Enhance product quality

Enhance product quality through custom manufacturing.

Nelson Miller Group believes in putting quality first to maximize product potential and protect brand reputation.
quality assurance product inspection to ensure the highest product quality

In today’s competitive global marketplace, you've got to make sure your products and components are manufactured efficiently, perform to your high expectations, and meet or exceed all industry standards. You can have confidence that NMG prioritizes the quality of your components and products and has a thorough quality management system in place.

Our commitment to quality

Continuous quality—in our products and in our relationships with clients, partners, and employees—is central to our mission at NMG. Individuals don’t improve quality; our combined operations do by working together. NMG integrates with your team across multiple disciplines (engineering, operations, packaging, assembly, logistics, and QA) to obtain a variety of perspectives critical for effective quality management. We're proud of the long-term relationships we have with our customers, allowing us to fully align with their goals and enhance product quality over time.

Our commitment to quality encompasses:

  • Prioritizing precision, reliability, and efficiency in every aspect of the production process. This is also facilitated by a strong focus on Design For Manufacturing (DFM).
  • Defining the quality standards for your custom solution, the tests and inspections to guarantee the standards are met, and the plan to remedy any challenges along the way.
  • Providing full transparency through proactive reports, documentation, and visibility of all facilities and inventory.
  • Reviewing pricing, test standards, required specifications, lead time, communication standards, and support level on an ongoing basis.
  • Following a detailed quality assurance process to identify and address any potential issues.

Complying with industry regulatory requirements and adhering to our ISO 9001 certified Quality Management System. Keep reading for more information.

NMG’s Quality Management System

The Quality Management System, or QMS, employed by your manufacturing partner can have a huge effect on the success of your product, and ultimately the standing of your business in the marketplace. NMG’s QMS not only ensures compliance with industry regulations but goes one step further, focusing on continuous improvement and innovation. We have the documentation, systems, and processes in place to ensure your products will be produced accurately and in a timely fashion. From stringent quality control measures to advanced process optimization, our commitment to enhancing product quality is unwavering.

Our approach to quality assurance

For more than 85 years, we've gained a depth of expertise in manufacturing, including injection molded plastics, metals, printed electronics, CNC machining, and more. We've also dependably maintained a testing, inspection, and quality assurance process that helps us proactively identify and resolve any potential issues. Our thorough quality assurance combined with our decades of experience ensures that NMG will meet or exceed your expectations for product quality. It's important to note that NMG has its own quality department and engineering team, and that our SCM team ensures that quality extends all the way to data management.

 

Our supplier management process

We have a comprehensive approach to supplier management to ensure you experience seamless operations and high-quality products. From onboarding through production approvals, we adhere to the highest standards of quality and reliability across our supply chain network. Our onboarding process involves thorough evaluation and selection of suppliers, ensuring alignment with our standards and values. NMG manages the performance of our existing suppliers closely, requiring transparency and accountability and leveraging advanced documents and tools.

Onboarding

  • Self-assessment. Suppliers complete this thorough evaluation to kick off the process.
  • On-site visits. NMG's team performs an in-depth visit to all vendors through on-site assessment.
  • Quality supplier assessment (QSA). A deep-dive into all aspects of quality control and overall vendor qualification. This is an exhaustive assessment of every aspect of the supplier: management team, technology used, equipment, facility, staff, capacity, quality assurance (QA), certificate verification, capabilities, finances, and more.
Two Industry Engineers walking through a factory for supplier assessment

Performance management to enhance product quality

  • Establishing trust. we develop partnerships with our vendors for long-term relationship success. It takes years to become a reciprocal trusted partner.
  • Quarterly business review. NMG assesses suppliers’ performance, discusses challenges, and identifies opportunities for collaboration and improvement. We hold suppliers to the same continuous improvement focus we’ve adopted. We help them improve by educating them on what’s needed, formatting information, equipment, etc.
  • Key performance indicators (KPIs). We measure on-time shipments, quantity ordered vs. quantity received, labeling, cost-down, etc.
  • Advanced documents and incident records. NMG maintains records of each step, including quality incidents that arise and our vendor’s ability to react and resolve. Here are some examples of NMG's extensive documentation:
    • Pre-Shipment Inspection Report (PSI). A third-party inspection agency or quality control team completes this assessment before goods are shipped from our suppliers’ facilities, verifying that your products meet your detailed specifications, quality standards, and regulatory requirements. The PSI report typically includes detailed findings regarding product specifications, quantity, critical dimensions, appearance, functionality, packaging, and any defects or discrepancies observed during the inspection process. NMG relies on this crucial quality assurance measure to ensure that the products meet your agreed-upon standards and are ready for shipment.
    • Engineering Change Request (ECR). The ECR outlines the rationale for a supplier’s proposed modifications or improvements to a product, process, or system, including the problem or opportunity identified, the proposed solution, and the potential impact on various aspects, such as design, cost, schedule, and quality. This document serves as the initial step in NMG’s change management process, triggering a review by cross-functional teams to assess the feasibility, risks, and benefits of the proposed change. If approved, the ECR leads to the creation of an Engineering Change Order (ECO) to implement the approved modifications.
    • Receiving Non-Conformance Reports 8D/A3. NMG uses this structured problem-solving methodology to resolve quality issues or non-conformances that arise during a supplier’s production processes. "8D" stands for "Eight Disciplines," while "A3" refers to the size of the paper traditionally used to document the problem-solving process. The 8D/A3 process involves a series of steps that includes identifying the problem, forming a team, implementing immediate containment actions, identifying the root cause of the issue, developing and implementing corrective actions, and preventing recurrence. The goal is to address the underlying causes of an issue and prevent the issues from recurring. We use the 8D/A3 document as our detailed record of the problem-solving process, including actions taken, responsible parties, and outcomes achieved, facilitating accountability, communication, and continuous improvement with our suppliers.
    • Production Part Approval Process (PPAP). NMG relies on this document to ensure that our suppliers meet the requirements for producing components and parts. PPAP is used to evaluate and approve the production process of new or modified parts before mass production begins. It includes various elements such as design documentation, process flow diagrams, control plans, measurement system analysis, and samples of the actual parts produced. By submitting a PPAP document, our suppliers demonstrate that they have met our customer's specifications, quality standards, and regulatory requirements. Ultimately, PPAP helps us ensure consistency, reliability, and traceability in our suppliers’ production processes.

