Ensuring Quality Control in Zinc Die Casting Manufacturing

Quality control is a very important aspect in zinc die casting. At Deco Products, Jason Madison leads this vital function as the Quality Manager. With an engineering background, Jason spent his first 15 years at Deco Products in various engineering roles. This experience gave him deep insight into the entire design and manufacturing process. 

As quality manager for the past two years, Jason can ensure that we are making parts per print and intent for the customer. His expertise spans from initial design concepts through production methods. This natural career progression allows Jason to apply his end-to-end knowledge to uphold DECO’s rigorous quality standards.

Deco Products Quality Management System 

Deco Products is an ISO 9001 registered company. This registration is an international standard that establishes a common baseline and system.

However, our internal processes and specifications go even further to ensure quality control in zinc die casting manufacturing. 

We have detailed inspection criteria and processes tailored to each specific part number.

Our internal inspection plans cover every stage of manufacturing.

Jason explains, “Since we’re primarily making parts for a customer’s design, our top priority is to make it to match what our customer wants.”

Through our internal specifications for quality control in zinc die casting manufacturing, we deliver on this promise. 

Technologies And Equipment We Utilize to Ensure Quality Control in Zinc Die Casting Manufacturing 

Michele Duwe inquired about the equipment utilized at Deco to ensure quality control in zinc die casting manufacturing. 

We utilize specialized equipment and technologies in our quality lab. First, we have an array of stationary inspection tools. These include optical comparators, coordinate measuring machines (CMMs), and thousands of precision gauges.

Additionally, we employ standard measurement devices such as calipers and micrometers. 

We design most of our gauges to inspect important geometry or dimensions by directly contacting the surface of the parts. For example, we might use a simple pin gauge to verify a hole size quickly and easily.

However, we also rely on the extreme accuracy of our CMM for more complex measurements. 

The CMM is programmable to check any dimension or geometry in three-dimensional space. The CMM’s slower speed prevents its use for high-volume inspection. However, it validates initial part samples against specifications. 

By deploying the right mix of technologies, DECO can ensure quality control in zinc die casting manufacturing. 

How We Measure Part Quality Coordinate Measurements Machines (CMMs)  

The CMM serves a vital role in measuring part conformity to customer needs. First, we review the customer’s drawings and specifications.

These outline the part’s required dimensions, tolerances, and other critical features. 

Next, we program the CMM based on the part requirements from the customer drawings. The CMM can then precisely measure the initial production parts. This allows us to validate if the newly manufactured components meet all the tolerances and dimensional callouts specified by the customer. 

Essentially, the CMM confirms the actual measured values of the parts fall within the allowable ranges defined by the customer. By comparing our output against their exact standards, we ensure the quality of the parts conforms to what they need. Leveraging this advanced measurement technology is key to our quality control process. 

Inspection Plans to Measure Process Effectiveness and Customer Requirements 

Deco Products establishes individualized inspection plans for each part number to measure our manufacturing processes’ effectiveness.

Simple parts undergo basic inspections, while more complex parts require more extensive inspections. 

We maintain a detailed database listing every step we check throughout the process.

This spans the full manufacturing cycle – from liquid zinc to the finished, usable component for the customer’s application. 

Each production phase has its own unique inspection criteria to verify we are meeting that part’s specific requirements.

For example, we inspect the casting, trimming, gating, vibratory finishing, and any machining operations. 

With over 4,000 active part numbers that could run on any given day, maintaining these inspection plans is critical.

They dictate exactly which gauges, equipment, and methods we need to measure and validate every part. 

To organize this, we have cabinets containing thousands of labeled gauges for different parts and features. Our cabinets have over 2,000 gauges identified by their cabinet, shelf, and bin location.

This systematic approach allows us to effectively track and deploy the right inspection tools for every job. 

By defining and following these part-specific inspection plans through the entire process, we can ensure our manufacturing meets the quality requirements every step of the way. 

Integrated Quality Control Across All Departments 

Deco Products deeply integrates quality control with all departments and manufacturing processes. The integration begins when we receive a new part order from a customer. Our engineering team collaborates with the quality team during the initial quoting and planning phase. 

