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What is Production Monitoring in Quality Control?

Peace of mind is something vital for organizations. Having a clear understanding of the quality of their goods assists can help supply chains become more agile to potential issues with products and allows them to find pain points within production to optimize. Because of this, the introduction of production monitoring can be a valuable asset to achieve this. 

This article aims to discuss production monitoring and how it can ensure a product’s quality within the supply chain. 

What is production monitoring?

As supply chains grow and processes are eventually outsourced, the supply chain can become fragmented, becoming a challenge for organizations to monitor. Because of this, Production monitoring is used, 

PM can best be described as the process of closely watching each process in manufacturing. This usually involves third-party agencies tasked with continually inspecting each aspect of a supply chain (for example, a factory) to ensure that goods are up to a quality standard and that deadlines will be met. 

How do you track manufacturing through production monitoring?

Production monitoring begins at the start of production, usually taken into seven distinct sets

1/ Supplier selection

Before products begin their production process, choosing the correct supplier is vital in ensuring that the product will be of a certain quality that aligns with your organization’s needs. Because of this, the production monitoring process starts with a factory audit of selected suppliers chosen by the organization. This assesses the production technology, raw material used, and workers’ skillset to forecast if there can be any potential issues in the future.

2/ Product development

Once a factory audit has been in place and is acceptable, a sample evaluation is then carried out in the production monitoring process. Allowing for a final confirmation that the manufacturer aligns to the quality needed of the product and will be made to the schedule laid out by the organization.

3/ Production planning (During Production Monitoring (DPM)

If the sample is of adequate quality, the products will begin their production. This stage is called During Production Monitoring (DPM), in which several inspections are made to ensure the quality of the goods.

Storage status inspections:

Ensures storage facilities on-site are in line with the needs of the products to provide either finished products or raw materials are stored safely and securely. 

Raw material status inspections:

Inspections are made of the raw materials, ensuring they are correct for the product’s requirement and there are no issues that will impact the quality of the goods. 

Incoming quality control inspections (ICQ): 

ICQ inspections consist of laboratory inspections of raw materials to ensure goods are of the agreed quality. This testing looks at the chemical components of the material for a robust understanding of its makeup. 

4/ Initial production

Within the initial production stage of the DPM, inspections are carried out to ensure processes are being followed correctly and workforces. These inspections include:

Production line inspections: 

A robust inspection of the production lines ensures best practice is being used and health and safety are correctly implemented. 

Worker inspection: 

During a worker inspection, staff members are monitored to ensure they have had adequate training and understand how to construct the goods correctly. Any lack of understanding can be brought to light, and training can be provided to ensure correct practices are being used. 

These inspections clarify manufacturers’ best practices, giving a clearer understanding of pain points that may cause issues later in the supply chain. These issues can then be amended at a rapid pace. 

5/ During production 

During the apex of production, many goods are at the final stages of being completed. Because of this, it is critical to inspect these goods to ensure that the foundations of the product have been correctly implemented.

Semi-finished product inspection:

This inspection randomly inspects goods that have not yet finished production, ensuring there are no issues within the production line that may have been missed.

6/ End of production 

During the final stages of production, finished products may be inspected to ensure they are made to the correct specifications and packaged correctly to the country to which they will be shipped. Ensuring they comply with both ISO2859 and the country’s specific packaging requirements.

7/ Shipping

Once goods are created, and the quality is good enough to begin shipping, inspectors will start to supervise the loading of the products per the delivery schedule.

Within this final stage of the production monitoring process, inspectors will check the containers’ quality to ensure safety, and no issues can be found. As well as this, inspections are carried out of the goods to ensure no damage to the packaging and paperwork is correct.

What’s the difference between inspection and monitoring?

There is a key differentiator between production monitoring and inspections. Production monitoring is continually done throughout the entire production process. Because of this, organizations can get a robust understanding of their supply chain and continuously optimize their operations to ensure goods are consistent and of good quality.

Inspections, however, are usually a one-time affair. This only allows for a brief insight into the quality of the manufacturing processes. If the quality was to fluctuate, then this could potentially be missed if not monitored closely. 

Production monitoring can be a valuable asset to any organization’s supply chain, allowing for the continued inspection of goods to ensure quality is upheld in every production stage. This gives clients peace of mind and minimizes the chance of product defects that can slow down production and delivery time and be highly costly. Therefore every organization must consider implementing the assistance of a third-party production monitoring agency to assist in this.

About HQTS

HQTS has over 25 years of experience in industry-leading quality control for various industries, including Production Monitoring. We provide rigorous testing and ensuring organizations run safely, efficiently and are up-to-date with the latest regulations. To learn more about this, contact us today.

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