Our testing and inspection processes

Using our state-of-the-art equipment and industry-leading expertise, NMG’s dedicated team meticulously inspects and tests every component and product to ensure adherence to specifications and regulatory requirements. From incoming materials inspection to in-process testing and final product validation, we employ rigorous protocols to identify and address any deviations. Our commitment to excellence extends beyond compliance; we continuously invest in advanced inspection technologies and training to optimize our processes and deliver superior results to our customers.

NMG has our own testing equipment at our manufacturing sites in Wisconsin (switches, membranes, graphics, printed electronics) and New Jersey (IM plastics). Our Quality Lab inspection and test equipment is calibrated annually by a third-party firm certified to ISO/IEC 17025 standards to ensure accuracy and proper performance.

We've also developed/adopted, implemented, and managed several custom testing protocols for our customers throughout the years, including Link Labs, Thinkom, and many other OEMs. This sometimes includes contracting with third-party labs.

Additionally, we oversee testing and inspection at all our suppliers by having team members in-country and available for on-site visits to our international suppliers.

equipment to test measurements as part of quality assurance program

Third-party certifications and accreditations

Our commitment to enhance product quality has earned NMG multiple third-party certifications and accreditations:

  • ISO (9001:2015 and AS 9100D) Certification
  • ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) Compliant
  • NADCAP (National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program) Approved
  • Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and NSF Approved and Recognized (Injection Works, NMG’s in-country injection-molded plastics manufacturing location, produces several products recognized by these third parties)

ISO 9001—the gold standard for quality management

At NMG, we understand the importance of delivering products that meet the highest standards of quality. Our process meets the requirements of a Quality Management System (QMS) and is ISO 9001:2015 certified. This means you have assurance that our commitment toward quality has been verified by an independent third party.

ISO Standard 9001, or ISO 9001, is the world’s best-known and most heavily adopted QMS across all types of organizations. The governing body responsible for ISO 9001, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), includes 167 non-governmental standards bodies within its membership and has published nearly 25,000 standards.

First established in 1987, ISO 9001 establishes a set of internationally recognized guidelines that ensure an organization is well-run and has appropriate controls in place to ensure efficiency, ethics, continuity, and ongoing improvement. The current standard is organized around seven key quality principles as well as the PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act) Cycle to assist in organizations’ continuous improvement efforts.

ISO 9001 quality management principles

NMG’s QMS is built on the seven key quality principles outlined by ISO. All seven elements are essential to our ability to provide successful solutions to our customers. Here’s an overview of the main goals of our QMS and how we strive to make sure we are keeping our customers’ needs top of mind every step of the way.

1. Customer focus

The primary goal of a QMS is to meet or exceed our customer’s expectations. At NMG, we believe that we can only succeed when we have the full confidence of our customers. We strive to achieve this through:

  • Partnering with our customers’ team by aligning our objectives with their needs and goals.
  • Communicating our customers’ expectations throughout the organization
  • Continually measuring and monitoring customer satisfaction, and taking steps to address any issues.

2. Leadership

We keep our core values at the center of everything we do. NMG’s leadership team sets the direction for our organization by creating an environment that encourages open communication and encouraging an organization-wide commitment to quality.

3. Involvement and engagement

We believe that success is only possible when we are all working as one team towards one goal. The entire NMG team is highly involved in our Quality Management System. We have a highly collaborative environment and empower our people to use their creativity to achieve winning results for our customers.

4. Process approach

Our clearly defined set of processes enables us to produce consistent results for our customers, operate efficiently, optimize our performance, and proactively address risk. We continually monitor and measure our manufacturing processes to identify areas for improvement.

5. Improvement

Like all effective organizations, NMG has an ongoing focus on the improvement of our processes, solutions, relationships, and employees. This plays a huge role in maintaining our quality and performance and allows us to quickly respond to any changes within our industry.

6. Evidence-based decision-making

This principle holds NMG accountable by requiring us to analyze data from multiple sources to make well-informed decisions on behalf of our customers.

7. Relationship management

In order to have successful relationships with our suppliers and partners, NMG regularly communicates our requirements and expectations, evaluates their performance, and takes steps to implement improvements.

The ISO 9001 certification process

Organizations wishing to achieve ISO 9001 certification must undergo review to ensure compliance with the quality principles outlined above. This is generally a three- to six-month process that involves an independent registrar, or ISO certification company. Note that ISO itself does not provide certification, but instead independent organizations assess an organization’s adherence to ISO’s standards. In addition, ISO employs an independent panel of experts to review the standard itself every 5 years, most recently in 2021.

Why NMG?

NMG becomes not only an extension of your brand but also of your team. Our central focus is on quality performance at the highest level in both product and service. This is what differentiates NMG, and therefore you, in the marketplace.

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