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Bruce Wold
By Bruce Wold
Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 11:24

During project planning it is very important to ensure that each of the parts will be produced consistently. To do this, the manufacturing process must be qualified to ensure that it is repeatable and stable, both dimensionally and cosmetically.  At Elite Plastics, this qualification process is broken down into four sections including design qualification, installation qualification, operational qualification and performance qualification. We will explain them in further detail below:


Design qualification (DQ)

During this initial stage, Elite Plastics receives the design print and goes through a tolerance review to determine whether the tool can be built as the customer has requested.


Installation qualification (IQ)

The Elite Plastics team then begins qualifying how to install the tool so that the process can be repeated in the same way during future production runs.


Operational qualification (OQ)

At this point, design experiments are conducted and variables are tested to identify where the part is best suited to run. To do this, parts are taken from multiple conditions and are submitted to metrology for measurements. Based on the measurement results, the next step is performance qualification.


Performance qualification (PQ)

Finally, features, dimensions and cosmetics are evaluated. The production process is run and a predetermined number of parts are randomly selected and inspected by metrology to measure whether the process is deemed to be both repeatable and reliable.


One strength of Elite Plastics is the high quality standards that are adhered to. To uphold these standards, our team goes through this series of qualification steps for every project to ensure that parts meet our customer’s needs. 

By Bruce Wold
Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 13:43

Many people are familiar with the quality management process IQ, OQ, PQ, which I discussed in my last blog post, IQ, OQ, PQ in plastics manufacturing.  However, there is another important step, DQ, which ensures that the project or program is viable from the start.    

DQ or design qualification is the first step in process qualification that we perform.  During our DQ phase at Elite Plastics, we start with a kick-off meeting where the team spearheading the project introduces the opportunity.  Be it plastic decorating, elastomer compression molding or plastic injection molding, this allows all parties to get familiar with the project.  This is generally a short 15 minute meeting describing the basic outline and scope of the project.  Following the kick-off meeting there will be a variety of design reviews that include:

  • Tool design review
  • Tolerance review and print review
  • Secondary operation reviews

Based on these review’s, the team will meet again and perform a risk assessment outlining any high risk areas will need to be addressed.  After all of this information has been generated and documented, we can create a list of deliverables that is signed off prior to production launch.