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Custom Manufacturing & Ease of Manufacturability

October 01, 2016

It’s been proven time and time again that sacrificing quality to keep deliverables on time and under budget is ineffective. Not only is there an array of drawbacks to shipping a less-than-excellent product, it may not even save money in the long run. Case in point? Samsung’s exploding smartphone batteries that have led to worldwide recalls, billions of dollars in lost profits, and a plunging stock price.

In the world of precision manufacturing, high quality is not only expected; it is demanded. At IRD Glass, our cell-based approach to manufacturing achieves greater quality, greater customization, and the ability to execute on lower volume runs as well as at higher volume.

Ease of Manufacturability: A Case Study

Let’s compare two famous products: the AK-47 and the M-16 assault rifles. The AK-47, of Russian origin, was a far simpler product than the American M-16. It was made from fewer pieces and was far cheaper to manufacture, but in the end, it performed far better. Developed at the peak of the Cold War, these two products were pitted against one another during the Vietnam War. While the M-16 was a piece of art that outdid its rival on the gun range, it also had a tendency to malfunction in the harsh, wet and rugged jungles of Vietnam because of all its intricate moving parts. The AK-47, meanwhile, could be soaked, covered in dirt, crushed, lost and found again and still perform. The lesson? Sometimes less is more, and this lesson holds true regardless of what is being manufactured. One key to our success is working at the design level to ensure that even completely customized precision glass, ceramic and optical components are easy to manufacture.

Cell-Based Manufacturing

In the same way a train takes a long, long time to stop, and a large ship cannot turn on a dime, many industrial-scale manufacturers struggle to overcome their own inertia when a manufacturing problem occurs. Teams working to develop the next iteration of a product may have to divert resources or drop the next step altogether to remediate urgent problems happening right then. That’s why a cell-based approach, in which small teams take products from design to completion with dedicated floor space and equipment, often achieves better results.

IRD Glass: Precision Optical Components

For over 33 years, IRD Glass has done things that virtually no one else has with glass and ceramics. That’s why we are sought out by engineers from around the world for precision glass, ceramic and optical components.

To learn more, visit our homepage today!