ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT QUALITY CONTROL METHODS

Quality control is an ongoing activity done by every company to ensure that consumer demands and manufacturing standards are continuously met. Unreliable or defective products reaching customers without such routine and strict evaluation can be detrimental to the company’s public image in the long run. Quality control methods are a set of rigorous methodologies or predefined testing processes or steps with the ultimate goal of improving product quality.

Every company strives to deliver products on time without compromising on all quality aspects. Especially in the manufacturing sector where having well-defined quality control techniques that follow industry standards and best practices in place ensures a level of uniformity in the products manufactured.

Through robust quality inspection methods, a company can enhance customer loyalty, get repeat business and new customers from referrals, reduce product recall and improve its market position.
Quality control tools and techniques can vary based on the industry that the products belong to. These should also be in line with the standardized specifications or guidelines set by both national and international governing bodies.

There are two widely used quality control methods:

Method 1 – Quality Inspection 

Quality inspection involves physical inspection and activities, such as measuring, examining, testing or gauging the various characteristics of a product for comparing the results with predefined specifications or requirements. Quality inspection methods apply to components used for production, semi-finished goods and finished goods right before the shipment is done.

By doing a quality inspection, products can be checked physically for defects and if they meet the required quality standards. Quality inspection can include a pre-inspection method, process inspection and a 100% inspection method. Let’s take a detailed look into each of these stages used in quality control techniques:

Pre-Inspection Method

The pre-inspection method involves checking the raw materials when received by the manufacturer and before it goes into the actual production process. This early stage of inspection is especially useful when you want to make sure that only quality materials are used to produce the goods.

The quality control method is used to examine a product prototype or to determine the availability of the right tools in order to work with the delivered raw materials. Catching defects in raw materials itself can save the manufacturer’s time, costs and effort and prevent product recalls arising due to such defects.

Process Inspection

In manufacturing, a process inspection can happen at any point during the production cycle. Process inspection is done to ensure that the various parameters within each section of the process comply with industry standards. Inspecting the product before it gets to the final stage can help in the timely detection of errors or defects saving time and resources. Process inspection can vary based on the industry but these are usually done in three types of intervals:

  • Time-based Intervals – Possibly every 2 hours or 2 days based on the machinery.
  • Quantity-based Intervals – After a certain production volume is reached, say when every 5 units are produced.
  • Freely-defined Intervals – Done at any time depending on the management’s discretion.

100% Inspection Method

A 100% inspection method or full product inspection is when every product of the whole consignment is inspected for quality-related issues. The products are checked for meeting the set standards and the non-acceptable product units are separated. Corrective measures are then taken to avoid repeated mistakes in the product

The size or volume of finished products chosen for the 100% inspection method depends on the required degree of precision. The higher the accuracy degree, the larger the inspection sample will be.

Method 2 – Statistical Control

The statistical quality control method uses various statistical methods or techniques to check the quality of products. These quality control methods are widely used across industries such as food, pharmaceutical and manufacturing units. Statistical quality control methods can be done as part of the production process or as a last-minute quality control check or even as part of the final quality check.

Quality control is the best method to determine variations in products that are caused due to reasons like raw material, consistency of product elements, processing machines, techniques used and packaging applications. The statistical technique helps to detect errors at an early stage so reworks can be minimized.

The two types of statistical quality control methods are acceptance sampling and process control.

Acceptance Sampling

As the name suggests, in acceptance sampling, a sample product is checked for compliance with a predefined quality measurement to ascertain if it falls within the acceptable quality variation limit. Such variations in the product can occur as a result of unexpected or assignable causes.

With this quality control method, the number of defective products reaching the market can be reduced significantly. Acceptance sampling can also be employed to test the performance or efficiency of a product after it has been installed and to compare it with accepted industry standards.

Process Control

Another quality control method that falls under the statistical technique is process control. All activities employed to check whether a particular process is reliable and predictable and results in a consistent performance with the least amount of variation are what process control is all about. This method of statistical analysis can help to improve or control a process so as to achieve desired results.

This quality control technique is used across several industries like power generation plants, chemical processing, food and beverage industry, paper manufacturing and oil refining. The three types of process control methods are:

  • Batch process control – where exact quantities of particular raw materials are mixed for a precise period in a particular manner to achieve a specific product.
  • Continuous process control – where variables remain the same throughout to produce the product at the best economy, maximum flow rate and given composition.
  • Hybrid process control – that can include elements of both continuous and batch process control.

