Electronic Product Inspections For New Products What's Appropriate

One of our customers recently asked what kinds of electronic product inspections would be appropriate for their new product. Since a lot of businesses are developing and manufacturing electronic products, let’s explore this interesting topic here…


This information about electronic product inspections will be most useful if you’re outsourcing inspections to a local expert, like Sofeast, and I’ll give you examples of what we look for from clients and actions we take during such cooperation.


Product inspections before and in the early stages of production

First, let’s clarify when these inspections take place: In the early stages of production, in the pilot runs (PVT), and the first 1 or 2 mass production runs. This is particularly relevant when you are working with a new supplier who’s unaccustomed to manufacturing the product/s, you’re manufacturing a new product for the first time, or a supplier you have been working with for a while has proven to be unreliable.

How to prepare before any work is done

  • Provide detailed product specifications and your test plan. The inspector needs to confirm that all is clear, what can and should be checked by their team, and the most important points to be inspected (that will determine the random sampling to apply). Keeping track of any issues found in the PVT runs will be helpful, too.
  • They also need to have an idea of your mass production plan: how fast you will ramp up (roughly), and quantities to be made per batch.

Electronic product inspections in the first batch

  • If some high risks can be caught by having the assembly factory stick to their work instructions, a part of the inspector’s work can be a simple process audit, reviewing some topics every time by walking the shop floor (dedicated factory audits could also be done at this point if more information is needed or risks are particularly high).
  • I’d complement that by performing an inspection during production on finished products. It could also be a first article inspection, with a root cause analysis in case any serious issue is found.
  • If there are no red flags, I’d suggest letting the factory do their work until the inspector eventually does a final random inspection when the first batch is completed. However, if they find issues during production, they should contact you to decide whether they should go back and how often. The need for follow-up inspections also depends on the size of the first batch and how critical the issues detected are.


Inspections once the production process is ‘mature’

Now we move on to how to handle inspections once a new supplier is more experienced and comfortable with manufacturing your product or, alternatively, for when you’re working with an established one who’re manufacturing a product they’ve been making for a while.

Once the production process is mature

At this stage, it makes sense to switch to only doing final random inspections done every time a batch is completed. Typically these happen when 100% of products are completed and at least 80% are fully packed.


How much does an inspection in China cost from Sofeast?

OK, so now if you’re thinking about booking an inspection and assuming your supplier’s factory is in the Shenzhen/Dongguan area (or a similar key coastal city), how much does it cost?

When working with Sofeast 1 man-day of product inspection work is 299 USD all included. For wider China away from the main coastal manufacturing areas, there may be some additional costs. We send you the invoice after the job is done.

What you need to prepare for our QC technicians

In terms of data, all we need to get started will be:

  • The quality standard (or product specifications, including the packaging and labelling requirements)
  • The test plan (we can also start from the user manual)
  • An approved sample, if possible
  • Some photos and/or explanations of the main issues that have been picked up in PVT, if that’s easy
  • The order quantity (and breakdown in case there are several models/colors)

If there are critical measurements, 2D drawings in pdf would be great, but it could even be simplified if you don’t want to share those files at this point.


Unsure which inspections you need right now?

The examples given earlier are focused on electronic products, although not exclusively. That being said, if you’re not sure which product inspections you need yet, we created this guide: How To Choose Which Product Inspection You Need?

You might also like this video explainer, too:


Sofeast: Quality Assurance In China Or Vietnam For Beginners [eBook]

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About Renaud Anjoran

Our founder and CEO, Renaud Anjoran, is a recognised expert in quality, reliability, and supply chain issues. He is also an ASQ-Certified ‘Quality Engineer’, ‘Reliability Engineer’, and ‘Quality Manager’, and a certified ISO 9001, 13485, and 14001 Lead Auditor.

His key experiences are in electronics, textiles, plastic injection, die casting, eyewear, furniture, oil & gas, and paint.

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