Intro to Quality Control in Manufacturing
Quality control is a critical component of a quality management system that involves making sure all quality requirements are fulfilled. It consists of measuring and inspecting products to ensure they meet the required specifications at the point of production. Quality control standards are typically dictated by quality assurance approaches such as ISO 9001. These approaches outline certain protocols for the production process, and quality control ensures the completion of the required tasks.
In a manufacturing environment, manufacturers can implement various types of quality control, including materials inspection, in-process inspection, and final inspection. By performing these inspections, you can ensure your quality control is on track, which leads to reduced costs, higher efficiency, and a good reputation.
Quality Assurance vs. Quality Control
Although often used interchangeably, quality assurance and quality control share some notable differences. More specifically:
- Quality assurance: Refers to a set of planned tasks within the product manufacturing process that ensure the quality and safety of the product.
- Quality control: Refers to various processes designed to check that the product meets the required quality standards.
Also a critical part of your quality management system, quality assurance aims to streamline production and make sure final products meet your quality criteria. Quality assurance is a proactive activity that looks to reduce defects by measuring production processes, whereas quality control is a reactive activity that is performed after quality assurance. Quality assurance approaches such as ISO 9001 enhance processes such as:
- Responding to defects
- Purchasing third-party components
- Acquiring raw materials
- Complying with production processes
- Designing and performing inspection procedures
Quality control ensures the implementation of quality assurance processes by measuring and inspecting the product during and after production to eliminate defective products and find process vulnerabilities. Both quality assurance and quality control work together to ensure optimal quality and reduced defects.
Importance of Quality Control for Manufacturing
Quality control is important in manufacturing for a variety of reasons, with the most obvious being higher quality in the workplace. Quality control is key to achieving regulatory compliance, increasing profits, and streamlining processes. Other key benefits include:
- Ensures optimized processes. High-quality production is a clear indicator that a manufacturer’s processes are working as planned. Optimized production processes result in quality products, whereas broken processes lead to drops in quality.
- Lower costs. Quality control is crucial to cost. Poor quality leads to lost materials and higher waste disposal costs. Rejected products often cost a company more than the materials at the beginning of production.
- Better brand reputation. Quality fallout can lead to missed or delayed delivery times, which threatens customer loyalty and satisfaction. Quality control ensures products go out on time, which is important to a brand’s reputation.
Manufacturers can use various methodologies to implement quality control, including Six Sigma, lean manufacturing, total quality management, statistical process control, statistical quality control, acceptance sampling, and 100% inspection.
Best Practices & Tips To Improve Quality Control in Manufacturing
Implementing quality control best practices can improve your quality control efforts. Common best practices include:Automate
Automation enables faster production of quality products at lower costs. In addition, automated processes can increase quality by improving product accuracy, eliminating the possibility of human error, and increasing visibility.Inspect
Inspecting products enables manufacturers to verify quality at various production stages. This involves gauging, examining, testing, or measuring product characteristics and comparing them to specific requirements. By inspecting components and raw materials before, during, and after production, manufacturers can detect defects more efficiently. Inspection also ensures that processes are performed correctly and in accordance with regulatory standards.Trace
Traceability allows manufacturers to gain greater control over process and product quality. By tracing production activities, you’ll be able to predict patterns, provide timely reporting, track supplier performance, and troubleshoot quality issues. This will provide the means to create a lasting quality control program that eliminates defects, downtime, rework, and waste.
How the Rodon Group Is Setting the QC Standard
At the Rodon Group, we are committed to providing the highest quality parts at competitive prices. To further enhance quality, we recently added a QC lab to our facility, equipped with a new Coordinate Measuring Machine. Our quality lab allows us to inspect and measure components through first-piece and in-process inspections. We rely on various tools to test weights and dimensions, tension, and compression, as well as color inspection equipment and vision measurement systems. With our advanced inspection equipment and ISO 9001:2015-certified quality management system, Rodon can deliver products with the utmost quality. Learn more about our QC Lab, or contact us for more information about our quality control methods.