By partnering with a third-party inspection company like Global Inspection Managing, you can be assured that only the best quality control tools and techniques are used for quality control and quality assurance of your products. We operate on the specific guidelines set out in the regulations and legislations governing your specific industry. Our services ensure that businesses across the world are able to maximize their potential and maintain quality standards throughout their operation.

WHAT IS QUALITY CONTROL | BENEFITS, TYPES, PROCEDURE & ISSUES

Before we get into the explanation of what quality control is, it is important to understand that a significant aspect of this is establishing well-defined controls. Quality control is the process implemented to ensure that a manufactured product meets a defined set of standards or criteria. Quality control is different from quality assurance.
While both are parts of the overall quality management program in a company, quality assurance focuses on the fulfillment of quality requirements whereas quality control focuses on fulfilling quality requirements. The actual overall inspection of all the set criteria so that client or customer requirements are met is what effective quality control is all about.
All businesses irrespective of their size should have a quality management system in place to stay relevant in a competitive market scenario. Companies use the quality control procedure as a means to evaluate, maintain, and improve product quality. To put it in simple terms, the two main goals of quality control are to ascertain the uniformity of products and to reduce the possibility of errors or inconsistencies with the product.

Purpose of Quality Control

  • Quality should be the cornerstone of every business to remain successful and deliver products that consistently meet the expectations of customers. Before getting into what is the purpose of quality control, it is integral to understand that customer satisfaction is always the major consideration for every company that is into manufacturing.
  • While the main purpose of a quality control inspector is to ensure the delivery of standardized products every single time, these are the other goals.
  • To reduce defects or quality issues arising unexpectedly as fixing faulty products will
    only lead to extra costs affecting the bottom line of the business
  • To always maintain a strict quality standard that is acceptable for the customers as
    the credibility of the business can be affected otherwise
  • To ensure uninterrupted production by catching flaws or problems in the raw
    materials and in the manufacturing processes. Catching errors in a timely manner can save the business huge costs
  • To suggest further improvements by studying the methods and processes of
    production
  • To aid in analyzing the root cause or origin of the inconsistencies or errors in the product
  • To devise steps that can be taken to rectify the quality control issues and arrive at the desired product quality

Types of Quality Control

Quality control is not a universal process and the types of quality control methods employed by companies are based on the industry to which the specific products belong.
Some products may call for scientific testing whereas others could use a qualitative approach.
The four basic types of quality control are process control, acceptance sampling, control charts, and process protocol.
Process Control – It involves monitoring and adjusting till the required output is achieved with the least variation. The role of process control is to ensure that all workings are correct and smooth. This helps to improve performance and increase business efficiency. This is a technical process that makes use of feedback loops, industrial-level controls, and chemical processes for inspection and quality control.
Acceptance Sampling – A statistical measure used to ascertain if the sample product meets the overall manufacturing standard. Testing the entire batch of products is not a feasible or cost-friendly option for the company and hence only a few products will be selected for acceptance sampling.
Control Chart – A type of quality control that includes graphs or charts that can be employed to study how business or manufacturing processes change over a period of time.
While preparing for product inspection, a good understanding of the changes can help avoid inconsistencies that can happen in products due to these changes. The overall stability of a product can be analyzed with the four process states in the control charts; the ideal state, threshold state, the blink of chaos
state and the chaos state which is when the process is out of exhibit control.
Process Protocol – Some master standards or rules that processes have to follow to reach quality goals. With this mapping methodology, certain evaluative indicators or quality control factors can be created for every step of the process. This can greatly help to improve the design and implementation processes and prevent process failures or quality control issues.

Benefits of Quality Control

If you are in the manufacturing business, ensuring that your products follow the same high standards should be the top concern. Robust quality control procedures make this possible.The benefits of quality control go beyond just attracting more customers or increasing sales of products.

Here are some major benefits that quality control can bring to the business:

Cost Reduction – Having an effective quality control system in place can reduce production costs that may arise from wastage of raw materials, partially finished and finished goods.
The rework costs incurred by substandard products can also be avoided.

Better Employee Morale – Employees are more quality conscious and understand product standards when there are stringent quality control procedures within the company.
Producing quality goods enhances the morale of employees.

