Quality Cable Assemblies – How do we do so well?

Posted on September 12, 2019 by


A simple phrase that is bread into everyone here at St. Cross Electronics. We pride ourselves on quality, something that was imprinted into the foundations of St Cross Electronics from its inception back in 1983. We have always wanted our customers to be sure that they can use our product from delivery straight into their equipment.

We have from the start had processes, procedures and controls that ensure each stage of manufacture has a QC check incorporated. Dax Ward, Managing Director quotes “If the foundations of anything are secure and substantial then the build on top of these will be secure and less prone to fall down. These foundations were implemented by St Cross Electronics founder Patrick Kiely over 30 years ago, and still today every single process we follow has the same architecture. Soon after the business was started we added BS5750 as a QC approval, and today we now hold ISO9001, ISO14001, OHSAS18001 and we are also UL approved. Today we find ourselves seriously considering AS9100 quality approval.”

QC is targeted with KPI’s on quality, measured in pieces per million. Latest figures for quality measure 200 pieces per million, a very low figure and one most companies would strive to achieve, but Dax has a slightly different view on this. “I am not really happy with this figure. Yes it gives a yield of 99.98%, and our own target is 99.6% so we are surpassing our target, but that still gives a reject rate of 200 pieces. Imagine if a car production line had a failure rate of 0.02% when producing brakes; this would still be 200 cars that could potentially could not stop safely. I am never satisfied and we still need to improve further. However, I am a bit more realistic and car manufacture and making cable assemblies are obviously two different things. Makes you think though.”

Although Dax states he is not satisfied with the above, that QC level is still very good and way above the industry standard. St Cross Electronics quality process encourages all staff to log failures, whether that is in tooling, manufacture, or poor documentation. “You cannot improve if you do not log or accept things could go wrong. You have to take positives from everything, so learn from the failures you have discovered and stop them reoccurring. We spend a lot of our QC time trying to prevent rather than react to problems.”

All cables we manufacture will as standard have a 100% continuity test, checking for not only open circuits, but correctly wired circuits. We work very closely with Cirris on this and have a vast array of test equipment from them. From simple pin to pin testers to our flag ship electrical quality control tester the CH2. Crimps are also checked, from photos, crimp heights, and tensile tests. Full dimensional checks are also as standard with our own first article inspection reports (FAIR).  All evidence, and results of all these tests are recorded and kept on file for a number of years.

So QUALITY IS KEY to us, because without good quality foundations there is no business to support it on top.

Contact one of the team today if you want a free quote or want any other information on us.

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