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Main Dictionary Q

Quality Control

Quality control or QC is an action which is taken in order to confirm that the goods have fairly high quality to be sold. To make the quality even higher workers get proper education, special benchmarks which help to assess the goods’ quality are created and goods are checked to calculate statistical significance. 

Considering that quality controls are aimed at providing standards for both product quality and appropriate response to quality questions such controls must be clear and precise. It helps to distribute appropriate tasks among employees with appropriate qualifications who are able to successfully complete such tasks. 

Quality Control tests

In order to define the current quality of a product or whether it needs to be adjusted, it isn’t rare to test the goods. In the future, it’ll help to correspond to consumer expectations and satisfy their needs. 

Thus, quality tests follow every manufacturing stage starting with the stage where there are no products but raw materials. Workers examine raw materials taking its pieces right from the manufacturing line. In the same way, tests are held during every stage. It facilitates figuring out exactly on which stage something went wrong, fixing it and preventing future failures. 

However, there are no unified standards which can be applied to every product and industry. For example, both the food and drug industries run chemical tests since it’s crucial to them that their products don’t cause any harm to a consumer's health. For the food industry the visual part of its products is also important as it has an impact on consumers. Thus, relevant tests are run. 

The real example of a quality control strategy was presented by Motorola around 30 years ago. It’s called Six Sigma and minimizes the quantity of mistakes.

Approaches of Quality Control

Depending on its own conditions and desires each industry chooses a suitable approach to assess its quality control. The most illustrative way is a quality control chart as it pictures whether expected result and the actual result are the same or, in case they aren’t, it also captures it. There are two kinds of charts. The first is a univariate chart and the second is a multivariate chart. The first one depicts the only feature of the product, while the second focuses on depicting differences between various product features. 

X-Bar Chart. Using this approach lets workers check a random product in accordance with the presented features. Usually in X-Bar charts the y-axis represents the degree which helps to assess whether a product corresponds to the required quality or not. On the x-axis it’s common to put tested samples. By studying the results, analysts may draw a conclusion whether potential flaws are random or not.

Taguchi method. This method pays great attention to product development and product design in order to prevent flaws in a product. With regard to quality control the approach puts design over the production process, however, it procures to avoid product defects as well.

100% Inspection. This approach as it may be clear from its name inspects every part of a final product in order to eliminate every potential defect. Usually the method is used for luxury or high value goods or there are doubts regarding the quality of the whole shipment. 

However, it also involves certain drawbacks. The approach as it meticulously tests every item is rather expensive than other methods. Eventually, it may blow on a company budget.

Responsible for quality control

Providing high-quality goods couldn’t exist without people who ensure that all products are produced according to all standards. These professionals are called quality control inspectors. They protect not only organizations from ruining reputation, but also and more importantly, they protect consumers from poor quality or defective items. If during testing a flaw is identified these people inform supervisors and after they may put the product back and ask to fix it, they may reject the product or they may also fix it themselves, therefore sometimes it’s required for inspectors to have at least some education in the working field. 

Profits of Quality Control

The most obvious benefit is that involving quality control in any manufacturing allows it to provide consumers with high-quality goods. Moreover, by introducing quality control practice companies may encourage their employees to produce products with higher quality than they produced before. Well-defined quality control protocols decrease cost of inspections and help to use resources in the most profitable way.

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