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Step Six: Engineering Drawings / QAP Request – Once you have awarded the project you might have to send engineering drawings that show how the item works or is constructed to the testing lab that you are going to work with. Either in-house engineers or ones at the favctory will supply these drawings.

The criteria to determine how to test an item will depend on the age grading of the item and how the product is intended to be used. It is the responsibility of the testing lab to evaluate your designs to make certain that they can meet the requirements that you need for safety. They will then make a Quality Assurance Plan (QAP) that they will make certain your factories are following during production.

Step Seven: QA Plan Sent To The Manufacturer – Once the testing lab has provided an approved QAP, this is then sent to the manufacturer as the guideline for them to follow in producing the product. This QAP plan will let the factory know what types of testing will take place to make certain the product they are producing will be safe and function properly in the environment it is intended for. The QAP plan will also be followed closely by your own Quality Assurance staff in Hong Kong to make certain that the factory is conforming to everything in the QAP.

Step Eight: Sculpts Sent To Hong Kong – Now that the model maker has completed the sculpts and they have been approved by the client and the licensor if necessary, they are sent to the Hong Kong office to be given to the factory. Depending on the product and license holder, approvals can sometimes take multiple submissions, which should also be factored into the timeline. At this time the factory will make a duplicate model called a “looks like” model and also a “works like” model which will show the function that the product is supposed to do. These should represent what the final product should look like and behave like in the store. This is where you iron out most issues in the design and make sure the factory is on the same page.

Step Nine: Request Carton Markings – At this point the account team needs to find out the information that the client will require on the master cartons. This information is required early in the production process due to the lead time to produce the master cartons. Typically, each client has certain specific information about the product and stocking codes that they want printed on their master cartons. This is also when you will begin to work on the creative and copy for any inserts, decals and polybags required for the project but not needed until later.

Step Ten: Legal Line Information – On every tool that is made for the item you are manufacturing there needs to be a client legal line included along with the country of origin (ie) “Made In China”. This information which may be the copyright logo along with the client logo needs to be etched in the tool and is required prior to the start of tooling. Once the tooling has begun this information is difficult to change or add to and requires modifications to the tooling. This is usually the last item added to the tool. Tooling usually takes around 45 days, since the pattern is being made by cutting into a block of steel then milled, drilled, and polished.
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