When strict product integrity is a manufacturing priority, as it is in the aerospace industry, then processes that assure product safety and reliability during the fabrication process must be in place. Without them, the probability of foreign objects contaminating a product during fabrication is high.
Employees cannot be expected to know how to keep an area free of FOD without proper training and the use of the right products. Appropriate controls and prevention practices must be put in place at the facility level and enforced during the build process.
Products for FOD Control
- FOD-Free Storage and Containers – Our line of ESD-safe, FOD-free storage and packaging is designed for small parts in electronics manufacturing.
This line of products offers the following features and benefits:
- Permanent static dissipative plastic
- Extremely flexible with good cushioning properties
- Virtually impossible to puncture
- Cleanroom compatible – safe to wipe down with IPA
- Thermoformable for a custom fit
- Non-slippery surface
- Chemically safe
Tacky Floor Mats: Tacky Floor Mats have an adhesive surface that captures particulate from foot and cart traffic upon entering a FOD-Free zone – an essential item for FOD control.
FOD controls impact costs and schedules unless they are planned and formalized as part of the overall product manufacturing scheme. That is why it is important to establish an effective FOD Control Program as part of the overall product manufacturing strategy and not as an expensive afterthought.
Benefits of an Effective FOD Program
An effective FOD program includes training, workplace organization, design changes, procedural changes, equipment, tool and hardware controls, inspections, and adequate manpower to maintain the program and implement changes as required.
A well-designed and well-implemented FOD program saves money by reducing rework, equipment failure, product defects down the road, as well as workplace incidents caused by poor training.
An effective FOD program increases sales because it assures satisfied customers, which translates into increased market share for your product. A good FOD program ensures product quality and integrity. Product quality and integrity translate into a positive return on investment (ROI) that far exceed the initial costs to implement best practices.
Keeping FOD out of the product assembly line is the goal, but there is always the possibility of foreign objects slipping in during and after assembly so the ability to remove this objects must be part of the overall FOD Program Design.
The design stage is the best opportunity to keep foreign objects out of the design of the structure and sub-assemblies. But if the assembly line is older and has not incorporated FOD removal into each zone on the line, then careful product inspection and removal steps must be incorporated into each product package.
In situations where there is potential for FOD, it is the responsibility of individuals to identify and report potential FOD problems and to request design changes if feasible.
For more on products for FOD Control, please contact us.