Laptops are, without any doubt, one of the most popular utilities nowadays all over the world. In the business world, it has become the main working tool against desktops PC, for example. Regarding personal use it is not very different, and already has become practically a must have item for anyone, whether for access internet, play games, study, watch videos or any other reason within the various possibilities offered.
The reduction in the sales price of laptops has helped a lot in this popularization, but also brings a warning sign. Does a cheaper product remain reliable? It is certainly possible to reduce production costs without affecting the quality, but also the increase in the offer of suppliers and outsourcing companies also brought risks regarding the origin of various parts that comprise a notebook.
In contrast, users are increasingly demanding more from the products standards, and manufacturers certainly do not want to see a disappointed consumer, facing the high competition on the market. In this scenario, you´ll learn a little more on thispost what is important in Laptops quality control.
How are Laptops Manufactured?
In a brief overview, it is all basically a step sequence of assembly processes, of electronic parts and devices supplied by third parties, with a series of configuration and tests. In advanced you probably figured out the importance of selecting reliable suppliers, as these will be a key topic in the final product quality.
The process begins with the motherboard setup, which is adjusted, configured and tested into the lower housing of the laptop. Then the LCD screen is prepared, first with the relay board locked to the lower housing, followed by the assembly of a liquid crystal display.
Accessories are disposed along the screen, such as camera and microphone, are also assembled on this stage. Next, the placement of the keyboard is done, first with the installation of a PCB in the lower housing, properly connected to the motherboard, then the keys be mounted.
Finally the body is completed with the gathering of all other hardware parts such as CD-ROM Drive, Hard Disk Drive, Video /audio cards, battery, external inputs connections (USB, HDMI and energy), among some other accessories which vary according to the laptop model and type.
Lastly, being approved in all assembly inspection tests, it is carried out throughout the operating system configuration and installation of all standards software. At this point the product is now ready to be packaged together with others accessories (mouse, manuals, CD-Roms, marketing materials,etc) and then shipped to vendors.
Are There International Quality Standards?
With the growth and maturity of this segment, especially in the last two decades, international agencies already prepared and adopted quality standards, but the work is not finished. With frequent concerns about quality worldwide, facing the increase number of manufacturers, agencies continue developing quality control standards for laptop computers.
Thinking about ISO standards for example, the most notable international standard, there is more than 20 subcommittees with specifics requirements for computers and information technology (with direct or indirect implications for laptop manufacturers).
An interesting fact lately is the growing focus on environment and sustainability, with some well know regulations on this topic, as, Energy Star Certification, Laptop Environmental Assessment Silver Classification or Restriction of Hazardous Substances Standard for example.
Quality Inspection in Laptops
- What to Check: appearance in general. The surface of the product should not have visible defects such as scratches, marks, poor painting or any other imperfection.
- Defects Causes: Made in general of plastic material, the origins of defects are normally associated with the raw material quality, inappropriate injection process or defects generated on a bad assembly operation.
- What to Check: correctly positioning of the screen, is / is not working and key image parameters (color, brightness and sharpness)
- Defects Causes: It may vary, from simple aspects like a bad connection with the board, poor LCD fixingor a wrong adjustment in the operational system. It also can be caused for issues with the LCD material, which may result in the need of replacement the part.
3. Board and Processors
- What to Check: correct function, capacity, compatibility and standard characteristics requirements (according to the item) should be verified on motherboard, memory RAM, CPU and peripherals, like audio card, USB/HDMI ports, modem board, video interface, wireless and Bluetooth boards.
- <style=”text-align: justify;”>Visual inspection, to check contamination or circuit with visible defects for example, are also important, and even not causing any symptoms in initial tests, could prevent future problems, and therefore ensure the product warranty promised.
- Defects Causes: At first, it may be caused by poorly connections during the assembly, use of incompatible models or improper configuration with the operating system. Discarded these possibilities, then the most probable cause to assume is a manufacturing problem from suppliers, and so it should be reported and dealt with them.
- What to Check: The main drivers for most common laptops models are the Hard Disk and CD-ROM/DVD optical drive, and besides good connections, compatibility and standard features requirements.
- It is very important to check the general conditions of the parts, regarding contamination, damages and a properly assembly, as both devices has several fragile components. Functional test before the final assembly of the laptop is also recommended.
- Defects Causes: Poor connection with the board or use of a wrong configuration may result on non-functioning at all. In the case of the hard drive, it is very critical, and will impact all laptop functionalities.
- Damaged components due poor assembly operation or a supplier issue, may also incapacitate partially or totally the device.
- What to Check: charging and discharging check should be proceed, in order to ensure some characteristics like duration and capacity achieved. Facing security issues also, temperature level is also required to certify no risks of overheating.
- Defects Causes: lithium-ion battery have a high risk of small metal parts contamination in their manufacturing process, and so it put a lot of responsibility on suppliers production processes.
- It causes not only overheating problems, but also will also impair on the loading capacity. A wrongly power connector would be another cause to be considered.
6. Assembly Check
- What to Check: speakers, microphone, touch pad board, keyboard, coolers, camera and antennas are some examples of parts assembled normally on final stages, and so should be correctly assembled together with boards and drives, properly connected and in a functioning status.
- Defects Causes: damages originated in suppliers, bad assembly, not fixed according requirements, poor connection or use of a wrong part are most common issues.
- What to Check: Operational system, basic setup (audio, video, networking and wireless) and standard software’s provided according the laptop model, should be checked if it was properly configured.
- Defects Causes: basically occurs due wrong software or drive configuration, caused by the use of an outdated version or incomplete installation.
- What to Check: it depends of what is included as standard for sale, but generally mouse, AC adaptor, USB cable are some items that should be on the final package, and in proper conditions of use.
- Defects Causes: It may be caused from a supplier manufacturing problem, or use of parts of an incorrect model, not compatible or with different plugin.
Laptops Inspection Services in China and Asia
With a big supplier’s dependence on the final quality of a laptop, uses supplier evaluation for electronics services from AQC could be well adopted as a important quality control measure.
With it, we help you to verify the reliability of your supplier before placing order and sending a deposit to them.
It allows you to have a first taste of how your potential future partner is organized in terms of quality management, quality assurance, corporate social responsibility, environmental friendliness, security and even more.
During Production Inspection in China and Asia for Electronics in addition will complete a full quality approach regarding all materials used to create a portable computer.
With this approach, the inspector will track the flow of incoming material coming from outside the supplier premise, attempting to follow the path from the sub-supplier till the processing to verify which materials are effectively used.
Lot number observation, invoice v, and certificate of conformity may be proofs that can be collected to establish trace ability of material. It is fundamental, considering all risks mentioned of defects caused by parts and materials supplier. On-site tests also may be performed to verify if the materials are the one expected, and then ensure the whole process chain.
Raising the quality level to ensure no defectives laptops will reach a customer, select a Pre-Shipment Inspection in China and Asia for Electronics to perform a general inspection of your product including product itself, packing and packaging.
Quantity status, sample comparison, product appearance and specification, packaging appearance and specification are some checks we perform ensuring reliability until the last step of the laptop production chain.
Ensuring Quality to Attract Market Opportunities With the Right Partner for Your Business
The choice of a suitable quality strategy is vital for a laptop manufacturer for several aspects. The existence of quality standards already conditions manufacturers be adherent to a minimum standard as a prerequisite in order to keep in appropriate commercial terms with global distributors.
Ensure appropriate quality control strategy by selecting partners with business know-how and market experience, will be a key strategy for survival of the business, and premise to ensure the name of your brand worldwide. Asia Quality Control for sure will help you on this journey.