With an increasing interest in vaping essentials, it is surely to have crossed one’s mind as to what can be said about the device’s overall quality. According to Cannabis Business Times’ Arnaud Dumas de Rauly, vape manufacturers need to be asked three key questions that will give one a complete picture of their vape.
As per the claims made, Rauly has 10 years of experience within the vaping industry, with over five actually in its creation process. Here’s an overview of what has since been shared:
#1. How much control of the entire supply chain do you have?
The first question to ask is in regard to a vape manufacturer’s supply chain. It has been noted that in most cases, vape manufacturers are not “manufacturers” but instead “assemblers”, where parts are purchased from other suppliers, and vape manufacturers simply fill in the cartridges.
Such reliance on other suppliers for parts can be problematic as the quality can be lost across the entire supply chain. An example given of this entails a vape manufacturing brand who’s known for their vape. However, this brand relies on supplier “A” who provides the cartridges to the former. At some point, supplier “A” finds another inexpensive supplier, say “B”, who providers the ceramic for their cartridges.
The latter change may lead to defects witnessed in the brand’s overall vape product. Since most information is not immediately discussed between suppliers, but rather after, this stimulates concerns in not only the consumers, but the business altogether.
According to Rauly, the ideal solutions to said concern include, but are not limited to:
- Ensuring that a tracking and quality control system is in place by the manufacturer
- Assessing and ensuring that the overall quality and specifications of a part from one supplier does not change in relation to another
- Encouraging communication between the different existing parties in the chain
- Requesting Material Safety Data Sheets and Specifications
- Conducting internal testing on a select number of cartridges to catch possible defects
#2. Can you guarantee the safety and compliance of each product?
Given the lack of studies on cannabis use, finding ways to ensure lack of safety is not a concern becomes an unavoidable step. Rauly trusts that while not much can be directly done in terms of cannabis use for the moment, an evaluation can be done with respect to the hardware.
If proper assessment is not conducted, leaching may occur, which the author shares is a process in which heavy metals found in hardware can be reaped within the cannabis extract.
Interestingly, leaching is a long-term process in which the presence of heavy metals might not have been initially caught but might be later on. Not to mention the fact that said parts are typically outsourced from China – a country that neither approves cannabis nor allows testing to be done.
Given the latter few points, it has been advised to ask for a series of information including the reports indicating long-term heavy metal testing, list of materials used, certificates of conformity and the necessary certifications of all parties involved in creating the product.
#3. “How do you guarantee product quality and consistency?”
The last question is in regard to quality control and the necessary processes that have since been implemented by suppliers. This is a question brands need to ask because at the end of the day, it is not the number of suppliers who get their reputation tarnished by the public, but the brand itself. Some of the “quality control checkpoints” that have been suggested by Rauly include:
Incoming quality control (IQC) or Product Check (IPC): A step where materials and parts undergo assessment. The former typically helps in spotting quality concerns.
First Article Inspection (FAI): Another defect assessment on a number of products, which is done after the IQC.
In-process quality Control (IPQC) and During Production Inspection (DUPRO): After the FAI, comes another quality control check, in which both “semi-finished” and “finished” goods are assessed for quality.
Final Inspection: This type of QC is supposedly done when goods are 80 or more percent of the way complete. This is deemed the “last opportunity to see the quality and condition of your shipment while it’s still in the factory,” reports Rauly.
All-in-all, with every essential comes the work and input of many (at least in many of the existing brands). If this is the case, more stern measures must be taken to ensure that claims made are backed up by accurate documentation and certificates. Otherwise, one’s reputation can go down the drain in a matter of seconds!