One of the fundamental pillars of achieving continuous improvement is the quality inspection process. Depending upon where the product is in the manufacturing lifecycle, criteria-based inspection plans enable meeting specific regulatory requirements and workflows. Online visuality and real-time monitoring of incoming parts, raw materials, and sub-units are important for successful inspections. An effective quality management solution can streamline inspection-related processes within your organization such as receiving, in-process, shipment, and product returns, and thus deliver a unified view of inspection criteria and results to the company personnel.
What is quality inspection?
Quality inspection is an activity of checking, measuring, or testing one or more product or service characteristics and comparing the results with the specific requirements to confirm compliance. This task is executed by skilled personnel, not by production workers. An efficient inspection process standardizes quality, eliminates paper documents, and increases efficiencies on the floor.
Quality inspection vs. quality control
Quality inspection is concerned with the post-production check of products. It doesn’t have a direct influence on the production process. Quality inspector checks the products so that no poor-quality products leave the factory. As there is no feedback loop in quality inspection, information about failures and their causes is not moved to workers or managers. As a result, this system cannot improve itself.
Quality control is the process of verification or correction of the product quality where there is a direct link between quality inspectors and workers. Based on the test results, good products can be distinguished from the bad ones along with finding the cause of problems. The results are sent to managers as well as workers to improve the process. Quality control is a feedback loop system so when the information is passed to workers, they try to improve their work without changing the system or product.
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The Importance of Quality Inspection
It is essential for a company that the product quality is maintained when delivering it to the customers since product quality is the ultimate driver for the success of a company. Quality inspection determines and verifies the quality level of the products to ensure that the results of the manufacturing process are the same as expected. Quality inspection is done to reveal the product faults and inform the management team to make a decision to allow or deny product release. Quality inspection during the product manufacturing process ensures standardization and uniformity for controlling the product quality by comparing it with the standards and specifications. Quality inspection also controls quality, reduces manufacturing costs and rejection losses, and assigns causes for the production of a defective product.
The Key Types of Inspections
Quality inspection checks for quality and identifies ways to minimize manufacturing costs, reduce scrap losses and mitigate causes of defective work. There are mainly three types of inspections to check on the quality of products to assure consistent production processes and control systems for ensuring quality and efficacy.
- Pre-production inspection: Pre-production inspection is vital to decrease the quality risk where the inputs can be inspected prior to the production stage. An experienced inspector takes some random samples and examines those just to make sure that the raw materials meet the particular standards as well as checks whether the development team has clearly communicated with the manufacturing team for the requirements.
- In-process inspection: In-process inspection occurs when the first product that got out of the line is inspected for conformity. If any kind of issue is raised at this step, the factory can immediately take some corrective actions and avoid delays. This inspection happens as it takes an expert technician to reliably detect errors on unfinished products.
- Final inspection: Final inspection is also known as pre-shipment inspection where the total quantity of products can be counted, and samples of finished products can be drawn in a truly random manner. This is the most popular quality inspection which takes place once all the products are finished and ready for shipment and the outcomes of final inspections are more reliable.
The Importance of an Inspection Checklist
The inspection checklist includes all the details covering areas like verifying physical requirements, proper packaging and labelling, functional testing, and carton drop tests.
Inspection checklists can be very helpful in the workplace because it can keep people organized and engaged and employees also will feel more confident in machinery and safety procedures knowing that they are inspected regularly. Largely, checklists can prevent indefinite inspections. It provides step-by-step methods for analyzing workspaces, equipment, and tasks. Once the inspection is conducted using your checklist, the inspector will highlight the findings in an inspection report.
Inspections vs. Audits vs. Lab Tests: What’s the Difference?
Inspections are a review of a particular product or service while audits deal with a more thorough examination of the entire process such as the one for building the product or service. Usually, quality inspections identify potential areas of problems or impending accidents while audits address the root causes of these problems. These critical processes will help in streamlining and maximizing value for your organization.
Lab tests are another way to eliminate the risk of non-conforming outcomes. They can control the product quality by checking the raw materials that are going into your product as well as confirming whether they have hazardous chemicals that infringe regulations or create safety risks. It safeguards the reliability, accuracy, and convenience of lab results by ensuring the early detection of results or error measurement to rectify them.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does a Quality Control Inspector do?
Quality control inspectors record the results of their inspections and prepare test reports. When they identify defects, inspectors inform supervisors to let them analyze and rectify the production problems. The quality inspection process is absolutely automated in many companies by installing enhanced vision inspection systems at one or various points in the production process. Inspectors in these companies review output, track the equipment, and carry out random product checks.
What are the benefits of Quality Inspections?
You can check the product quality to minimize risk, ensure compliance and improve efficiency with regulatory requirements, build a stronger and more resilient business with the potential to grow and surpass your competition and deliver goods that really are as good as customers expect.
Cost Reduction: An effective quality inspection system minimizes the cost of production of the product due to decreased wastage of raw-materials, semi-finished and finished goods, large-scale production of standard quality products, and minimum rework cost of the substandard goods.
Improvement in the morale of employees: With a quality inspection program, the employees become attentive to quality by understanding the standards of the product well and try to improve them to produce quality goods to the best of their efforts.
Utmost Utilization of Resources: By establishing the quality inspection system, the system will also control the misuse of facilities, wastage of all types, and low standard production. Thus, the resource utilization of the organization is maximized.
Customer satisfaction: Customers always get quality products of standard specifications to their maximum satisfaction.
Decrease variations: The techniques of quality inspection help in the study of the magnitude of variations in product quality and serve as a suitable tool for finding a solution for many manufacturing problems.
What are the objectives of quality inspection?
- To collect information about product performance with established standards for the use of quality control, product, and purchasing.
- To correct poor quality of manufactured products and thus to maintain standards.
- To increase and establish a reputation by delivering only good quality products to customers.
- Identify the source of failure in the finished products.
What are the Common Reasons for Quality Inspections Fail?
- Quantity Check
- Inappropriate Labelling
- Poor Packaging
- Cosmetic Defects
- Poor Workmanship
- Failed Testing
- Tolerance differences