Each industry develops its own manufacturing quality control best practices. Often, these are guided by specific industry standards or requirements.
However, there are certain best practices for quality control that can be applied to nearly every industry including process manufacturing, industrial manufacturing, and more. The following five offer a rubric by which many manufacturers eager to implement quality control standards can measure their efforts.
Five Manufacturing Quality Control Best Practices
- Write a quality control plan.
A quality control plan outlines both the goals and the steps your company plans to take to reach its quality goals. Many plans follow a similar outline:
- Goals for quality control
- The company’s quality standards
- The requirements needed to reach the standards
- The procedures that will be used to confirm that the required criteria have been met
There is an old saying that failing to plan is “planning to fail.” Have a written quality control plan is an excellent first step to implement manufacturing quality control guidelines.
- Automate processes.
Fully automating your facility, as well as automating steps in the manufacturing process, produces higher quality products. The benefit is that these products can be produced more quickly, efficiently, and economically than without an automated process.
Other benefits of implementing automated processes include:
- Reduction in mistakes: automation reduces the opportunity for human error to enter the process
- Improved accuracy: automated systems can repeat precise measurements, for example, better than people can, thus improving accuracy and ensuring consistent results
- Sample inspections
In addition to inspecting finished goods, inspecting a sample from each production batch also improves quality control. Determine the tests you may need to perform to ensure manufacturing quality: pH samples, measurements, visual inspections. Then, draw a sample from each batch to test it.
Don’t forget to test raw materials and components in the pre- and post-production phases, too. Manufacturing quality is highly dependent upon the quality of the inputs. Defective raw materials can lead to poor quality products.
- Use computerization to trace products
One of the big benefits of computerization to manufacturing quality control is the ability to trace products back to the manufacturer as well as trace raw materials back to the supplier. The right systems and reports enable your team to:
- Track suppliers’ performance
- Predict patterns
- Improve production run scheduling
- Monitor quality issues
- Improve customer service
- Checks, balances, and review procedures
Lastly, manufacturing quality control relies upon a system of checks, balances, and review procedures that ensures any problems found can be reported and corrected quickly. Just finding problems and defects isn’t enough. They must be fixed and prevented.
Improving Quality Control Leads to Higher Customer Satisfaction
There are many benefits of implementing a manufacturing quality control process. One of the major benefits is improved customer satisfaction. The fewer problematic products that are delivered to customers, the better. A good quality control process ensures that only the higher quality goods are delivered to the end customers, making your company the top choice with which to conduct business.