RMAs: Negative Experience or Valuable Opportunity?


Reading time ( words)

Returned product is inevitable if you work in manufacturing. That does not imply that it is easy to address. No matter what the reason for the returned material, it disrupts the normal flow of the quality and manufacturing teams. An inspector must first review the defect and agree that it is indeed a defect. This seems like a simple task and can be if the material doesn’t match a customer specific requirement.

However, if the material must adhere to an industry-wide standard, such as an IPC standard in the circuit industry, it becomes a little more tedious. In most cases the manufacturer will be more familiar with the specification than their customer. Also, they are more likely to keep the latest revision of the requirements in their library. This can cause a situation where the customer has identified a reject that isn’t agreed upon when compared to the standard it was built to. Tedious indeed!

As well, there are other cases that have been witnessed by the author that create a lessthan-easy situation. For instance, if the customer sends back rejected material that wasn’t built by your company. This is typically easy to determine by company markings. Or they send back materials that have obviously been damaged by handling at their own facility. It complicates an already difficult process.

How does it happen?

In the flexible circuit industry (and any other industry, for that matter), there are times when all the material delivered to the customer fails to meet the specifications. This can happen for a number of reasons and typically depends on the final inspection process. Two common final inspection processes used are sampling and 100%. When a product utilizes the 100% inspection process, every part that is shipped to your customer will also have been inspected. A sampling process is intuitively a partial inspection, typically 10-25% of the total, and is used on products that have a long history of zero defects.

To read the full version of this article which originally appeared in the April 2018 issue of Flex007 Magazine, click here.

Share




Suggested Items

I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week

05/26/2023 | Andy Shaughnessy, Design007 Magazine
It’s been a busy week here at I-Connect007, an even busier week for PCB designers and manufacturers. This week, we published a variety of articles and news items. In this week’s wrap-up, we have an interview with Rex Rozario that is basically a historical look at the birth of commercial PCB manufacturing, and his involvement with the Rolling Stones in their early days. Then we bring you a look at trends in freight costs, which are—fortunately—heading southward right now.

Knowledge: At the Heart of Great Customer Service

05/26/2023 | Barry Matties, I-Connect007
David Thomas, master IPC trainer at EPTAC, says that the more you understand the work and technology that go into your processes and products, the better you can serve your customers. That includes knowing the basics.

I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week

05/19/2023 | Nolan Johnson, I-Connect007
This week, our must-reads include reporting on the new PCB support legislation, now submitted to the U.S. House of Representatives; financial results from two Tier 1 manufacturers, which readers read quite thoroughly; ESG in Asia Pacific; new features from Altium; global sourcing; and a “How I got here” interview with an up and coming industry expert.



Copyright © 2023 I-Connect007 | IPC Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.