Together, we evaluate if we can manufacture the part to the customer’s specifications. Just as importantly, we ensure we can measure and inspect the part qualities that the customer requires. This cross-functional effort allows us to develop individualized inspection plans tailored to each new part’s production processes. 

Once manufacturing begins, our quality integration continues to the production floor. On the first day of a production run, the manufacturing teams set up the equipment and lines. They produce initial setup sample parts, which they submit to our quality inspectors. 

The inspectors then conduct a rigorous start-up inspection on these initial parts. They check numerous additional part characteristics and measurements that may not be inspected during normal production runs. This startup inspection verifies the parts meet all requirements before full production ramps up. 

With manufacturing underway, DECO’s quality team provides 24-hour coverage through roving inspectors. These inspectors move between machines and processes, continuously sampling parts against the criteria checked during start-up. This monitoring integration provides further confirmation of ongoing conformance with manufacturing teams. 

Finally, at the end of each production order, the quality team performs a comprehensive final audit inspection, just like the startup inspection. This ensures sustained quality consistency from the first parts produced to the last. 

Through this seamless quality control integration across departments, processes, and manufacturing stages, we deliver exceptional quality products meeting our customers’ exact needs. 


Deco Products’ quality processes ensure our customers receive quality parts. From the initial design and quoting phases through final delivery. Our quality team fully facilitates activities to drive continuous improvement and conformance to customer requirements.  

We manufacture our zinc die cast parts using inspection processes, skilled inspectors, and advanced equipment.

With a focus on process control, we consistently meet even the most stringent tolerances and specifications.

Our quality control focus allows us to provide exceptional value and peace of mind for our customers. 

Quality Control

Quality control is crucial in the die casting process, and at Deco Products, it is managed through their Quality Management System (QMS). Deco Products has designed their QMS to meet or exceed customer expectations of quality and can accommodate other special customer requirements if needed.
Picture of Michele Duwe

Michele Duwe

Michele Duwe is the Sales and Marketing Manager with Deco Products. She has eight plus years as a digital marketing manager and over a decade of sales and marketing experience.

Video Transcript

[00:00:00.000] – Michele Duwe
So quality control is a very important aspect of Zinc Die Casting. So today I have with me Jason Madison in our quality control department. So Jason, do you want to go ahead and tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do here at DECO products?

[00:00:17.080] – Jason Madison
Sure. So I’m Jason Madison. I’m our quality manager at DECO. I’m actually an engineer by trade, by training. I was I worked in various engineering departments here at DECO for my first 15 years here. And now for the last two years, I’ve been the quality manager, which has been a natural progression for me because I understood everything from the what we’re designing to how we make what we’re designing. And now I’m able to inform how we ensure that we’re making it the way we need to for the customer.

[00:00:56.490] – Michele Duwe
Wonderful. Thank you for that. So, tell me a little bit about DECO’s quality management system that we have in place here.

[00:01:05.220] – Jason Madison
Sure. So we are an ISO 9001-registered company, which is basically it’s an international standard that we meet. So at a minimum, we for sure meet that standard. On top of that, though, we have our internal systems that support that standard. So we have all of our internal inspections. We’ve got our internal specifications. And since we’re primarily making parts for a customer’s design, our top priority is to make it to match what our customer wants.

[00:01:39.310] – Michele Duwe
Jason, can you tell us a little bit about the technologies and the equipment that we utilize here at DECO?

[00:01:45.080] – Jason Madison
We’ve got a lab, a quality lab, which has a lot of stationary equipment. That includes an optical comparator, CMM, lots of gauges, literally thousands of gauges. We’ve got a lot of standard equipment like calipers and micrometers. And since all of our parts are zinc castings, where you can actually pick it up and measure it, most of our gauges are things that you can physically put on the part to measure. The CMM is great because it gives extreme accuracy for measuring parts. We use that on a limited basis, though, because it’s a little slow. But the nice thing is we can make a really simple gauge to do something fast and easy, like maybe just we put a pin in a hole and make sure it’s the right size. Or we can do an extreme measurement with the CMM, which is a programmable machine to check basically anything you could think of to check in three-dimensional space.

