Under The Covers at QNAP Factory

Today, NAS devices come in all shapes and sizes. Taiwan-headquartered QNAP Systems Inc.is one of the most successful small business NAS manaufacturers across the globe. In recent years QNAP have reached higher extending their range into the enterprise space.

QNAP Systems, Inc., as its brand promises "Quality Network Appliance Provider", aims to deliver comprehensive offerings of cutting edge network attached storage (NAS) and network video recorder (NVR) solutions featured with ease-of-use, robust operation, large storage capacity, and trustworthy reliability.

QNAP integrates technologies and designs to create cutting edge technology and products in the areas of file sharing, virtualised applications, storage management and surveillance in the business environments. Inaddition QNAP extends its portfoliointo the entertainment sphere for  home users with home multimedia devices.

QNAP kindly invited DSA to visit their manufacturing Qidu Plant in Qidu District, Keelung, Taiwan in order that we could witness first hand their absolute commitment to quality.

Whilst attending the launch of QNAP’s latest NAS devices for the enterprises market last month, DSA was extended the privilege to go behind the closed doors of the plant to see for itself how QNAP produces its NAS devices.

Walking into the manufacturing facility, one could almost immediately feel that QNAP always takes 'Quality' as a core component of competitiveness. To begin with, QNAP boasts comprehensive management system at its plant. From raw materials, spare parts to the production process, supply chain and other aspects, all are focused on in order to achieve excellent quality of QNAP products.

The Qindu facility is indeed a physical embodiment of the ideas animating the company and why QNAP consistently grows far faster than its competitors.

One of the first things that sticks out at QNAP production facility is that everything is computerised. Contolling the many technical  process innovations that are being deployed to optimise QNAP's manufacturing process.

First stop was on the first floor where QNAP receives and stores all its raw materials that form the components used in the production of NAS devices. Here, all items that pass through the door are labelled and stored accordingly before they are requested by the production floor, located one level above.

The more delicate items and materials are  stored in the cold room to ensure its durability and robustness.

QNAP plant managers pride themselves for establishing a long-term and stable cooperation relationship with the core suppliers of raw materials, to provide customers with continuous and stable products.

Equipped with secured and sophisticated computerised production lines, professional personnel and mature production technology, QNAP promises the quality and stability of production processes.
The second floor is where the action starts. This floor  is where the mainboards of the NAS devices are assembled according to specifications and requirements. For more intricate processes, specially designed computerized machines are used to paste the required chipsets, connectors and ports onto the boards. Besides it being faster, this also minimizes errors that human tends to make.

QNAP's attention to detail is fanatical. Despite the fact that the mainboards are initially been fitted by computers, these mainboards are still checked by QNAP personnel manually to ensure that build quailty is at the highest possible standard.

After this manual inspection, the mainboards are sent to a group of personnel where t bigger components are fittedonto the mainboards. Following this, the mainboards are put through a series of very thorough stress test more stress tests before proceeding to final, quality control inspection to ensure the quality of the inner workings of the final product.

At this stage the mainboard are sent up to the third floor of the plant,in order for the casing to be fitted. Interestingly, on this floor, the work stations are divided into 10 groups (as per picture above) with  six to seven people at each workstation at any given time. This is wher every NAS box will go through checks to ensure they are operational and of appropriate build quality.

Once the NAS devices are boxed up, they are sent into the Hot Room, with a temperature of about 35 Celcius and above for more stress test. This is to ensure that the QNAP devices can withstand extreme conditions. The devices would normally be stored here for at least three days.

Once that’s done, the devices are ready to be packed and shipped out. The same workstations’ teams undertake the packing tasks as well. 

Before the end of the production line QNAP have implemented Random Sample selction for further checkng. several packed boxes will be selected at random for further inspection and quality control tests.

At the end of the process the boxes are immediately shipped from the plant across the world. It is clear that Quality is a key component of QNAP' success. This attention to quality measures it what ensures when a customer buys a QNAP NAS it will arrive working and in perfect condition. It will also ensure the long term reliability of the device. The copanies success has been on building a reputation for devices that work and can be relied upon. Our factory visit proved to DSA that QNAPs reputation for quality is well deserved.

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