Each day as we read the news or listen to the podcasts, it is clear that the world has changed and for quite a long time now and in the future. Even after everyone gets back to work, we will still be faced with the decision on how we, as a Nation, will address global supply chain issues that have crippled the USA by not being able to secure necessary items such as gloves, masks, garments, respirators and anything related to fighting the COVID-19 virus. Due to offshore manufacturing without the checks and balances on the quality and integrity of the raw material or product, we are seeing the effects of noncompliance again and again.
In the last few years, we have had a surge in not only non-conforming and suspect counterfeit components and parts, but also materials and consumables. In our opinion, this is in part due to Federal and Industry Buyers that continue to purchase at the lowest cost, demanding faster than ever turnarounds, only to dismiss or not consider whether the product or material should be independently tested by a non-biased 3rd party with no special interest in the product or material. Government regulations (i.e. the FAR) traditionally buy at the lowest cost for consumables and if there is any testing that is required, the manufacturer is allowed to conduct the testing. This contractual requirement is just another weak link in the supply chain that needs to be fixed. When Procurement does not interact with Engineering, reliability and product integrity will continue to be problematic in the big picture. We speak from experience as we see these problems escalating from the current nightmare we are all living in.
For the last several years, the End User, the Primes and the Government have been caught off guard by failure to conduct Incoming Supplier Product Inspection or periodic verification due to an "unverified trust" in 1st tier suppliers. Have a look at the latest news on "China's faulty corona virus equipment" (April 8, 2020) in the most recent headliner. The USA must rethink the lack of test protocols for product integrity and reliability with the life threatening consequences that can and will follow.
Reliance upon Technical Data Sheets for product qualification has resulted in the surge of noncompliance or suspect counterfeit products. Common today, you will find end products that may have been reformulated or subcontracted to offshore companies without the buyer's knowledge. The end result is a breakdown in Technical Data Sheet integrity supplied to the Customer via websites or "catalogs." The results are lack of hard data or physical test results. What you will most likely find are unsubstantiated claims for quality and reliability of a product, material or package.
Since 2009, RMV is located onsite at NASA Ames Research Center that is now the largest and most advanced ESD Materials Test Laboratory for Static Control materials on a NASA site. Not only do we conduct materials testing of static control products, we also conduct system level testing of parts and assemblies critical to the healthcare equipment manufacturer of US and some EU headquartered companies.
In 2018, RMV developed and initiated the Exemplar Global iNARTE® Certified ESD Aerospace & Defense Engineer (including technicians) Training (adopted by NASA and the DoD). The RMV Training Directorate constitutes a comprehensive "hands on" training approach. RMV initially developed the ESD "Hands On" training course of ESD Certification for San Jose State University followed by Cal Poly SLO in 2002. The rest is history for RMV.
A long standing member of the American Council of Independent Laboratories (ACIL) and the European Union of Independent Laboratories, RMV conducts ANSI/ESD, ASTM, IEC, Military Standards, JEDEC and other test methods from materials to packaging and products for Space & Defense to Healthcare. As a veteran member of the National Institute of Packaging, Handling & Logistics Engineers (NIPHLE), RMV provides the SME for application specific packaging and materials necessary for harsh environments in space and the retail environment. See Military Packaging Hall of Fame.
Please contact us direct if we can be a resource for your company as we all navigate through the supply chain. RMV is here to support you in practicing quality, reliability and product integrity in the manufacture, assembly or distribution of products. Reach out to us at 650-964-4792, text 925-914-1709 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.