Why Risk Poor Precision Metal Stamping Quality? Automotive Industry Averts Risk With APQP

Precision metal stampings are a critical component of so many products. Automotive components, medical devices, electronic parts – all contain metal stampings. For the part or the device to function properly, the stamping needs to be free of defects and of perfect quality.We continue our metal stamping quality article series with a discussion on APQP.Automotive industry refuses to take chances with precision metal stamping quality.Poor quality is not an option with the automotive industry. That’s why the ‘Big Three’ (Ford, GM, and Chrysler) created Advanced Product Quality Planning, better known as APQP.So what is APQP? Technically, “it’s a guide in the development process and also a standard way to share results between suppliers and automotive companies.” More simply put, it’s a way of making sure the automotive companies are involved in every step of the development and launch process with their suppliers – to ensure nothing goes wrong. Why? Ultimately, to ensure the ‘Big Three’s’ customers are satisfied with their automobiles.APQP is typically deployed in 5 concurrent and collaborative phases:Plan and Define Program
Product Design and Development
Process Design and Development
Product and Process Validation
Launch, Feedback, Assessment, and Corrective ActionSome of the questions that can be addressed through the APQP process are:Can the product/process be error proofed?
Can the product/process achieve a higher level of capability through tolerance design and/or process variation reduction?
What controls must be developed to ensure that defects cannot reach a customer?The APQP process actually monitors 23 topics before production is even started. Topics like design robustness, design testing, quality inspection standards, product packaging, and more.Metal stamping companies need to be prepared.There are a lot of suppliers wanting automotive business. Automotive manufacturers and the companies that represent them can demand that their suppliers abide by APQP processes.And that requirement certainly applies to metal stamping companies as well. Automotive suppliers need to ensure the metal stamping companies they do business with are committed to APQP and should insist they:Establish and continually monitor company-wide APQP processes
Utilize APQP tools such as Failure Mode Effect Analysis (FMEA) to ensure quality
Utilize advanced technology to verify stamping quality, thicknesses, and dimensions (sensors and gauges)
Implement sophisticated quality control plans and tools to ensure consistency and zero defect parts (i.e. Statistical Process Control (SPC)
Adhere to the Production Part Approval Process (PPAP)With these controls in place, metal stamping companies can do their part to ensure the automotive manufacturers achieve their ultimate goal of customer satisfaction.Want to know more about APQP?For comprehensive details on the APQP process, refer to the AIAG APQP Manual available through AIAG (Automotive Industry Action Group).

Branding: How Poly Bags Can Explode Your Brand Awareness

Now more than ever organizations need to think outside the box (pun intended) and move past traditional advertising mediums to market their brand. No longer does the largest marketing budget guarantee success in sales or brand recognition. Instead innovative and daring companies are leveraging their creativity to use new mediums such as poly bags to explode their brand awareness. Only companies capable of embracing change, with the ability to look beyond traditional marketing, will hold their own in an increasingly competitive economy.

As a business leader focus should be on grabbing a prospects attention in a meaningful and compelling way. Custom branded packaging with poly bags is a worthwhile solution to pursue. It is an easily customizable branding medium that has yet to be fully adopted by many organizations. Even those with multimillion dollar budgets have yet to make the move to custom branded poly bags..

Lets review what custom branded packaging is, how it can help strengthen your brand, and what you should look for in a partner to help you along the way to using this innovative type of packaging.

What Are Custom Branded Poly Bags?

Custom branded packaging comes in many forms but for online retailers or any business interested in making a statement about their brand, they should strongly consider the advantages of custom printed and branded plastic envelopes or poly bags.

Using poly bags provides a new avenue to reach out and grab your prospect’s attention. Since poly bags are fully customizable you can go all out with a full photo quality image or something a little more intimate like your logo and contact information. You’re limited only by your creativity with this versatile packaging option.

Poly bags can be produced using a custom color or a standard white or clear film. They can be a stock size or cut to fit your specific needs. They can have a perforation for ease of use or no perforation for added security. Adhesives are standard and can be provided as a single strip for single use mailers or double strips to provide returnable shipping options. As you can see poly bags are a versatile option to better brand your business and products.

How Poly Bags Help Build Brand Awareness.

Custom branded packaging provides a low-cost alternative to traditional marketing avenues. It is yet one more extremely effective way to market your business and products beyond the normal means. After all, packaging is the last impression a customer will see after making a purchase so it should make a statement to promote your organization and brand.

Not only is custom branded packaging a novel way to market your brand. It broadens you advertising reach without a huge initiative and it won’t draw from your standard advertising budget.

Another great attribute of custom branded packaging is it helps you stand out from your competitors. Especially since many of them have not made the move to update their packaging yet. They still focus on the cost of custom poly bags over the value gained by using professional looking, brand centric packaging.

Although compared to traditional packaging such as plain or stock poly bags, custom branded packaging has a premium cost attached to production. Though it is still vastly less expensive than other means of advertising and brand marketing such as TV, radio, and print ads. Custom branded packaging will pay for itself many times over.

How To Implement A Custom Branded Packaging Initiative.

When implementing an initiative like this you’ll want to find a reliable designer and manufacturer who specializes in custom packaging. They should have a solid record in their industry and the capabilities to accommodate your needs.

You should make sure the manufacturer you work with has in-house expertise to help you not only design the specifications for your bag (size, thickness, adhesives, etc) but also have the capabilities to meet your delivery schedule. Whether your usage is budgeted at a few thousand or a few million, you’ll want to work with a partner that will help you make the most of your custom packaging.

In the end custom branded poly bags are a surefire way to not only explode your brand awareness, but also deliver a value added benefit to your customers by providing professional looking packaging they can look forward to receiving. Inexpensive compared to other advertising means, custom packaging will help set you apart from your competition.

Health and Fitness Benefits of Using a Cross Trainer

Cross-Trainer Provides Many Health and Fitnesss BenefitsThere are many health and fitness benefits to using a Cross-Trainer. Also known as an Elliptical Exercise Machine or Elliptical Bike, the Cross-Trainer provides a low-impact whole body workout.The Cross-Trainer machine combines the action of a stair-climber, treadmill, and exercise bike into one easy to use machine. This exercise equipment provides the health and fitness benefits of hiking, cross-country skiing, and biking.Standing on the machine your feet will move in an elongated oval or elliptical pattern while the dual action handle bars includes your upper body in the workout. Depending on the intensity of your workout, the Cross-Trainer will burn between eight and twelve calories a minute, more than a traditional treadmill.This low-impact machine provides many health and fitness benefits for those who have difficulty exercising because of bad joints or arthritis. While exercising your feet remain in constant contact with the machine at all times eliminating the stress on ankles, shins and knees common to jogging.The Cross-Trainer uses all of the lower leg muscles, making it a great choice for anyone wishing to strengthen their lower legs. The speed of the machine is determined by your own movement while the amount of resistance determines how much effort it will take to keep moving. When you stop, the machine stops, thus making it safe and easy to use.The reduced wear and tear on you also means less wear and tear on the machine. This is a very low maintenance machine which uses very little energy to run. The Cross-Trainer is a good home gym choice for just about anyone. It provides a whole-body cardio workout while reducing the impact found in traditional exercise making it a good choice for those who have difficulty exercising due to compromised joints or those looking for an economical solution for a home gym whole body workout.