[00:02:41.300] – Michele Duwe
Oh, okay. And then is that one of the tools that you use then to measure your effectiveness of the quality part or the quality of the part?

[00:02:51.540] – Jason Madison
We use that to measure conformity to the customer’s need. So the customer drawing will specify a feature needs to have this size at this tolerance, and we can ensure whether the parts that we just made that day actually fall within that tolerance.

[00:03:06.360] – Michele Duwe
Okay. That makes sense to me.

[00:03:09.060] – Jason Madison
And here, this is our CMM, Coordinate Measuring Machine. This is the most accurate machine we’ve got in the building. It can be programmed to measure most anything. And currently, right now, it’s going through and taking measurements on a new part that we’re trying to qualify for a new customer.

[00:03:27.170] – Michele Duwe
So how do we actually then measure the effective of our processes that we have in place?

[00:03:32.880] – Jason Madison
Each part number is established. We establish an individualized inspection plan for each part number. And so some of the most simple parts get a very simple inspection. Some of the more complicated parts get a more complicated inspection. And we have a database that we use to enter in all of the steps that need to be checked throughout the various processes to take apart from liquid Zinc into something that’s usable in the customer’s application. And so the steps from maybe casting, trimming, to gating, vibratory, even machining, all of those steps will have a unique inspection to ensure that each step along the way we’re meeting that particular parts need before it goes in the box to go to the customer. So DECO has over 4,000 active part numbers that we could be running any given day. Our inspection plans dictate what gauges and equipment we need in order to measure. And so all of these cabinets have gauges in them that are labeled by the cabinet, the shelf, and the bin that each gauge is in in order to keep track of the over 2,000 gauges that we’ve got in all of these cupboards for the parts that we’re running each day.

[00:04:49.610] – Michele Duwe
So how does the quality control process at DECO products integrate with all the other departments that we have here?

[00:04:57.710] – Jason Madison
In a lot of ways, actually. Um So it really starts at the very beginning when we have a customer with a new part that they want to have made. Our engineering team will work with the customer to quote out the part and figure out the right tooling and equipment and processes necessary to make the part. But as a part of that, they’re consulting with the quality team as well to say, well, what the customer is asking for, is that something that we can do? And if we can do it, can we measure it in a way that we can ensure that we’ve done it? So at the beginning, that’s where that starts. And that’s where we begin that individualized inspection plan that I was talking about earlier, where we set up the inspections as needed for that part through all its processes. But then when we actually go to production, what we’ll do is, let’s say it’s an ordinary day and we’re going to start making parts today. Our production teams will set up the equipment and they’ll start making those first castings. They’ll submit those set up samples to our quality inspectors. The inspectors will then go through a special inspection that’s a startup inspection.

[00:06:00.070] – Jason Madison
And they’ll check extra things that we normally don’t check during the run, but they want to make sure that the first part that day is right according to the plan. Then we’ve got roving inspectors running 24 hours a day all week that are just going from machine to machine, process to process, and they’re comparing to a subset of the same things that were checked at startup. So we integrate in that way with the production teams by accepting what they’re saying, Hey, these are the first parts. Are they good? And then throughout while they’re running, we’re checking them. And then we do a final. So at the very end of a casting order, we’ll bring almost just like the beginning, we’ll bring it in and we’ll do that thorough check one more time just to make sure that nothing changed from beginning to end and that we’re still producing parts the same way we thought we were at the start.

[00:06:48.310] – Michele Duwe
And that really does make sure that our clients are receiving that quality product.

[00:06:52.420] – Jason Madison
That’s the plan.
Video Transcript

[00:06:53.370] – Michele Duwe
Well, Jason, thank you so much for taking time out of your day to meet with us. And I hope that you found this beneficial. And feel free to leave us any comments down below if you have questions that Jason can answer for you.

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