China Sourcing of World Class Motor Components: BLDC Motors & More from Sinotech

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Information about China Sourcing of World Class Motor Components: BLDC Motors & More from...
Business & Mgmt

Published on March 5, 2014

Author: SinotechUSA



Manufacturers who build motors and mechanical parts often look to China to source components like brushes, magnets, and more in order to maintain a competitive edge by lowering costs. There are certainly benefits to this, but it’s not without risks when it comes to engineering and quality control. This presentation offers information about outsourcing approaches, onsite audits and more.

Michael Bloom is the president of Sinotech and has been certified by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a global export counselor. He is also president of Sinotech Motors, Hong Kong Ltd., and travels frequently between the U.S. and China. He has published more than 50 magazine articles and conference papers and has been quoted often in various media outlets on issues concerning China.

Sourcing World-Class Motor Components in China Michael Bloom, President Sinotech | Custom Engineered Motors & Mechanical Parts

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Why China? Abundant raw materials  Well developed industrial base  Aerospace/Defense technology drivers  Communications and transportation infrastructure  Stable economy  One of World’s lowest labor rates ($100 to $300 per month)  03/05/14 4

How Will Chinese Sourcing Affect Costs? Savings of 20-50% on production costs and more than 50% on tooling costs  The “ritual” of price determination  Reasons for price variations:  Level of automation Short term vs long term profit orientation Gov’t owned vs JV vs privately owned Rural vs Village vs City 03/05/14 5

What Motor Components Are Available from China? Commutators Brushes & Brush Assemblies Motor Shafts Laminations Magnets Wound Armatures Cast and Forged Components 03/05/14 6

Quality… Quality… Quality  If quality control is not properly addressed, the sourcing project is almost guaranteed to fail.  At the early stages of negotiations make it clear to the factory what the quality issues are. 03/05/14 7

On-Site Audits Begin With Inspection of Raw Materials An on-site audit showed that this manufacturer imported raw materials, carefully labeled them and stored them in a temperature/humidity controlled environment. 03/05/14 8

… and Ends With The Finished Goods Warehouse On-Site inspection reveals high quality inner and outer packing 03/05/14 9

An On-Site Audit Reveals Test Methodologies, Equipment and Training Hi-Pot testing of motor components 03/05/14 10

An On-Site Audit Can Also Reveal Serious Problems!! This factory sent its shafts for knurling to this one-man shop, squeezed between buildings, roofed only with a tarpaulin. QS9000? NOT!! 03/05/14 11

Consider Independent Auditing of Factory Capabilities Auditing the motor stator winding process 03/05/14 12

Quality Should Be Apparent At Every Stage of Manufacturing Automatic machining of motor shafts 03/05/14 13

Logical Organization of Production Line Is An Indicator of Quality Automated coil armature winding machines 03/05/14 14

Quality (cont’d)  Surface finishes, weight tolerances, standards (such as UL/CSA approval), metallurgical considerations, test methods etc. should be provided in written or electronic form.  Increasing numbers of Chinese factories are achieving ISO9000 certification. However even factories that are not ISO qualified are often willing to learn and implement Statistical Process Control (SPC) methods if taught. 03/05/14 15

Quality (cont’d)  Verify that quality control processes are in place and that they are being adhered to  Use US-based test labs  Perform random sampling of production parts prior to shipping 03/05/14 16

Quality (cont’d) Quality and Chinese Cultural Norms  Chinese cultural norms may make it very uncomfortable for a Chinese engineer or manager to verbalize negative feelings or admit problems. Production issues and delays occur that are not admitted by the factory. 03/05/14 17

Case Study: Auditing a Commutator factory 03/05/14 18

The opening interview After introductions, ask that the following join the meeting: General Manager Quality Control Manager Manufacturing Manager Test Lab Manager 03/05/14 19

Introductory Interview       Who owns the factory? What is the factory’s history? Who are its major export customers? What is its annual turnover? How many employees? engineers? managers? Explain that you will be asking for certain documents and that you will ask to tour the facility in a specific order Bring a written list of questions! 03/05/14 20

Documents to request Ask to see the following documents: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Copies of any ISO or QS certifications An equipment/machine list for the factory A Control Plan and Process Flow Chart for a similar product A Process Failure Mode Engineering Analysis for a similar product A Capability Study for a similar product Gage R&R’s 03/05/14 21

The Equipment List  Does the list confirm the processes that are required?  Is the equipment domestic or imported?  What level of process control is indicated by the equipment list? 03/05/14 22

ISO/QS Certificates  How meaningful is an ISO9000 certification?  QS9000?  Ask for the latest audit result  Ask “What needed to be improved?”  Ask “What was done to improve” 03/05/14 23

Process Flow Chart 03/05/14 24

Process Control Plan A VERY important document  Make sure you understand the process flow . . . Ask questions  Look for in-process inspection steps  “Walk” the process!! 03/05/14 25

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Capability Study  Does the factory do capability studies?  Ask for one for a similar part  Check on the Cpk/Ppk values. Is the Cpk acceptable? 03/05/14 27

Capability Study (p.1) 03/05/14 28

Capability Study (P.2) 03/05/14 29

Production FMEA  Purpose of Production Failure Mode Engineering Analysis  PFMEA also demonstrates a proactive approach to quality  PFMEA will help with later corrective actions 03/05/14 30

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Suggested order of audit 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Design area Tooling shop Raw material storage Incoming material inspection Process step #1 to process step #n 03/05/14 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Final inspection Defective part rework/scrap Packaging Laboratories Record storage 32

Transitioning from a domestic commutator source  Most domestic sources use proprietary resin  For the most part it will not be possible to find direct substitutes  Some 03/05/14 reverse engineering will be needed 33

Commutators (cont’d) S e le c t in g t h e R ig h t R e s in S u b m it te s t m o to r to c o m m fa c to r y In c lu d e e x tr a s h a fts a n d fu ll m o to r s p e c ific a tio n s F a c to ry S e le c t s R e s in B u ild c o m m u ta to r p r o to ty p e s P e rfo rm te s ts o n c u rr e n t m o to r to v e r ify s p e c ific a tio n P e r f o r m s h a f t in s e r t io n te s ts S u b s titu te c o m m u ta to r s R e - ru n p e rfo rm a n c e te s ts S p in te s t 03/05/14 L ife - c y c le te s t 34

Brushes  Special issues  Graphite/carbon compound must be reverse engineered  Lead pull test required  Grinding requirements  Durability testing suggested 03/05/14 35

Shafts  Special issues  Complex geometry (offsets, splines, knurled surfaces)  Heat treatment  Repeatability  Difficult metrology 03/05/14 36

Magnets  Special issues  Achieving magnetic specifications  Correlation of magnetic measurements  Allowable chips  B , H , H vs motor performance measures r c ci  Surface 03/05/14 porosity 37

Conclusion World-class motor components are available from China including commutators, brushes, shafts, and magnets Due diligence in factory selection is key to project success An on site audit is mandatory with focus on adherence to quality systems 03/05/14 38

6663 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway Portland, Oregon 97225 Tel: 503-828-9882 Fax: 503-291-6192 Web: 03/05/14 39

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