Puffco Case Study

Puffco Discovers Root Cause in Record Time with Instrumental

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Instrumental helped Puffco streamline defect detection and failure analysis during the NPI build of a first-generation product.


During an NPI build, Puffco found that a complex product design and pandemic-induced travel barriers limited their ability to gather data on underperforming units. But by working with Instrumental, Puffco gained immediate insight into the underlying issue, discovered root cause in record time, and implemented process changes to improve product performance.

The following is an abridged version of our case study. Download the PDF to see the full story.

The Challenge

Travel barriers weren’t the only challenges facing Chris Fisher, senior test and quality manager at Puffco, during their NPI build. The product had a complex design process that was difficult to translate remotely to their overseas manufacturing partner, and they soon discovered there was significant variation in the product performance.

The team spent over three months trying to discover the issue on their own — even inserting a tiny microscope into the assembled unit to get visual confirmation of the root cause — with no luck.

Dramatization of customer product

The Results

Puffco leveraged Instrumental’s Discover AI solution and Creative Electron imaging to not only solve their existing NPI challenge, but also set them up for long-term success with future builds. Instrumental allowed the Puffco team to:

  • Identify the defect in one day
  • Cut four weeks off the project schedule
  • Change processes to continue building a high-quality first-generation product

“Millimeter adjustments matter a lot to us, and Instrumental has helped us refine those adjustments efficiently.”

- Chris Fisher, Senior Test and Quality Manager, Puffco

Read the full case study to learn how Puffco:

  • Overcame blind assembly challenges
  • Improved data-sharing with their China-based contract manufacturer
  • Paired X-ray images and data to quickly discover root cause

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