Black Diamond recall concerns


Original Post
Alexander Parrish · Apr 23, 2016 · Prescott, Arizona · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 0
With all the recent recalls with black diamond, do you feel that buying their equipment is say dangerous or a bad decision and should look elsewhere for equipment?

Harry Netzer · Apr 23, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 110
Some may agree and some may disagree, but speaking for myself I think I'd say you should probably do what you think is right, in my humblest opinion. Your mileage may vary.

Alexander Parrish · Apr 23, 2016 · Prescott, Arizona · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 0
i honestly have some c4s but not many of the carabiners/quickdraws. i prefer petzl for those. just curious to see what others think about the recent misfortune they are having

Kauait · Apr 23, 2016 · Sandy Utah · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 0
B ad
D ecision.
;)

T340 · Apr 23, 2016 · Idaho · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 0
Most all of my cams, all of my slings,and a fair number of my biners are BD. I am paying a little more attention to their condition since these recalls(which I should do anyway) but don't let it stop me from using any of it. I'm sure that BD will get this sorted soon enough.

Edit: I should have said that all of my BD gear is of several years past manufacture. As far as buying anything new from them, I would probably wait a few months.

Dylan B. · Apr 23, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 613
I think it's worth waiting a few months before buying new BD gear, and for the next couple of years making sure to do an extra-thorough inspection on any new BD you buy. Assuming no new recalls in the next 2-3 years on gear manufactured after 2016, I'd go back to "low alert" status.

The way I see it, this was probably a glitch in moving back to SLC. If that's true, then any new discoveries of production errors ought to surface in the next couple of months. On the other hand, if this is a real decline in production quality, or if there's a systematic breakdown in QC, that should reveal itself in the next couple of years. If BD manages to go three years without another recall, they'll have persuaded me that they got the glitches under control.

Jimmy Sledd · Apr 23, 2016 · Bozeman, Montana · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 5
Honestly, you should be much more concerned about your car. It's much more dangerous, much more difficult to inspect or understand, and automakers have been far from transparent about their quality defects. Several have deliberately hidden problems.

Manufacturing is never 100% mistake-free. All of BD's defects have been things that should be obvious under even cursory inspection, and they've been transparent about their defects. ALWAYS inspect your gear. I'm sure BD's quality-control spidey-senses are on alert right now and your chance of getting bunk gear right now is probably lower than it was before the recalls. I checked all my BD gear, but am not worried.

eli poss · Apr 23, 2016 · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 136
The lesson to be learned from all this is not a matter of brand loyalty (buy or don't buy BD products). It's that we all need to inspect our gear very thoroughly and regularly. QC is really awesome but it will never be flawless because, after all, humans aren't flawless. Inspecting your gear before using it is paramount.

For me that means inspecting everything I've touched since last inspection, monthly. For those who climb less frequently, it might not need to be as frequent. For those who climb more frequently than me may need to inspect their gear more frequently. It's also a good idea to do a thorough inspection every time you buy something before putting it into use. If you've whipped on a piece, you should probably inspect it at the end of the day or even have your 2nd quickly inspect it after cleaning it.

Healyje · Apr 24, 2016 · PDX · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 100
James Sledd wrote:Manufacturing is never 100% mistake-free.
I personally suspect fewer and fewer climbers have been involved in manufacturing and QC at BD since the buyout which is problematic from my perspective. I've always favored Metolius cams which are made by climbers for climbers for that reason.

Jimmy Sledd · Apr 24, 2016 · Bozeman, Montana · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 5
Healyje wrote: I personally suspect fewer and fewer climbers have been involved in manufacturing and QC at BD since the buyout which is problematic from my perspective. I've always favored Metolius cams which are made by climbers for climbers for that reason.
If Metolius made a large cam that performed as well as the Camelot that's all I'd rack, I love the Mastercams. I think when BD stuff was made in China there were few to no climbers involved. Now that they're back in SLC hopefully that will change. I have no access to BD's sales figures but rapid growth strains quality for many companies--I imagine that plays here too.

