Tim Chipman, Director of Operations
The equation for manufacturers has always been straight forward: build defect-free products within the least possible time, and at the most competitive price. By focusing on the zero-defect manufacturing, manufacturers can not only eliminate waste and improve the quality of a product but also accelerate its time to market. In other words, they can build better processes and create an environment of continuous improvement. Today, there are multiple mission critical applications across all industries that call for zero defective products. Especially, in industries such as automotive and aerospace, defective parts are not an option.
However, with the ever-growing complexity of technologies and processes, achieving zero defects is easier said than done. OEMs already have a lot on their plate from meeting stricter quality requirements, satisfying cost reduction mandates, providing greater delivery flexibility, and reducing product liability costs, among other things. The need of the hour is a partner that provides a zero-defect guarantee coupled with 100 percent on-time delivery. Enter Northern Precision Products (NPP), a MI-based precision manufacturer of high-quality CNC and screw machine parts, that is committed to helping its clients eliminate their component supply headaches so they can focus on building and growing their OEM relationships. NPP specializes in precision machined components in brass, steel, aluminum and stainless steel for the automotive and other industries. Tim Chipman, director of operations at NPP, says, “We are AS9100 certified company, committed to delivering the highest-quality machined components, manufactured according to customer specifications—on time, every time.” NPP’s IATF-certified quality system and focus on continuous improvement leaves no room for error; all of their products come with a “zero-defect guarantee.” From advanced product quality planning, first piece inspections, statistical process control and measurement systems analysis, to final inspection and part certification, the entire NPP team does what it takes to surpass the industry convention when it comes to establishing quality standards.
NPP uses innovative precision equipment, including digital camera technology and its extensive gage inventory to ensure each product order meets the OEM’s specifications. The firm monitors and audits the path, progress, and quality of every part they produce. “The accuracy and critical dimensions of every manufactured product is cross-checked and verified by our machinists and quality assurance inspectors.
We are AS9100 certified and committed to delivering the highest-quality machined components, manufactured according to customer specifications—on time, every time
All of our gages and other measuring instruments are maintained and calibrated according to IATF 16949 requirements and ISO 9001 compliance,” adds Chipman. As a verification of the in-chamber detectors, and an expansion of conventional inspection capabilities, the firm has taken another leap forward with the adoption of digital camera-based vision inspection equipment in its machining centers. The automated inspection stations are integrated with the screw machines, providing instantaneous feedback to machine operators, reduced material handling requirements, and reduced throughout times.
In contrast to other suppliers, who address machining challenges by sourcing the work to more costly CNC-based machine platforms, NPP has mastered the ability to run these jobs on the economical screw machine platform. This skill set, in addition to the company’s high-volume production capability, location, and purchasing leverage, enables NPP to supply components at a lower cost. “It is what sets us apart in the marketplace. Besides, reduced setup times, nimble scheduling, and high production efficiencies enables us to pull-ahead, push-back and drop-in shipments help us respond to unplanned demands,” informs Chipman. Other notable aspects of NPP include on time delivery with a flexible production schedule, low supply costs for light brass, conventional CNC and mid-volume orders. Furthermore, the firm offers stable pricing and value-added feedback on part design and with ordering practices.
The NPP team believe that working closely and communicating every step of the way is the key to a successful partnership. To that end, NPP is committed to continuous improvement of its purchasing practices, tools, production and shipping practices, and also includes continually upgrading machines and the company’s inspection practices. The company is also dedicated to open and honest communications with customers. “In the rare event a customer receives non-conforming product supplied by NPP, we promise to quickly locate and recall all nonconforming product, replace product with conforming parts, identify the root cause of the nonconformance and develop and implement the necessary corrective actions to prevent another occurrence—all at our cost,” affirms Chipman.
NPP aims to be the most valued and preferred supplier of high performance CNC and screw machine. To that end, the firm is always looking to add more automation to its vision systems and more flexibility to inspection systems. “Combining our focus on continuous improvement and production capabilities for any volume with our competative, focused machine platform strategy, we will continue to offer the advantage manufacturing companies need to compete for OEM business,” wraps up Chipman.