Miscellaneous Our take on the art of Quality Assurance

UPM consistently strives to uphold our reputation as the plastic injection molder who thrives on handling the tough jobs that other molders can’t get right. One part of UPM’s “secret sauce” to achieving high quality is the great experience of our management team. The other part is a carefully nurtured culture which makes top quality a must. Ensuring consistently high quality manufacturing isn’t a job which can be achieved by a great quality control department alone, however. Quality control is a philosophy, and when anyone sets foot inside our facility and goes to work, they immediately become one of our 300+ “inspectors”, all of whom are trained to spot and remove any sub-par quality parts on sight. This creates a production environment with multiple levels of safeguards for inspection, and an ultra-low reject rate.

This commitment to proactive screening and removal of bad parts is further supplemented with a world class Quality Assurance department (QA). The QA department is skilled in identifying key attributes such as visual appearance, weight, load bearing strength, and dimensions, based on requirements given by the customer. By utilizing a methodology that begins with identifying these key product requirements, QA is able to quickly build specialized multi-point testing protocols that ensure the same top quality result between differing batches and even varying materials. As stated by our QA Manager, Pat Brady, “I’ve been in quality assurance 39 years, in a variety of industries from aerospace and medical, all the way to automotive. UPM has very experienced staff, advanced technical knowhow, and enjoys conquering technical challenges. This is why we are known for solving technical challenges that others cannot handle.”

One example of this point in action was with a customer who was producing plastic beer kegs. Their last supplier couldn’t get the process and quality dialed in to a point of reliability. The specific problem they encountered was the plastic warping from its perfectly circular shape into a slightly oval shape. This caused the multiple components to not fit together, effectively ruining each run that was afflicted with this problem. After bringing the program to UPM, however, we quickly spotted the issue, and quality control built a custom set of parameters to prevent another flare up of that defect. Now the program is running with full stability and both UPM and the client couldn’t be happier.

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