you can replace the machine with a higher quality one that doesn’t wear out nearly as fast. This is another significant return on investment.

By Earning a Better Reputation

Looking back at our bolt example, putting a part through multiple processes without catching defects means defects will slip through to customers and the end-user. When that happens, your reputation slips as well. The last thing you want to be is a company with a reputation of providing bad parts. Over time, that reputation will lose you business, which, in turn, loses you money. Having the insurance policy of 100-percent AIE equipment will send your reputation in the opposite direction. Customers will recognize that you are saving them time and money, and making them look good (or at least you’re not the reason they look bad). This is another significant return on investment.

100-Percent Inspection is 100-Percent Affordable

It’s all how you look at it.  When you look at the ways you save time, money, and reputation, you will see that investing in 100-percent inspection AIE is the correct long-term play for your business. Instead of leaving potential defects to chance by checking one in every 150 parts, or looking in on your process exponentially to see if everything appears to be functioning properly, you will know that your parts are being holistically checked for all defects while you do nothing but respond when you are alerted to a problem. Then you correct and move on. If you’re interested in seeing if this return on investment is right for you, reach out to [email protected].

About General Inspection

General Inspection LLC manufactures a complete line of gauging, sorting, and inspection systems incorporating: Laser, eddy current, vision, and acoustic technologies for dimensional measurement, determining metallurgical defects as a method for achieving zero defects. Gauging, inspection and sorting systems assure quality in product size, shape and structure. In today’s zero defect environment, the quality of your inspection technology is a critical factor in your ability to compete.

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