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Test is not 'Quality'

Test is not ‘Quality':

Firstly I should declare an interest;

I am a test guy. I like the technical challenge of solving difficult test problems. And have been lucky to have worked on some interesting test challenges.

But I still get surprised when I hear comments like “we have an extensive test process to ensure product Quality”.

My surprise comes from my view, that whilst an extensive test regime will ensure defects are found and removed before our customers find them. This is not ‘Quality’. ‘Quality’ is having no defects. Or as described by Philip Crosby ‘Zero defects’ as one of the ‘absolutes of quality management’.

Once we that have accepted this ‘absolute’, we should look to avoid defects. Which will require us to include capabilities outside traditional Inspection and test processes in our ‘Quality’ regime. And so  must also include our methodology of process planning for assembly, the control of the materials, the verification and traceability of all parts and processes.

These become our essential ‘Quality’ features in striving for ‘zero defects’.

So if I can request one thing, its that I hear more often “we have extensive defect avoidance capabilities to ensure product ‘Quality’.

I will elaborate on some of the options for defect avoidance in following blogs.

Until then, those wishing to review how we at of Mentor Graphics assist our electronics manufacturing customers on their journey towards ‘zero defects’ can find more information on the MSS web page:

zero defects, manufacturing software solutions

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About Bernard Sutton

Bernard SuttonBernard has over 30 years of experience in electronics manufacturing in both OEM and EMS manufacturing environments. Electronics Test, Production Engineering and Quality. In Mentor Bernard brings his experience to the Valor Division manufacturing shopfloor applications (MSS) aiming to ensure customers see products that meet the demands of modern electronics manufacturing. Visit Manufacturing Quality and Reporting

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