Quality is something that we take great pride in at Shure. Our quality story began in 1941 when, during World War II, the U.S. government contracted us to make microphones for use in battle. That contract came with a long list of standards and practices because if our products failed in the field, lives were lost. We continue to uphold this precedent of extreme quality standards today. Here are four of our secrets for “bulletproof” product testing:
Test your components rigorously. If you don’t use quality components in a product’s construction, how can you expect your finished product to be of any real quality? We run our suppliers’ components through a strict regimen of tests to ensure that they meet our exacting standards before including them in our finished production designs.
Test your product rigorously. We drop mics, twist cables, flip switches, and rotate potentiometers repeatedly and relentlessly to ensure they are rugged enough to endure the rigors of touring and performance.
Test for every possible environmental condition. We test gear to withstand storage temperatures ranging from -20° to 150° Fahrenheit. But, we don’t stop short at simple heat and cold tests. We also conduct moisture resistance testing; we subject products to a salt fog chamber and we expose products to a specially formulated chemical sweat mixture in order to ensure the durability of the product in any number of extreme conditions it may encounter.
Remember, quality may cost, but it helps your bottom line. When WWII ended, our founder, S.N. Shure, decided to continue to uphold the same stringent testing standards and was pleased to find that scrap and return rates dropped dramatically. Enacting strict quality standards may be costly up front, but it will ultimately be better for your bottom line.
Michael Pettersen is the Director of Product Technical Support & Corporate Historian at Shure. This feature is part of SCN's "Hush Hush" October print issue.