Today, QMS programs for supply chain quality, reliability, and sustainability should require a “trust but verify” centered program supported by hard data.
Simply put, offshore manufacturing is the norm and not the exception. Reliance upon the supply chain to do the right thing to certify manufactured goods thousands of miles away is not enough today due to suspect counterfeiting and nonconformance.
Without the ability to audit or assess your suppliers, product safety and quality are at an increased risk due to the change in the current business model to remote customer/supplier sourcing for externally provided goods.
Since 2000, the growth in offshore manufacturing has risen exponentially. Quality management programs have paid little attention to physical inspection by verification techniques of incoming supplier products. Technical data sheets are sometimes referred to as the “paper tiger” of procurement sourcing process due to unsubstantiated supplier claims. Independent testing is rarely done to qualify a new product or one that has undergone a design change, reformulation of packaging, or material substitutions. Suppliers unwilling to share manufacturing processes can also be a red flag.
Today, however, third-party electrostatics (ESD) testing with verifiable results is required. Both space and defense and the healthcare-related sectors (microprocessor-driven implanted medical devices, wearables, and pharmaceutical delivery) require verification for compliance to traceable ANSI standards, NASA standards, or military standards.
Mission success is foremost as lives can be in the balance as one can neither issue a Return Materials Authorization (RMA) in space nor delivery of a weapons system for protection of the war fighter. Medical devices and wearables must also be compliant in harsh environments and areas of low relative humidity.
The iNARTE® Certified Space & Defense ESD Program Monitor™ program developed under the leadership of RMV Technology Group, a NASA industry partner, addresses this critical need to verify supplier products or materials in the ESD Protective Area (EPA).
In a truly interactive virtual “live” hands-on training platform, the supervisor, quality assurance professional, ESD coordinator, lab technician, or incoming inspection specialist will learn how to physically measure or verify the ESD performance of a material or product before use in a critical environment.
Utilizing space and defense guidelines for the physical inspection and traceable verification techniques of supplier items used in the EPA as well as the packaging, handling, storage, and transport of ultra-sensitive ESD devices will lower one’s risk for safety, security, and program success upon product launch or return to the field after repair.
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An alternative course to the iNARTE® Space & Defense curriculum is the new iNARTE® Certified Electronics Industry ESD Coordinator™ course now offered to commercial electronics, automotive, and healthcare-related sectors. Starting in Dec. 2021, this course has been exclusively developed and trained by the subject matter experts of RMV Technology Group LLC.
About the author
Renee Mitchell is the president of RMV. She may be contacted by phone at 650-964-4792 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit online at www.esdaerospacetraining.org and/or www.esdrmv.com.