What to Consider When Choosing a Dimensional Inspection Service Provider
If you need dimensional inspection services, how do you choose a provider who will not only meet your requirements, but help you optimise and streamline your inspection and quality control processes? It’s an important question to consider, particularly in highly regulated industries like medical device manufacturing where components can be very small and have very tight tolerances.
When choosing a dimensional inspection service provider, you should consider the following points.
Most engineers would be capable of carrying out basic level dimensional inspection tasks, albeit with some training. However, the field gets much more complex when you move into a manufacturing environment. That level of complexity is enhanced even further in high-speed, high-volume, and highly regulated manufacturing facilities such as those in the medical device industry.
This complexity means it is important to work with a provider that has specific industry expertise. This includes knowledge and experience of the materials used in your manufacturing processes, the manufacturing methods you use, and the requirements of your industry. In the medical device industry, for example, this would include knowledge of FDA regulations, the EU MDR, and regulations in other jurisdictions.
High levels of industry knowledge will ensure the dimensional inspection provider can hit the ground running with reliable metrology and inspection services. Crucially, it will also mean they will be in a position to help improve your quality assurance processes.
Metrology equipment continuously advances as new technologies and capabilities are developed. Therefore, it is important the dimensional inspection service provider you choose has modern equipment in its lab. Modern equipment demonstrates the company’s commitment to investing in the services it provides, as well as the knowledge of its team.
At Verus Metrology, for example, we regularly add new equipment to our labs, and our staff frequently attend both in-house and external training courses.
A high level of equipment expertise also enables the service provider to give you expert and impartial advice on choosing the best CMM, vision system, or alternative automated or standalone inspection system for your requirements. The best advice will take into account various factors, including the requirements of the components being inspected, the technical abilities of your team, the location of the new machine, and your budget.
It is also beneficial for the service provider to have experience in the equipment currently used in your facility.
Unwavering Focus on Accuracy and Attention to Detail
There is no room for complacency or the cutting of corners in the provision of dimensional inspection services, especially in the life sciences sector. Therefore, attention to detail is essential, as is an unwavering focus on accuracy and delivering on your requirements.
High-Quality Lab Facilities
Metrology labs should be well-equipped and continuously monitored to ensure a 24/7 temperature-controlled environment. The metrology services provider should also have robust quality control procedures.
There is an unfortunate tendency that is all too prevalent in the field of dimensional inspection whereby things are done as they have always been done. It is an approach that sticks to the principle of “it isn’t broke, so why fix it”, regardless of the inefficiencies that exist and the potential impact of outdated inspection processes on manufacturing and the wider supply chain.
Forward-thinking dimensional inspection providers will take an innovation-led approach to the delivery of their services. At Verus Metrology, for example, we are industry leaders in the provision of remote metrology services, as well as the design and development of multi-station, auto rotational, and inline metrology fixtures and solutions.
When you are looking for dimensional inspection services, you should choose a provider that pushes boundaries and continuously looks for ways to improve your processes, achieve efficiency gains, and enhance productivity.
This point is a very functional one, but it is nonetheless essential. Delays in the dimensional inspection process can have considerable knock-on impacts that, ultimately, hit your bottom line. Therefore, it is important your service provider has the capacity to deliver on your requirements.
Final Thought – Developing a Partnership Relationship
The metrology company you choose should be committed to learning about your business, workflows, and processes so it can not only help with the inspection challenges you face today, but also help improve quality assurance processes in your facility for the future.
For example, providing services like gap analysis assessments, training, drawing reviews, NPI planning, and more. In other words, rather than simply outsourcing dimensional inspection services, you should look to develop a partnership relationship with your metrology provider. This will deliver the best results and the best return on investment.