- Is the company’s core practice actually friction welding, or is friction welding a sideline to other primary operations
- Friction Welding is a highly specialized process. Make sure that you have full-time experts on the job.
- Is the weld process computer controlled for repeatability and quality assurance?
- Hand set manual controls can introduce variables into the process that prevent repeatability from lot to lot over time.
- Is there a control plan and lockout procedure to prevent human error?
- A system must prevent non-compliant parts from entering the product stream. Lockouts on machines that detect a material or procedural fault are essential to making this happen.
- What certified testing method is used to validate internal weld integrity?
- Friction welding causes material movement. Internal material defects unseen at the time of welding may flow from inside parent material into the weld zone. Detection of such occurrences, rare as they may be, is essential to prevent defective welds.
- Do they understand the effect of heat in materials, so that pre-heating, cooling, stress relieving and other heat treat processes are properly applied?
- A weld zone that is properly treated to prevent stress risers, cracking, and to meet hardness requirements as you specify is absolutely necessary to your program.
- Does the quality system track on-time delivery? What order fulfillment rate does the data show?
- A production method that assures zero-defect part shipments to meet customers’ schedules is critical to your business. Make sure your supplier monitors and used the data to manage results.
- Is there capability to procure all materials? Do they have a system to track material certifications and heat lots?
- It takes financial strength and stability along with material procurement knowledge to provide a successful materials solution. Look for a well-managed system that monitors material data and tracks it clearly throughout the production process.
- Can the company hold inventory for you?
- Many times it makes sense to produce large lots of components for maximum efficiency, but you do not need the full production at one time. A supplier that can produce efficiently, and ship in batches sized to meet your demand will make all the difference.
This Checklist Can Help You Implement a Successful Sub-Contract Friction Welding Program
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