Genimex – Manufacturing, Engineering & Shipping Glossary of Terms

In our years of working as a contract manufacturer- from an array of product categories to material types and manufacturing capabilities – we have many terms commonly used in our industry and with our clients. Leverage this glossary to build your vocabulary of manufacturing.


Account Manager – plays a valuable role in the product development lifecycle and plans, schedules and manages one or more manufacturing processes by assisting with planning and directing an efficient supply chain layout.
AQL – stands for Acceptable Quality Limits, or acceptable quality levels. AQL is a test and/or inspection standard that prescribes the range of the number of defective components that is considered acceptable when random sampling those components during an inspection.


BOM (Bill of Materials) – is a list of the raw materials, sub-assemblies, intermediate assemblies, sub-components, parts, and the quantities of each needed to manufacture a product. The BOM will typically indicate the manufacturing process, price breakdown, and tooling breakdown.


CAD – is a system used to create physical designs, usually three-dimensional. Examples of CAD software include SolidWorks, Pro/Engineer or AutoCAD.
CE – marking indicates that the product meets certain statutory requirements connected with things like safety, health, and environment. CE applies to many consumer goods marketed in the EU, such as toys and electrical appliances, must have a CE marking. CE is predominately used in the European market.
CM (Contract Manufacturer) – is a company hired by another company to manufacture or assemble its product or part of its product.
Compliance – is the practice of tracking whether a product complies with government-imposed regulations or a company’s self-imposed standards. Some other types of compliance requirements can be environmental, safety and social requirements.
Cost Engineering – is the engineering practice devoted to the management of project cost, involving such activities as estimating, cost control, cost forecasting and risk analysis. The goal in cost engineering is to modify the design and manufacturing techniques to reduce costs while preserving functionality and quality.


DFM (Design for Manufacturing) – is a general engineering practice of designing products in a way that they are easy to manufacture with end goal of making a product at a lower cost by simplifying, optimizing and refining the product design.
DDP (Duty Delivery Paid) – refers to the incoterm which the seller assumes all responsibilities and costs including all duties for delivering the goods to the named place of destination.
Drop Test – ensures that the product stays in its original condition from manufacturing to implementation. Drop tests involves an object being dropped from a predefined height onto a second object or surface. Drop tests can be performed on both the product and the product in packaging.


Economies of Scale – are cost reductions that occur when companies increase scale. In other words, a company can increase its profits by making its production processes more efficient, rather than by increasing the price of a product.
ETL – stands for Electrical Testing Laboratories and is the testing and certification division of Intertek Laboratories, which is based in the UK. ETL tests parts and components of a wide range of products to make sure that they are in line with established standards. ETL does not create their own standards for certification, but only makes sure that products meet the standards created by UL.


Factory Audit – refers to the on-site verification activity of a process or quality system to ensure compliance with requirements. Audits can apply to an entire organization or might be specific to a function, process, or production step.
Final Inspection – represents the last inspection operation of production line before the product reaches a customer.
FOB (Freight on Board) – refers to the incoterm which the seller is responsible for the transportation of goods to the port of shipment and the cost of loading.


GMP (Good Manufacturing Process) – is a set of guidelines for how to manage each aspect of production and testing that can impact the quality of a product.


Hard Tooling – is a method of tooling often used for injection molding. Hard tools are made of durable metals — such as steel or nickel alloys — that can withstand multiple production cycles, allowing manufacturers to quickly produce high volumes of parts.


Industrial Design – refers to the process of design applied to products that are to be manufactured through techniques of mass production.
Industrial Engineering – refers to the development, improvement, and implementation of the production of industrial goods.
Injection Molding – is a manufacturing process for producing parts by injecting molten material into a mold. It is most typically used in mass-production processes where the same part is being created thousands or even millions of times in succession.
Inspection Report – is the result of an inspector’s on-site examination of your product order and is meant to give you a snapshot of its status. Typically, the QC staff will look at products based on agreed-upon standards such as purchase order, any CAD drawings, QC checklists and other documents. Some on-site tests can be related to function, performance, or safety.


Material Test Report (MTR) – is a quality assurance document in the steelmaking industry that certifies a material’s compliance with appropriate ASTM standards, applicable dimensions, and physical and chemical specifications.
Mechanical Engineering – is a branch of engineering concerned primarily with industrial application of mechanics and with the production of tools, machinery, and their products.
Molding – is the process of manufacturing by shaping liquid or pliable raw material using a rigid frame called a mold. The mold is generally a hollow cavity receptacle, commonly made of metal, where a liquid plastic, metal, ceramic, or glass material is poured.
MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity) – refers to the set or given amount of a product that a supplier can produce.


NPD (New Product Development) – is the overall process of conceptualizing, designing, commercializing a new product. NPD is often referred to as “product development”.


ODM (Original Design Manufacturer) – is a company that designs and manufactures a product, as specified, that is eventually rebranded by another firm or sale.
OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) – is the original manufacturer of a product that may be sold or marketed by another company.
Off-the-Shelf – means an item that is procured by a supplier as-is, with no modifications.


PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) – refers to the management of product record including bill of materials, specifications, revisions, and changes, from prototype through end of life.
Pilot Run – means a trial run and ensures that production is as smooth as possible by checking production techniques and quality requirements before moving to mass production.
Prototyping – is an engineering-quality sample build of a product, which is intended to test high-risk aspects of the design.


Quality Assurance – are practices that focus on the prevention of mistakes and/or defects during the manufacturing process.
Quality Control – is a process that ensures customers receive a product free from defects which in return helps an organization to save on production cost.
Quality Plan – is a document, or several documents, that together specify quality standards, practices, resources, specifications, and the sequence of activities relevant to a product.


Reverse Engineering – also known as back engineering, is the process by which a man-made object is deconstructed to reveal its designs, architecture, code or to extract knowledge from the object.


Social Compliance Audit – is one that is conducted on-site at your supplier’s facilities to ensure they are operating in-line with accepted standards in social compliance, which focuses on policies and practices to protect the rights, health and safety of workers. In fact, many retailers like Walmart, Target, Tesco, Lidl, Aldi, and others require them to put your products on their shelves.
SLA (Stereolithography) – is one of the most popular and widespread techniques in the world of additive manufacturing. It works by using a high-powered laser to harden liquid resin that is contained in a reservoir to create the desired 3D shape. In a nutshell, this process converts photosensitive liquid into 3D solid plastics in a layer-by-layer fashion using a low-power laser and photopolymerization.
Soft Tooling – is a cost-effective method of tooling, popular for use with cast urethane molding, that allows manufacturers to produce medium to low volumes of parts at speed. For example, silicone is the most common soft tool material for cast urethane.
Supply Chain Management (SCM) – is the management of the flow of goods and services and includes all processes that transform raw materials into final products.


Tooling – is an essential part of the manufacturing process, as it is the process of designing and engineering the tools necessary to manufacture parts or components.


UL – stands for Underwriters Laboratories and founded in the United States. It is a leading organization that creates standards and performs tests on products to ensure they meet those standards. The testing is used to certify products including recycling systems, renewable energies, sustainable products and food and water products.