[TowerTalk] My Final On MFJ

Kenneth D. Moak kdm at ctcn.net
Mon Apr 2 19:18:30 EDT 2018

I never thought our first post would draw so much attention. So this will be
my last. I didn't intend to offend anyone, I was expressing our opinion.


Dave, AB7E - Regarding: "Poor manufacturing quality occurs through ignorance
or indifference, period.?? What you don't understand is that how the
manufacturing floor looks is key to how the product works. Disputing that
simply shows ignorance.";  I'll be happy to fully discuss that offline,
since that is in itself not appropriate for me to respond to here.  I didn't
want a resume showdown, but I'll gladly oblige.  I'm sure everyone is well
qualified.  I love discussing engineering, manufacturing and quality from
mom and pop shops to multi-billion dollar enterprises.   I'm a retired
military and civilian engineer with over 40 years working engineering and
manufacturing with companies from Boeing, Northrop, GD, Ball Aerospace,
AT&T, and many others.  If anyone would like to discuss the topic offline,
especially with personal attacks, please feel free to contact me offline at
<mailto:km8am at ctcn.net> km8am at ctcn.net.  There's no need to put everyone
else through the unnecessary read.


"Quality is not a cost issue," but if you actually have a heart to heart
discussion with the senior leadership of major manufacturing companies, as I
have, you will find that quality is a major cost issue.  It is analyzed and
debated as deeply as any other design decision, and it's weighed against
REAL SR&R (scrap, rework, and repair) rates - not anecdotal evidence.  Would
I like to meet Martin Jue and ask him about engineering, manufacturing, and
quality?  You bet - maybe this year at Hamvention.


To the folks that believe that "quality" manufacturing facilities look like
an Intel clean room, I propose that the sample size may be small or somewhat
selective.   Yes, there are superb facilities out there, but if you think
the majority of companies look like Intel, forget it.  For example, in the
early 1980's I ran the USAF Engineering and Manufacturing office at Boeing
for the B-2 program and had to cause the grounding of the aircraft during
flight test because of comingled fasteners on the aircraft.  At the
program's direction, I visited every other major contractor's site and found
similar issues on every manufacturing floor.  These were not MFJ-sized
companies, and they understood quality.  They also understood the "cost of
quality."  Their people did care, and their managers were not trying to suck
the last dollar out of the company.  Every process that includes people, or
machines, has issues.


I truly encourage you to swing a "non-factory tour" visit to as many Amateur
Radio manufacturing facilities as possible because I think it will surprise
you. It's fun to look behind the curtain when they don't expect visitors.
I'm NOT saying these companies are not excellent companies.  I'm just
suggesting they do not have clean room-level facilities all the time.  I
also postulate they do not have Manufacturing Process Management (MPM)  and
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) in place for every product.


Again, I'm not trying to cause issues, and everyone is entitled to their
opinion.  I just put my experience with MFJ along side mine with Yaesu never
fixing the software issue with my FT-847, Alpha's long delayed auto tuner,
years waiting for Flex to deliver a noise blanker that works, my Comet 333
antenna with bad matching coil, one of our two brand new SPE 2k-FA amps
lasting exactly 2 seconds before the power supply exploded, numerous
Heathkits with missing parts, my hours hanging around the StepIR booth at
Hamvention listening to owners while researching the antenna, and finally
our ARRL Handbook with one chapter missing and one other duplicated.  All
these are/were great companies.  But who's keeping score?


Thanks for being there; we've learned a lot over the years from the forum.


The best part of Ham Radio is operating...

Ken, km8am

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