Industry Trends

Back to the Basics: What You Need to Know About Quality Control

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The importance of quality control has continued to evolve over time. What was once primarily used as a way to ensure customer satisfaction has now also become a method of reducing costs and improving efficiency.

Quality control is a key factor in the manufacturing process. Manufacturers are often known in the industry for their quality assurance processes, and customers are easily attracted to companies promoting high-quality standards. 

To get a closer look at quality control standards,  we’re going back to the basics to identify what every manufacturer needs to know about the process. 

 

Advantages of Effective Quality Control

The goal of quality control in manufacturing is to identify and eliminate any defects or inconsistencies in products before they reach the customer. A strong quality control system set in place can provide many important benefits for manufacturers. These include: 

  • Reduced waste: minimizing defective products that would ultimately create waste
  • Compliance assurance: ensuring products meet every regulation 
  • Improved product safety: defective products can be unsafe for consumer use
  • Increased profits: with minimal defects, manufacturers will no longer have to spend money rebuilding and refunding products

Taking the time to implement an effective strategy for monitoring quality can help improve any business over time.

 

Create a Quality Control Plan

A quality control plan lists out an entire manufacturing process including every tool, specification, technique, control method and reaction plan. These plans are the best way to ensure each step in the manufacturing process is mapped out and structured in a way that creates a quality final product as efficiently as possible. 

An effective quality control plan should include: 

  • Collaboration with members of each department, from engineers and manufacturers to quality control specialists and sales representatives
  • Review part drawings to identify key specifications
  • Create a process flow diagram to map out the products journey from start to finish
  • List key processes and tools used to manufacture the part
  • Identify measuring equipment and techniques associated with specifications
  • List out the sampling size, control methods and reaction plans

Quality control plans are living documents that should evolve as processes, equipment and other factors are updated. This plan should serve as a baseline for your manufacturing process and be referred to frequently throughout the product journey.

 

Provide the Right Documentation

Manufacturers often create products that are used across a wide range of industries. In this case, each industry may require different quality assurance protocols to meet the standards of their field. Manufacturers should consider providing a variety of quality control documentation to meet the regulations of the industries they serve. 

Some of the most common quality control documentation includes: 

  • First Article Inspection
  • Gage Repeatability and Reproducibility (GR&R)
  • Certificate of Conformance (CoC)
  • Process Failure Mode Effects Analysis (PFMEA)
  • Production Part Approval Process (PPAP)

These quality documents ensure that customers are receiving products that meet their exact specifications, every time.

 

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