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Quality Standards

Each week, millions of items are produced through Lumi with a remarkable 99.8% defect-free rate.

Every new production run is a series of handoffs between designers, prepress technicians, plate makers, die makers, ink makers, material handlers, and press operators — all dedicated to manufacturing high-quality products.

We achieve these high standards by establishing and continuously improving the quality processes used by manufacturers and brands in our community.

Resources

FAQs

Before reporting a quality issue, we recommend reviewing our guide on how to run a quality inspection.

To report an issue, log in to your Lumi account, and from the Production view, click on the order item that has a quality issue.

At the top right of the order item page, click the blue button to "Report a quality issue." Fill out the form. The Lumi team will reach out to you with the next steps.

Per our terms of service, quality issues must be reported within 48 hours of a shipment’s delivery to be eligible for remake or refund. If your report is submitted more than 48 hours after delivery, it will not be eligible for remake or refund, however it will be reviewed so that the issue can be prevented in the future.

Acceptable Quality Limit (AQL) is a quality control procedure used both for manufacturing and receiving goods, to ensure they meet the agreed upon quality standards. AQL uses a randomized sampling process, to statistically estimate the number of defective units in a production run. Learn how to perform an AQL quality inspection using our step-by-step guide.

The standard AQL level used by factories in the Lumi Network is Special Inspection Level 4. This level is designed to pull an adequate number of samples to represent the overall quality of the production run while staying on schedule.

Each defective unit within a sampled batch is flagged as minor, major, or critical. Once the total number of each designation has been counted, the sampled batch and larger production run is given a pass or fail. Per AQL 2.5 Inspection Level S4, these are the maximum defects permitted in a sample batch before the batch (and in turn, the larger production) goes from pass to fail.

Most 3PLs are familiar with AQL inspections. If you're a Lumi member and you'd like your 3PL to perform an inspection, you can share our step-by-step guide.

Get photos from your 3PL of any defects and compare them to the inspection criteria for your product. You can search directly for quality standards by product, or find them by browsing the Lumi Catalog.

We consistently review and update our standardize quality criteria. If you ordered a product and the tolerances are not listed, contact your Lumi account manager.

AQL inspection levels are separated into two categories: general and special. 

General inspection levels (GI, GII, GIII) and special inspection levels (S1, S2, S3, S4) indicate the size of the inspected sample batch, which determines the number of defects allowed based on product-specific criteria and tolerances. Special inspection levels call for smaller sample sizes, with S4 being the most stringent of the four options. 

Lumi prescribes AQL 2.5 Inspection Level S4 because it's a happy medium for the quality control needs of packaging. This level allows for an adequate number of samples to be inspected without delaying the production schedule or the receiving process.  

Lumi quality standards set the expectations for members and manufacturers. Each product's quality policy lists tolerances that define the magnitude of a defect, i.e. how far above or below the tolerances a defect is. Defects can be identified as minor, major, or critical. The tolerances are primarily determined by the limitations of each manufacturing process. 

  • Optimum: Acceptable range (non-defective)
  • Minor: The defect is indiscernible, and does not detract from the overall appearance of the item or the representation of the company. 
  • Major: The defect is notable, but does not detract from the overall appearance of the item or the representation of the company. 
  • Critical: The defect is significant, and detracts from the overall appearance of the item or the representation of the company.

Each production run is inspected by the manufacturer using the AQL procedure. When receiving goods, we recommend that you (or your third party receiving the goods) perform the same procedure so that any defects you find are reported within the 48 hour receiving window outlined in our Terms of Service.

Manufacturers will typically produce up to 10% more units than the ordered quantity — aka "overs". Overs add some buffer room to account for potential quality issues in your order. Overs are billed after your order has been delivered, which allows us to compensate for any defective units that need to be subtracted from your invoice.

If the number of defective units dips below your order quantity by more than 15%, Lumi will take action in the following way: 

  • For critical defects: Lumi will initiate a remake of the items affected to meet the ordered quantity.
  • For minor or major defects: Lumi will review the order, provide a root cause analysis, and a case-by-case correction action plan.

Lumi takes a proactive approach to continuously measuring and improving the quality standards of manufacturing partners in our network. If severe quality issues are found, or a factory exhibits consistently poor quality, this will be reflected in the manufacturer's scorecard and rankings on the platform. If this unusual situation occurs, Lumi will assist you in moving production to a different factory.

Lumi prescribes AQL 2.5 Inspection Level S4 as the standard level of quality inspection by all parties. If you'd like to have a higher or lower level of inspection, reach out to your Lumi account manager.