Better Resource Utilization – The resources of the company can be utilized to the maximum without any wastage when there is a quality control process in place. With this, there will be better control over machines, equipment, men, materials, or other resources.

Better Sales – The top benefit of quality control is definitely to increase the sales of the products. No consumer wants to spend their money on substandard products. The cost of production can be low when quality is adhered to at every step and this can allow products to reach buyers at a low rate increasing demand and sales.

Happy Customers – Quality products that meet expectations automatically mean happy customers.

Reduced Variations – Product variations can occur due to changes in the nature of machines, materials, or operations. Quality control can bring about a certain level of uniformity in the products with the least possible variations.

Procedure for Performing Quality Control in Business

A company must first decide the specific standards that products manufactured or services rendered must meet before implementing a quality control procedure. The first step would be to determine the extent of quality control actions. There should be a set percentage of units that need to be checked from each batch of products.

Once the quality control is done, the data about the percentage of units that failed the test has to be reported to the management. Following this, corrective action can be decided and taken. If the percentage of failed units is high then steps should be devised to improve the production process and solve quality control issues.

The quality control process must be ongoing to ensure that desired results are achieved after the changes have been made. Unlike proactive quality assurance programs in companies, a quality control program is reactive where a dedicated team studies the final product output to identify the problems or defects and works to fix them.

Challenges of Quality Control

Taking a product to the market is a complex process so the possibility of errors is quite understandable. A good understanding of the various challenges of quality control can to a great extent help minimize quality control issues.

Here are a few challenges of quality control that can hinder the smooth running of the process:

When a product has multiple parts and materials then the quality control of all the different components can be challenging. All the parts should conform to the exacting standards for the product to function properly.

● The additional handling and assembly during product reworks could lead to the
possibility of additional defects happening. This is especially the case when the
product has to be handled by many different workers or staff.
● When the product’s complexity and other dependent factors are not properly
studied before determining the quality issues. A good understanding of the product
function and quality standards is crucial to quality control.
● When the number of players involved in the supply chain is more,managing quality
control can get more complicated. Some factories could also outsource the
manufacturing of certain parts to sub-suppliers. At times the inspection and quality control of sub-supplier factories may also be required.
● The efficient management of shipping deadlines is another challenge of quality
control. In the case of complicated products, a regular product inspection can help to catch quality issues thereby avoiding delivery delays.

Relevance of Quality Control for Small Businesses

Quality control benefits every company irrespective of its size or industry. Any company that wants to consistently deliver high-quality products and remain successful should have a quality control system in place.
The two-fold benefit of this is that you will always stay ahead of your competition and always have satisfied customers. With effective quality control, small businesses can especially have a winning streak in markets where quality is given more importance than the price of the product.

Brand loyalty and customer satisfaction can be greatly improved with a quality control procedure. A small business that delivers quality products performs better and it can also increase the customer base solely based on positive product reviews. Quality control can also help to positively improve the reputation of the company and its engagement on social media platforms. Continuous product callbacks due to quality control issues can adversely affect brand goodwill.

Even though the initial efforts are more, it is absolutely necessary for small business owners to implement quality control standards and processes. Having such a system ensures that there will be a final assurance of quality before the product reaches the customer. Defective products will only mean that you have to deal with a lot of wastage of company resources and additional expenses.
Overlooking quality control and ignoring small mistakes in your production chain can, over time, turn into much larger errors that may ultimately cost you dearly. For small businesses to implement effective quality control within their organization, it is important to standardize everything from start to finish. Create standardization by devising a thorough process and passing it on to the employees that are tasked with handling quality control.

Identifying Quality Control Issues

Solving quality control issues begins with correctly identifying the root cause or origin of the issue. Doing this can save a lot of money, time and effort when it comes to rectifying the error and reworking the product.

This can be easily done when quality control checkpoints are added at every stage of the production line. Repairing faulty products and pinpointing the correct stage when the issue occurs is so much easier with such a quality control strategy.
A key indicator of quality control issues with a product is when it underperforms in the market or when there is a regular callback of products or general neglect of operations.

