- Posted by: HQTS
- Category: All
Quality control (QC) is a procedure or set of procedures intended to ensure a manufactured product adheres to a defined set of quality criteria or meets the relevant requirements of a client, including quality inspections.
QC also refers to the actual inspection of products. It is vital to provide quality products to consumers that comply with all market regulations. Customers pay for and expect quality and therefore, top-quality products need to be delivered without fail. There are many different quality control methods, and many of them are industry specific.
What is a quality inspection?
An inspection measures, examines, and tests one or more of the characteristics of products and compares the results with the specified requirements to establish whether conformity is achieved. Inspection also refers to checking products, whereas an audit applies to analyzing the manufacturing process. A quality inspector usually follows a pre-established checklist, which is based on the specifications of the product. The inspected products are then fit to be used for production, as semi-finished goods as well as finished goods ready for shipments to customers.
What do quality inspectors do?
Quality inspectors set and maintain the standards for product quality, while ensuring the correct procedures are in place to ensure compliance with those standards.
Duties for a quality inspector include:
- Establishing quality standards for all products and services provided by a company
- Creating rules for standards and communicating them to the relevant staff to ensure quality levels are maintained
- Writing documents to outline all standards clearly to create references for employees
- Working with all management-level employees to ensure they are maintaining any new standards and compliance with all relevant regulations
- Performing random quality inspection checks on products or services to assess quality levels
They also read and understand blueprints and specifications, monitor and observe operations to ensure they meet the relevant production standards, recommend adjustments to the process, inspect, test or measure materials used in the final products, accept or reject finished items, remove all products and materials that fail to meet the specifications, discuss the inspection results with the people in charge, and report all the inspection and test data.
What are the 4 types of quality inspection?
Each inspection is carried out at a different stage and each stage is vital to the overall process of quality control and supply chain management. The typical quality control inspection process includes four primary steps. Depending on the product, your experience with the supplier and other factors, one or all these steps may apply to your business needs.
Pre-Production Inspection (PPI)
The Pre-Production Inspection (PPI) is conducted before the production process begins and helps to assess the quantity and quality of the raw materials and components and whether they conform to the relevant product specifications. A PPI is beneficial when you work with a new supplier, especially if your project is a large contract that has critical delivery dates. This inspection can help to reduce or eliminate communication between you and your supplier on issues regarding production timelines, shipping dates, and quality expectations.
During Production Inspection (DPI)
During production inspection (DPI) also known as DUPRO, is a quality control inspection conducted while production is underway. This step is particularly useful for products that are in continuous production that have strict requirements and when quality issues have been found prior to manufacturing during an earlier PPI.
DPI inspections take place when only 10-15% of units are completed so that any deviations can be identified, have feedback given, and any defects can be re-checked to confirm they have been corrected. It enables you to confirm that quality, as well as compliance to specifications is being maintained throughout the production process. It also provides early detection of any issues requiring correction, thereby reducing delays and rework.
Pre-shipment inspection (PSI)
Pre-shipment inspections (PSI) are an important step in the quality control process and the method for checking the quality of goods before they are shipped. PSI ensures that production complies with the specifications of the buyer. This inspection process is conducted on finished products when at least 80% of the order has been packed for shipping. Random samples are selected and inspected for defects against the relevant standards and procedures.
Container loading/loading supervision (LS)
Container loading and unloading inspections ensure your products are loaded and unloaded correctly. Inspectors will supervise throughout the whole process and ensure your products are handled professionally to guarantee their safe arrival to their final destination.
This inspection will usually take place at your chosen factory while the cargo is being loaded into the shipping container and at the destination, once the products have arrived and are being unloaded. This process includes evaluating the condition of the shipping container, verifying all the product information, quantities, and packaging compliance.
In addition to the four types of quality inspections above, another procedure also exists. A piece-by-piece inspection involves checking each and every item to evaluate a range of variables including general appearance, workmanship, function, and safety. This inspection process can be carried out either before or after the packaging inspection. In the circumstance where the goods require particular attention to ensure compliance to specification or when the goods are high-value, a 100% inspection service should be performed.
Once the products have passed the inspection process, they will be sealed and certified with a sticker to ensure that every piece included in the shipment meets the specified quality requirements. This is particularly useful for goods that must be fully compliant and meet strict customer and market quality requirements. This inspection can be carried out any stage of the manufacturing process.
Using a third-party inspection company can be very beneficial when your products need inspecting and HQTS can provide a range of audits. With over 25 years of experience in quality assurance, HQTS is ready to help your online business build a robust quality assurance process. Our many service locations are prepared to be your one-stop-shop for your e-commerce inspection needs, Including, production monitoring, pre-shipment and sorting inspections and everything in between. Click here to read more about our quality control inspections. Contact us today to find out how we can help you navigate food quality control challenges.