Tablet pc quality control was explained in a previous post, when we shared an overview about it, mentioning how fast this market has been developing in the past years. Also was mentioned the importance of a good quality control plan defined and how it is a key point for manufactures, facing the constant innovation scenario of this segment and the perspectives of marketing growing for the future.
Considering the high number of different parts and functionalities in a tablet pc, there is so many different aspects to cover on your quality approach, and there are some key issues relatively common to occur, which is important to consider.
In this article we will share in more details some of these key issues that may help you to be a part of the complexity of a quality inspection of tablet PCs, and how we could help with our solutions.
An important element on a tablet pc is the external case, as it is responsible for both protect all fragile electronics elements inside it, and defines the external shape and design of the product, which for marketing purposes is crucial for the brand. Considering it, we may them refer to key defects that shouldn’t be acceptable.
A. Poor Fixations
It will result in the case not closing correctly, and beyond the customer dissatisfaction, may cause loose parts that are fixed into the case, and the risk of a higher damage, if for example the entire devices disassemble completely.
It may be caused by error during the assembly process, project failure (regarding the design of the case) or a bad quality of the plastic material.
B. Inappropriate Material Quality
In this case there is issues since visual aspects (color or surface imperfections), not in accordance the product standard, until more critical problems such as reduce the protection capacity, due loose of hardness or temperature resistance, for example.
This kind of issue may be generated by the use of erroneous plastic composition on the injection process, or the use of a bad quality raw material. If the material is made from recycled plastic, a special care should be taken regarding it´s proprieties.
There is a tolerance of the percentage composition of “pure” and recycled raw materials, in order to achieve the requirements needed. It is crucial to ensure that it was correctly defined and properly used on the manufacturing process.
2. Peripheral Parts and Accessories
A tablet PC usually has a lot of support accessories and parts, optional or not, that includes some attention on the quality inspection. Even though most of them will not compromise the whole tablet functionality, if any defect occur will for sure frustrate a customer.
Dimensions may be a basic, but critical issue.
It may be too small or large, and even if it don’t compromises the external appearance, can result in assembly and connections problems, and so the speaker will not be able to receive audio or power signal.
It is a kind of defect not always easily founded, but a good inspection plan will for sure cover it.
C. Video Camera
Tablets PC may have cameras both in front and back sides. A basic defect for start, will occur if there is missing the item in one of the sides.
Another issue also caused by errors of procedures on the assembly line, is if the camera is badly connected, and so will not be able to send the image signal to the system.
Contamination during the assembly step may leave some dust between the camera and the plastic, resulting in interference on the image capturing. Adjustments should also be considered, especially regarding its resolution.
This item particularly should be correctly certified according the standards regulations, so it is a basic premise for the quality control plan.
An incorrect item specification used should be prevented, considering specially the battery capacity parameter.
The life cycle and number of cycle to charge and discharge are operations parameters to certify, so testing it is very important on the quality control plan.
Also battery should be correctly packed, together with the tablet.
Most of the times this type of defect occurs caused by manual errors during the assembly process, and so verify the buttons should be considered on the inspection plan.
G. LED for alimentation
This item is an important indicator regarding power status for the user.
Even though defects on it may be almost imperceptible at all, as it will not impact on any other feature or function of the tablet, inspecting it should be done, basically ensuring it is turning or not.
3. Touch Screen
From a customer point of view, maybe the most notable part of a tablet PC, and therefore no margin for errors. Depending on the defect here, it will make the entire PC unusable, or with a very limited use. Considering the technology used, and the fragility of it, several parameters should be inspected, as there is many different causes for problems as follow:
A. Poor Display Screen:
The cause may vary from a simple adjustment error, until issues regarding the liquid crystal material.
Indirectly, it may also result in defects with the resolution of the screen, different from the promised.
B. Bad Quality of Touch Panel
There are two kinds: a resistive, which is cheaper, but barely used due its worst quality, besides been cheaper. It is not too sensitive, so you have to press down harder, and it also does not support multi-touch.
The second type, it is the capacitive. It looks brighter and sharper, highly touch sensitive and supports multi-touch. It has different types, with 1, 3 or 5 points.
A touch panel with less points results in more latency and the risk of gluing to the screen. Also red wax/glue to make the point stronger for the crystal is something to be considered, as it can be disconnected with the vibrations, and so vibrations resistance test can be used to detect issues on that.
4. Electronic Parts and Connectors
Most of them are not visible parts for the final customer, but thinking on the functionality no doubt about its importance, like the memories, all PCBs and drivers. After all, it is responsible for all features and the operation of the PC in general.
Many different types of defects may be detected, and below there is some commons examples found on important parts:
A. Improper Suppliers for Memories and Drivers
Otherwise, its life cycle will be reduced, with serious consequences. The PC will be blocked and will not be able to turn on anymore.
Regarding the driver, used to amplify the sound, the same way.
A second-hand part will not only compromise the audio quality (in terms of potency and range of frequencies), but also will reduce its lifecycle rising the risk of an unexpected sound failure.
It should have two or more fixation, according the size. An incorrect number will result in a risk of loose part, that will compromise it´s operation and connections, and so the entire function ability of the tablet.
Checking the correct number is an easy and key inspection, that may save your product from serious problems due a bad fixed PCB.
C. Connectors (jack 3.5) Issues
Defects regarding its design should also be monitored.
A badly shape will cause an incapacity of plugin it into the tablet. It is highly recommended to test it with a speaker, to ensure that it is correctly operating.
D. Badly USB and Alimentation Source
Due the difficulty of inspect it visually, ensuring it has no issues, the inspection plan should contemplate an operational test one by one.
E. Wireless (Bluetooth + Wi-Fi)
There is some different types of defects passible to occur.
First of all to ensure if the WI-FI / Bluetooth is working or not, and if not, possible causes are bad connected or some kind of incapability, due the use of an incorrect model.
The module may also have the risk to be half working.
Second all to ensure, it is if the parameters regarding range of the signal is in accordance of the project specification.
Defects like this may happen due bad dimensions of the antenna, or an incorrect calibration of the module.
On the matter of regulation, GMS certification for android to install Google Play Store is a critical topic to concern, and ensures it was provided.
Otherwise is will be forbidden, and so will seriously cause compliance issues.
Asia Quality Control Solutions for Tablet PC
Having in mind all this possibilities of defects, causes and risks, we offer the adequate quality controls strategies, to each situation. Some critical Tablet pc parts is acquired from suppliers, so using an Incoming Material Inspection would be for sure a key strategy to implement, safeguarding anything already defective will be assembled.
Uses a strategy where most of quality inspection focuses on the functionality, the construction of the product, appearance would also be recommended., and that could be accomplished with Electronic component inspection, quality control and factory audit from Asia Quality Control.
The risk of defects caused by bad handling is something very important to be considered when the product will be prepared, moved and stored. A Pre-Shipment inspection is another recommended service to your quality control strategy, in order to verify the product conditions before reaches your customers.