Using third-party services when it comes to the inspection and quality control of products could greatly help identify problems before it gets to your customers. Pre-shipment inspections are another way to help identify quality control issues and assess overall product quality before your order ships. Such inspections can also happen right at the manufacturing stage as well to check on the quality of raw materials used. Big importers dealing with high-volume products often conduct ‘during production inspections’ (DUPRO) to check product dimensions, appearance, and functionality quite early in the manufacturing process.

Global Inspection Managing can help to maximize your company’s potential and maintain quality standards throughout your operation. We have relevant knowledge of industry standards and extensive experience working with industries like fresh produce, textiles and manufacturing, and we also provide lab testing services.

Ensuring quality control for cosmetics industry, and other industries are extremely crucial to stay relevant in today’s marketplaces Quality standards should be maintained right from raw material storage to production, lab testing and even in the pre-delivery stage to ensure that the final products meet the same standards of quality. An assurance of quality is the most important factor for the trust placed in your business by your customers.

QUALITY CONTROL VS QUALITY ASSURANCE – TOP 5 DIFFERENCES

What are Quality Control and Quality Assurance?

In the manufacturing sector, implementing even some elements of quality control and
quality assurance can enable companies to save on money, time, effort and resources to a
great extent. Now, what are quality control and quality assurance all about?
Both these processes can lead to faster turnaround times, production of high-quality
products and reinforcing positive relationships with their customers. Though there is a
difference between quality control and quality assurance, the ultimate goal of both
processes is customer satisfaction.
While both processes are parts of overall quality management in a company, quality
assurance focuses on ensuring that all quality prerequisites are fulfilled. The focus of quality
control is to fulfill all quality requirements. Quality assurance deals with the processes
involved in developing the product. The actual inspection part of quality management is
what quality control is all about.

What does QA & QC stand for?

QA stands for Quality Assurance whereas QC stands for Quality Control. Quality assurance
and quality control are two completely different but key aspects of quality management.
Some of the activities that fall under both processes could be interrelated but quality
control is a subset of quality assurance activities. Quality assurance process makes sure that
all the functions necessary to achieve the required quality are carried out. Quality control,
on the other hand, is practically ensuring that product quality is maintained.

Quality Control vs Quality Assurance

Though the goal of both quality control and quality assurance is to improve product quality,
there are some major differences between them. Here is our pick of the top 5 points to
discuss on quality control vs quality assurance:

1. Similarities Between Quality Assurance and Quality Control

Both Quality Assurance and Quality Control aim to improve processes and enhance the final product, Quality assurance is a proactive process that deals with defining a framework to
reduce errors or prevent defects. Quality control is a reactive process used to find
defects in product quality so corrective actions can be taken. QA happens in the
product development phase and QC after the product is produced.2. Process vs. Product as the main differences between QA and QC

Quality assurance is process-oriented while quality control is product-oriented. The
former focuses on steps to improve quality and the latter focuses on the finished
product.

3. Which is more important : QC or QA

Quality assurance predominantly deals with procedures defined under ISO standards
and/or regulatory requirements; quality control checks parts or the outputs of a
system used to turn around the final product. Both QC and QA play crucial roles in ensuring product quality, the importance of each depends on the specific goals and needs of the company, as they work hand-in-hand to deliver high-quality products.4. Understanding How QA and QC Work Together in Quality Management

Quality assurance handles the defined standards for every production step, right
from design to sales. Quality control handles all the measuring activities that
ascertain if the product is fit to be distributed.5. Will Quality Assurance replace Quality Control ?

Quality assurance falls under the responsibility of the whole team in the quality
department of a company whereas quality control has some dedicated personnel
inside the company that follows set procedures to do quality control product
inspection.

Quality Assurance Examples

It is a given that products and services belonging to every industry adhere to a certain level
of quality to meet customer expectations. There can be numerous quality assurance
examples, especially in the manufacturing sector. Any company that makes use of systems
to maintain standard operating procedures, predefined tasks and other key steps to ensure
quality is taking part in quality assurance activities.
Companies that check machine information for errors using specially designed software like
High-Frequency Data Collector are engaging in quality assurance. When machine functioning
is problematic, this can lead to production turnaround issues and huge wastage in the form
of scrap parts.
Companies using predictive maintenance methods to continuously monitor the machines
even before a problem arises is a quality assurance example. Doing this proactively can
prevent quality control issues or the production of low-quality products or product parts.

