Quality management for tactical and firearms manufacturers is an obvious concern. The following post put out by the NRA highlights some helpful approaches companies can take to ensure firearms quality control and safety.
Gun Manufacturing: Quality Control
These processes can be automated and carefully controlled using an effective quality management solution to improve the manufacturing quality of firearms, ammunition, and tactical gear:
The firearms industry is one of the most heavily regulated. Compliance with evolving industry standards and regulations such as ISO 9001, ITAR and DoD can be a challenge. An effective quality management solution can automate approvals and present the objective evidence needed in the event of an audit.
Inspection Planning & Execution
A streamlined quality inspection process standardizes operations and helps ensure manufacturing success. Source inspections validate compliance with engineering drawings and test things like castings and forgings before firearm production begins. First article inspection tests components against compliance with industry regulations. Once the product moves through receiving inspection, an effective quality management solution will build an inspection plan for the inspector based on key constraints present on the receiver and as predefined by the procurement quality group. A comprehensive solution will support different sampling plans, skip-lot management, the certified part process, statistical process control and seamless integration with the CAPA process.
Supplier Parts Inspection
Firearms manufacturers depend on many suppliers to obtain materials, parts, and sub-assemblies to manufacture their products. They rely on their supply chain to meet their quality standards and specifications. Firearms manufacturers must work with their suppliers to verify the intended functionality of each component and review appropriate process control steps before production. An effective quality management solution provides complete visibility and traceability into issues from initial source inspection through final delivery. Supplier audits can be conducted to ensure part certification and a supplier performance rating can be assigned to further improve firearms quality.
Statistical Process Control
Using statistical process control, firearms manufacturers can categorize issues using different measurable codes, thus creating a formalized resolution process with a standardized workflow. Managers can then react instantly to variations in manufacturing operations and successfully identify process trends that in the end lead to fewer product defects.
Gage & Tool Calibration
The metrology instruments necessary for building firearms can be calibrated using an effective quality management solution to ensure the highest level of accuracy during production. For tooling, test devices, and other required equipment, traceability data is collected within the system and validated back to required calibration and re-certification intervals. An electronic audit trail provides complete, as maintained records to ensure proper compliance.
Comprehensive Document Management
Critical quality documentation including procedures, work instructions and forms can be maintained within the quality management system. Revision control with change history, electronic approvals and signatures ensure compliance to the intended standard.
An effective quality management solution provides a closed loop process that tracks issues from initiation through disposition and corrective action. Nonconformance and defect tracking can be addressed systemically to avoid expensive rework and improve firearms quality.
TIP Technologies supports the quality requirements facing firearms manufacturers. Contact TIP Technologies to learn how we can help your organization foster continuous improvement and ensure the quality of your products.