When it comes to choosing a precision engineering firm to take on your next project, you want to be assured you’ll receive the highest possible quality end product. Even the smallest of mistakes can have a major impact on the success of your overall project, leading to additional costly expenses and impact on timescales.
It’s crucial, therefore, that you work with an experienced precision engineer that you can rely upon time and again, delivering on the service promised to you at all times. But, how do you actually measure quality from a precision engineering firm? Quality can be measured in a few different ways, yet it boils down to your desired outcome from the project in question. What do you want to achieve?
With this in mind, our Epal Engineering team have put together this handy guide to provide you with an understanding of how you might measure quality, guaranteeing a return on your investment.
Why does quality matter so much?
Quality has many facets when it comes to precision engineering. The most obvious is the standard of workmanship on the component itself quickly followed by the longevity of the product once deployed. However, ‘softer’ considerations such as the responsiveness of the company and the skills, experience and advice available are also crucial decision criteria.
Let’s look at each of these in turn.
#1 The component’s appearance
Straight away, you’ll be able to judge the quality of the parts you’ve received from your precision engineer based on their appearance. A visible flaw is a clear indication that the final product is not of a high standard and is therefore not meeting the level of quality you deserve as a valuable customer.
In addition, if you receive your final product and this is not what you expected, this again suggests poor quality. This inability to follow your instruction and specifications to the letter are a major red flag. If you are in search of a precision engineering firm, you are clearly in search of a product to fit a specific purpose – not meeting this function is a fundamental failure! Ultimately, you won’t be able to use the designed piece in the way you intended – a costly mistake due to a lack of attention to detail, simply its poor quality.
You can’t measure durability until the product is in use, but the key is to work with a precision engineer that will ensure the design of your product is correct in the first place. This will include material suggestions to ensure only the most appropriate are used given the environment and design criteria.
At the same, you should get advice on the design itself. It’s very easy to design something on a CAD system that looks correct but, in the real world, is difficult and expensive to manufacture. Good quality advice at this stage is invaluable in ensuring your design not only meets its design goals but is also as cost-effective as possible without compromising quality.
#3 Quality control procedures
One of the key elements to consider when selecting a precision engineering supplier is how robust their quality control procedures are. Do they have solid guidelines in place to eliminate the risk of error? Will they review your design to ensure the outcome is viable? It should go without saying that a reliable quality assurance procedure can guarantee the quality of the items produced. Precision engineering is all about meeting the standards of the client, so this should be a promised assurance every company makes.
Furthermore, not only should a precision engineering firm have these quality control procedures but will also consistently review these standards to see if any new efficiencies can be found. This is a commitment to the quality of results, portraying the pride in the work the company supplies to its customers.
#4 Experience of team
In addition, if high standards are met and maintained, it will show in the motivation of the employees – are they passionate and enthusiastic about your product? And, committed to ensuring it meets your every expectation? You could even ask what sort of training programmes they have in place to keep their performance at the highest possible level.
Epal’s extensive time in the industry means they have a wealth of expertise and experience, providing deep insight into the design of your product you wouldn’t find elsewhere. This breadth of experience also ensures that they have handled a wide variety of different jobs, meaning they can tackle any requirement you might have.
#5 Customer-service level
Aside from the components themselves, there are a few other areas in which you may evaluate the quality of a precision engineer’s performance. The level of customer service you receive can have a major impact on the experience. The first thing to take into consideration is how long it takes for them to provide you with a quote. If it takes days, or even weeks, for them to provide you with a simple quotation, how can you trust them to deliver to a tight deadline? Particularly for those that require a quick turnaround on a project, this is a key component to judge the overall quality of a business against.
Furthermore, how do you feel communicating with the employees? Are they approachable and willing to answer your questions? Do they speak through your design with you to understand every element in depth? An established manufacturer will update you throughout the process and make themselves available to you should you have any concerns or be in need of guidance. If you are struggling with the business relationship, you will likely want to work with a new supplier in the future.
Can you talk directly to the engineer who’s handling your job or will you be dealing with office-based staff?
#5 Price value
Another way in which to judge the quality of your precision engineering firm is to weigh up the quality against the value for money. Now, of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean how cheap the products you receive are, in fact, for premium components you will typically expect to pay a slightly higher price.
Many of us make the mistake of choosing a firm based only on the quotation and this may mean outsourcing from abroad which can contribute to a variety of problems. Not only could the quality of the product you receive be lower, but you may also face hidden charges and delayed timings. Instead, search for a fair price – a high-quality product for the appropriate price.
Remember, you get what you pay for, so ensure you understand what outcome you desire before sacrificing quality for a cheap price.
Epal engineering: Our promise to you as a precision engineering firm…
With over three decades of experience, our team never sacrifices quality. It’s what sets us apart and sees our customers returning to us time and again. We always put you first, assisting with the initial design all the way through to the finalised product, ensuring that at every step your expectations are met.
We are also able to offer excellent prices to our customers – we pride ourselves on being different from other firms across the country. Cutting out the middleman entirely, we can carry out all precision engineering services from our base in West Sussex. Whatever your requirements, speak to our dedicated team and we’ll be able to help. We can effortlessly handle orders of all shapes and sizes – with such a length of time within the industry, it’s likely we’ve dealt with something similar before!
With a passion for high quality, we’re ready to assist you on your next project. Contact the Epal team today by either emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling us directly on 1903 744352. We’ll be more than happy to discuss your individual requirements and how we can assist you through every step of the process.
Get it right the first time, every time with Epal Engineering.