The manufacture of P/M components represents focused technologies and creative innovations. When product tolerances and/or product features cannot be attained by conventional P/M processing (press-sinter), secondary operations are required. These operations may include repressing, heat treating, machining, grinding, and others. Quality requirements mandate control of operations throughout the manufacturing process. Although processes vary in technology, the quality control and inspection methodology is consistent.

A good quality planning process includes:

• Preliminary discussions between the customer and supplier (understanding of the product and the form, fit, and function of the component)

• Thorough understanding of the quality requirements (i.e., classification of characteristics, quality index requirements, etc.)

• The use of engineering tools such as FMEAs to plan manufacturing processes

• A control plan that includes gaging methods, control methods, inspection frequency, and responsibility

Consistent use of these tools and the methodology minimize the risks and failure modes in any manufacturing process. Process control methods are also used for continuous improvement.

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