Seth Jones · Apr 24, 2016 · New Lenox, IL · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 5
James Sledd wrote: I think when BD stuff was made in China there were few to no climbers involved. Now that they're back in SLC hopefully that will change.
The problem with this statement is that most of the recalls have been on stuff made in SLC. The Chinese seemed to have been making solid gear.

Jimmy Sledd · Apr 24, 2016 · Bozeman, Montana · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 5
Seth Jones wrote: The problem with this statement is that most of the recalls have been on stuff made in SLC. The Chinese seemed to have been making solid gear.
Sorry I can see how that was confusing--I'm aware that it's US-made stuff that's been recalled. I'm not of the opinion that US-made is necessarily better (case-in-point: General Motors), but now that manufacturing has been moved back here, I'm hopeful more climbers can be involved.

Nate Solnit · Apr 24, 2016 · Bath, NH · Joined May 2013 · Points: 0
It's been touched on, but all of the recalls have been for manufacturing glitches not problems in the quality of the designed equipment. The glitches have also all been easily inspectable e.g. unfinished rivets and tape splices, that I personally would have noticed on inspection of my gear.

I agree with the hypothesis of these problems stemming from a manufacturing move. Especially things like the tape splices showing up in the middle of a sling could easily be caused by a change of nylon sourcing with different lengths between splices combined with a miscommunication / no one recoding the bar-tack sewer (I assume it's a robot). And it sounds like their rivet puncher just had a really bad day...

I also haven't heard any stories of faulty gear actually hitting the market (please correct me if I'm wrong) they may have found potential issues with their manufacturing process, or caught these errors in QC and not been able to have 100% certainty that none had slipped through. Hence the "voluntary" recall.

Marc801 C · Apr 24, 2016 · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 0
James Sledd wrote:...but now that manufacturing has been moved back here, I'm hopeful more climbers can be involved.
BD hires experienced machinists for the manufacturing floor and, for QC, people experienced in manufacturing QC/ISO 9001/Six-Sigma process control. Whether they are climbers or not is a secondary consideration, if it's even considered at all - it's not what gets them the job. The climbers and skiers are in R&D and design.

Chris Owen · Apr 24, 2016 · Big Bear Lake · Joined Jan 2002 · Points: 9,523
I wouldn't worry about buying BD gear. Be aware of the recalls and perform an inspection upon your BD equipment, even if you've just bought it.

BD are being extremely proactive and conservative in their recall - I'd love to know how they found the initial problem but they are sorting it out. QA is a more accurate description of what they are doing, QC is extremely difficult, expensive and time consuming in a mass production environment.

Healyje · Apr 24, 2016 · PDX · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 100
Marc801 wrote: BD hires experienced machinists for the manufacturing floor and, for QC, people experienced in manufacturing QC/ISO 9001/Six-Sigma process control. Whether they are climbers or not is a secondary consideration, if it's even considered at all.
Well, as an ISO9001 auditor, I'd personally take exception to that assertion.

Kauait · Apr 24, 2016 · Sandy Utah · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 0
Less drinking on the job might help a pinch;)

Marc801 C · Apr 24, 2016 · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 0
Healyje wrote: Well, as an ISO9001 auditor, I'd personally take exception to that assertion.
Are you referring to the qualifications of who they hire or whether the candidate being a climber factors in to the decision?

Disclaimer: I have not worked at or ever applied to BD. My minor knowledge is second-hand from someone who did work there prior to production being moved to China.

Healyje · Apr 24, 2016 · PDX · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 100
I'm saying people with the skills who are also domain experts and understand the base reasoning behind the design, execution and QC make me feel way better about the product than one where people are executing in rote.

Chris Owen · Apr 25, 2016 · Big Bear Lake · Joined Jan 2002 · Points: 9,523
Interesting idea - I would advocate process over ego.

Dylan B. · Apr 25, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 613
Being qualified to ensure a rivet is finished or a sling doesn't have a tape splice requires absolutely zero rock climbing experience or insight.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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