A company builds its reputation through the quality of its product, which can be assured by implementing extensive Quality Assurance and Quality Control strategies. This is true for anyone looking to establish a successful transformer manufacturing company because transformer quality can make or break an electrical system. For this reason, the transformer is often the area where most investment occurs within a power system. Still, many transformer purchasers believe that the cost of a transformer is limited to an upfront amount determined solely by the time, material, and labor that goes into the manufacturing process. This might be true at the basic level, but such thinking ignores the cost of the transformer that arises due to numerous other complex factors during the service life of the device and due to its integral role in an electrical system.
The magnetic system is made up of several different raw materials. Unfortunately, it is quite common for these parts to wear down and introduce defects in the overall system. It is estimated that, on average, 150 magnetic parts per million fail inside any given system. This ratio is quite alarming because the industry quality level only accepts about 125 defective parts per million. A consistently greater than average fail ratio (by 25 parts) needs immediate improvement. Achieving this is no easy feat, but still possible with significant effort to maintain Quality Assurance and Quality Control. The essential nature of the quality of a transformer device, therefore, requires an in-depth review to find universally applicable Quality Assurance and Quality Control strategies. It is equally important to understand how such strategies can impact the transformer manufacturing company’s performance and unit pricing.
This blog will share some common trends to determine transformer quality and cost factors. At Meta Power Solutions (MPS), our goal is to bring products with zero defects by investing in the Quality Assurance process of our production line.
Importance of Quality Assurance and Quality Control
Quality Assurance is a proactive approach to optimizing the transformer production process. It is a managerial tool employed by the designing and planning teams to prevent the formation of defects in the final products. Thus, the Quality Assurance process improves the quality levels of the final product through meticulously planned and implemented processes. These processes are also documented for the repeatability of the results. Some common QA activities include Planning and Mapping the Process, Control of Suppliers, Development of Standards, and Auditing of Projects.
On the other hand, Quality Control is a much more reactive process that explicitly focuses on the manufactured product units. Quality Control is mainly employed when a manufacturer wants to identify the defects in their product during the production process, to make the necessary corrections to the units and the production process if possible. Therefore, QC is a reactive and corrective tool at the hands of a testing team. Some common QC activities include Inspecting product units, testing them, and taking information from Peer reviews.
Quality Assurance and Quality Control are fundamentally different processes with the same goal. QA is a proactive approach, while QC is reactive, but they are both used to ensure that the company product meets certain criteria and standards. They are both imperative parts of the production operations of a manufacturing company. Even though some companies place greater importance on Quality Control than Quality Assurance, a more holistic approach is to combine the two. The teams performing QA and QC should both be fully developed and be able to help meet the industry standards.
The impact of Quality Assurance on the cost of Magnetics
Only parts (transformers) that meet the minimum performance criteria are selected to be a component of the overall magnetics system using the Quality Control process. However, QC cannot bring long-term reliability to the units formed under a flawed production process. The process will continue to produce defective parts until remedial steps are taken. These defective parts also become a part of the cost of the Magnetics, something that the company must retrieve by selling the final product at a higher price. Therefore, Quality Assurance plays the most important role in determining the cost of Magnetics. The many cost-determining factors are identified under the umbrella of the Quality Assurance processes. Some common factors considered by the Quality Assurance process for a transformer include:
The magnetics system is only as reliable as the reliability of its components, e.g., transformers. A failure in a single piece can affect the power flows in the rest of the system, causing damage and failure throughout the system.
Excess Heat Generation
The job of a transformer device is to supply a load at a rated voltage and current. If a transformer is improperly sized to feed a specific load due to the size, shape, and construction material of the transformer core and wires, then the transformer will run hot due to excess heat inside the core.
Some production lines can be inconsistent in the quality of the final product. In these cases, there may be differences in the accuracy levels of the units produced in different batches. The device built in this manner may not even meet the operating requirements of the customer’s system, thus, increasing the chances of system failure.
A short circuit between the two sides of the transformer, primary and secondary, can lead to hard failures. A sustained voltage between the two sides can severely damage the insulation material and even break the windings due to high voltages.
Ionization within a transformer can lead to a partial discharge failure. Partial discharges within the transformer may cause complete insulation failure, resulting in intermittent failures and reduced service life for the transformer unit.
It is difficult to identify the apparent cause of capacitive discharge failures. Generally, a capacitive discharge occurs in a transformer when a fully functional unit fails under a dynamic loading condition.
Transformer manufacturers must be well-versed with these Quality Assurance factors to prevent these failures from occurring in the customer’s system. For a customer, purchasing their transformer units from a company dedicated to Quality Assurance is important. Not only will the available Quality Assurance expertise help lower the chances of failure in a device, but it will also help reduce the cost associated with the repair, replacement, and unit downtime caused by such failures.
At MPS, we pride ourselves on putting the customer first. By partnering with us, our customers have guaranteed quality, efficiency, and effectiveness. Our focus on quality allows us to produce some of the most reliable transformers in the industry today.
To experience the quality of our products for yourself, get in touch with our team today. We’d be happy to answer your questions about whichever product interests you. We can also discuss the specific project you have in mind.