More than 50 years have passed since the “traitorous 8” shocked the world and created the “root” of Silicon Valley. While many tech and semiconductor companies have come and gone, some are still around and these remain stronger than ever. If you drill down and ask the question what is the key to the longevity of these resilient companies, the answer may not be very obvious to some but it’s something that customers are looking for: high quality and reliable products. In fact, in today’s highly competitive environment, the only thing that truly differentiates one company from the rest of the competition is good quality.
At Fairchild, quality is on top of the priority list and a clear focus for management at every level. Across all assembly and test sites, there is an aggressive drive for continuous quality improvement with an emphasis on a unified approach and solution. This results in a standard quality process across the company, regardless of factory location. With everyone in the process taking responsibility for quality, improvement efforts are being undertaken at multiple fronts:
Error proofing and automation. Let’s face it, people make mistakes. Every time an operator makes a decision during manufacturing presents an opportunity for making errors. Inspection of workmanship quality is traditionally an operator-dependent activity but even the most dedicated individual is not immune to fatigue. And under that condition, he or she may not be able detect what could be an obvious defect. Machines, on the other hand, don’t get tired and under normal operating conditions, perform as intended day in and day out. Fairchild has made significant investments in the last couple of years to minimize, if not, eliminate human-dependent process control in the manufacturing process.
Manufacturing Execution System (MES). There are many elements at play in the manufacture of our products such as materials, personnel, machines and support service. As the newly released products, as well those that are in our development pipeline, increase in complexity, having the right manufacturing system that can best support the increasingly complex manufacturing requirements is very important. Fairchild is committed to continually improving itself for the benefit of our customers. With an upgraded and modern shop floor system that will be rolled out in the coming weeks, it will provide our manufacturing, engineering and quality teams better visibility and, therefore, better control of the whole production process.
Design for reliability and manufacturability. New product introduction (NPI) projects get the highest priority when it comes to engineering resource allocation. That includes doing test-to-fail reliability testing on every new product qualification project. We go beyond what the industry or our customers require by stressing our products beyond normally-acceptable testing conditions until the products-under-test would fail. The valuable reliability information on our products and/or package’s robustness can then be used by our design engineers to further improve on new product / package design iterations.
Increased sensitivity to manufacturing variation. We can’t improve what we can’t measure. It is important, therefore, that the manufacturing controls be sensitive to variations in the process. Putting this in place gives our engineers early indicators of the manufacturing process health and allows them to proactively make improvements to the process. This is beneficial to both Fairchild – due to a more robust process control – and to our customers who will be getting products of the highest quality.
Training. AtFairchild, we believe that our people are our greatest asset. One of the best ways to retain them is to continually develop and to arm them with the skills and knowledge relevant to their respective functions. After all, the constant “sharpening of the saw” benefits not just the employees but also Fairchild in the long run.
Our success is evident in the various awards we received as we delight our customers with award-winning quality products and services – Supplier of the Year in Quality (Continental Automotive Korea), Best Supplier / Supplier of the Year (Samsung Mobile, Grundfos, Yulong Computer), Top CQE Award (Huawei), 2014 Innovation Award (Airmate), and most recently, the Best Service Award from TCL Mobile for outstanding service and support, high quality and innovative solutions for mobile chargers, core power and signal products.
There are many other exciting developments in Fairchild. In the area of quality improvement, we constantly raise the bar of excellence as we delight our customers with amazing quality products.
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