Auto Part Inspection: Quality Control Method and Checklist (backing plate)

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With the automotive industry continually evolving, propelled by technological advancements, and shifting market demands, the auto parts sector faces both opportunities and challenges in maintaining quality and efficiency.

Despite the robust growth, the vehicle parts industry faces headwinds, particularly in quality control. The globalization of supply chains has introduced complexities in maintaining consistent quality standards. With production often spread across different countries, ensuring that each part meets the required specifications and quality benchmarks is a formidable task.

To address these challenges, rigorous auto part inspections are essential. They help identify and rectify defects before the parts are assembled into vehicles or shipped to customers. They are crucial in maintaining the reputation of auto manufacturers and ensuring the safety and reliability of vehicles on the road.

In the next sections, we will delve into the specifics of auto part inspection through the lens of backing plates, outlining a detailed checklist, and discussing the significance of each inspection criterion.

Why Conduct an Auto Part Inspection ?

Before delving into the technicalities of our checklist and discussing the example focused on backing plates, it is crucial to highlight a few key points that underscore the essential nature of conducting automotive part inspections in the automotive industry.

  • Maintaining Quality in Global Supply Chains: The global nature of the automotive supply chain adds another layer of complexity to quality control. Auto parts are often manufactured in different countries, each with its own set of manufacturing practices and quality standards. For example, while Germany, France, Italy, Japan, and South Korea are known for their high-quality automotive components, emerging markets like China and India are becoming significant players in the auto parts industry. Conducting thorough auto part inspections ensures that parts sourced from various global suppliers meet uniform quality standards, irrespective of their origin.
  • Protecting Brand Reputation: A single incident involving a faulty auto part can lead to negative publicity, eroding consumer trust and impacting sales. Regular inspections help manufacturers and buyers detect and address potential issues before the parts reach the consumers, thereby protecting the brand’s reputation.
  • Economic Implications and Market Trends: The economic impact of inadequate quality control can be significant. The costs associated with recalls, warranty claims, and legal liabilities can be substantial. In contrast, investing in rigorous quality inspections can lead to long-term savings and profitability by reducing these costs.

Auto Part Inspection Checklist (backing plate)

What is a Backing Plate?

The backing plate is a critical component in a vehicle’s braking system. It is a sturdy plate that provides a foundation for brake shoes or pads to press against the brake drum or rotor. The integrity and quality of the backing plate are essential for the effective functioning of the brake system. Given its role in vehicle safety, thorough inspection and quality control of backing plates are non-negotiable.

Ensuring Quality with Pre-Shipment Inspection

Pre-shipment inspection (PSI) is essential for quality assurance in manufacturing, especially in the automotive parts sector. This inspection occurs when the production process is complete, usually when 100% of the production is finished and at least 80% is packed for shipment. PSI is crucial as it ensures that the products meet the required quality standards and specifications before they are shipped to the customer. The sampling size is determined based on standards like ANSI/ASQ Z1.4, which specifies the number of units to be inspected from a production lot. This method provides a balance between thorough inspection and efficiency.

For critical components like the backing plate, PSI helps detect any potential issues that could compromise safety or performance.

Detailed Quality Inspection Checklist for Backing Plates

Product View (picture below):

Product View

A. Quantity Verification

Correct quantity assurance is crucial for supply chain integrity and order fulfillment accuracy. The verification involves tallying the total count of backing plates against the client’s purchase order. This is often done using automated counting systems or manual counts, followed by a cross-verification process for accuracy.

B. Weight Test

Weight consistency is a direct indicator of material uniformity and manufacturing precision. The inspector weighs the backing plates, using a sampling size representative of the total quantity, on calibrated scales. The results are then compared with the specified weight range in the product blueprint. Tolerances for weight variations are predetermined based on design specifications.

Weight Test

C. Hardness Test

Hardness is a crucial factor for wear resistance and durability. It determines the backing plate’s ability to resist deformation under load. Utilizing tools like Rockwell or Brinell hardness testers, the hardness level of the plates is measured. These tests apply a specific force through an indenter, measuring the material’s resistance. The results are compared to the hardness specifications stated in the design requirements.

D. Dimensional measurement

Dimensional accuracy ensures proper fit and function within the brake assembly. Precise measurements of dimensions such as diameter, thickness, and bolt-hole alignment are taken using tools like micrometers, calipers, and Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMM). These measurements are compared with the CAD (Computer-Aided Design) model or technical drawings to ensure compliance with specified tolerances.

Dimensional measurement

Dimensional measurement

The data are then recorded in the inspection report, presented in a table that compares the findings with the tolerances and specifications, as illustrated in the example below:

tolerances and specifications

E. Raw Material Certificate/Mechanical Properties Test Report Inspection

The inspector verifies the certificates and test report to ensure that the material composition and verifies that the mechanical properties align with strength, ductility, and performance requirements.

F. Product(s) Visual Inspection

Identifies surface flaws, manufacturing defects, or inconsistencies that could affect performance. A comprehensive visual examination is carried out under appropriate lighting conditions. Inspectors look for issues like cracks, corrosion, surface roughness, and coating uniformity.

In conclusion, as seen through the lens of backing plate inspections, the process of automotive part inspection is crucial for ensuring the quality, safety, and performance of automotive components. By employing a thorough checklist that encompasses aspects such as quantity verification, performance criteria, dimensional measurements, material certification, and craftsmanship evaluation, companies can significantly reduce the risks associated with defects and non-compliance. This comprehensive approach to quality assurance is integral to maintaining high standards in the automotive industry.

About Us

Pro QC is a trusted global quality control company that has been supporting the automotive industry since 1984. Our extensive global coverage enables us to provide services tailored to meet our client’s needs. In addition to auto part inspection services, we offer a comprehensive range of supplier audits (ISO 9001, IATF 16949, VDA 6.3), supplier management services to help companies reduce their defect rates, improve compliance with industry standards, and achieve manufacturing excellence in terms of quality. Contact us.

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