Quality Control Examples

A quality control example in manufacturing could entail every activity that focuses on
inspecting, checking or monitoring the finished product to identify defects, if any. Unlike
quality assurance, which is independent of manufacturing and operations, quality control
always resides within manufacturing and operations.
Quality control examples can be seen in every industry.
● An FMCG company tests a food or juice product from each batch to ensure
consistency in color, weight, texture or even taste so there is uniformity across the
products.
● A retail store doing a quality check on the products that are on display or one that
tests the efficacy of their customer service.
● A car manufacturer runs a series of tests on their automatic and manual versions.

● A pharma company does quality checks of the outer packaging or seals of medicines.

Conclusion

Both quality control and quality assurance are important aspects of quality management. A
good understanding of the difference between quality control and quality assurance is
necessary for delivering exceptional customer service. Products or services that do not meet
quality standards can affect the reputation of a company. A successful company is one
where quality control and quality assurance processes are well implemented. You can also
use third-party inspection services of companies like Global Inspection Managing to handle
quality control and quality assurance for your products.
As a global quality assurance firm, we work with clients in a broad range of industries –
everything from fresh produce to textiles and manufacturing and even the provision of lab
testing services, certifications, audit services and inspection services.

IMPORTANCE OF OUTSOURCING QUALITY CONTROL – TOP 5 REASONS

Product quality control is key to ensuring 100% functionality of your end product, which translates into a high user acceptance rate. Earlier, enterprises had a dedicated quality assurance testing team that was tasked to conduct rigorous product quality tests as per the enterprise’s specifications.

Cut to the present day, things have changed in the quality management arena. Companies have deepened their focus on the end-user perspective than their vision regarding a product. This change is witnessed in things like software development, the performance of a medical device, analytical services and others.

There are no two thoughts about the fact that the perspectives of end-users are extremely dynamic. Enterprises need to introduce multiple ad-hoc changes during the entire product development lifecycle to align with the dynamic user perspectives. This has created extreme pressure on the in-house quality control testing experts.

In-house quality management experts lack the bandwidth or expertise to look beyond the conventional total quality management framework and work out a flexible quality testing solution right off the bat.

This compelled enterprises to form a beeline for quality outsourcing to reap the actual benefits of quality control. According to a Forbes Technology Council Post, the software quality system outsourcing market which was valued at USD 40 billion in 2019 is set to grow at 6% through 2026.

On this note, here’s looking at the top 5 reasons why outsourcing product quality control can prove to be the turning point for your business.

1. Outsourcing Product Quality Control for Cost Optimization

As stated earlier, enterprises require the best minds and tech stack at work to align with the fast-changing quality assurance testing standards. For instance, post-pandemic, supplier quality compliance requires the introduction of highly sophisticated cloud-based digital tools.

Highly talented quality management professionals are short in supply and can be quite expensive to hire. Procuring new infrastructure is also a costly proposition, particularly for an individual entrepreneur with no guarantee of the best ROI. In the current high-risk and fast-paced marketplace, no enterprise of any size can afford to lose money or time.

Since quality control procedures are the core function of QC outsourcing service providers, companies ensure that they house the cream of quality testing analysts and infrastructure to stay at the top of the game. Partnering with such a service provider allows enterprises access to such talents and infrastructure at half the quality control cost of procuring them in-house.

Most QC outsourcing service providers are known to offer flexible pricing. This means that an enterprise can pay only for the quality management service they have used at a certain time. It enables huge product quality control cost savings for enterprises as opposed to paying a fixed monthly compensation and other monetary benefits to the in-house team despite a low work volume.

2. QC Outsourcing for Access to Talents on a Global Level

The Covid-19 pandemic-induced mobility restrictions and lockdowns created a severe resource crunch during critical quality assurance phases such as software testing, manufacturing process quality compliance and many more.

Enterprises heavily relying on their local in-house quality testing team do not have a backup in case of emergencies such as political unrest or a pandemic. Such situations deter teams from commuting to their workplace and provide remote support with limited infrastructure. This either halts the entire quality management process or compromises the entire quality compliance test standards.

Prominent outsourcing quality control firms have resources spread across the globe with local quality assurance managers inspecting a team. Such firms have the bandwidth to ensure resource availability from regions that escape the impacts of a pandemic or any socio-political unrest. This exempts enterprises from the pain of managing an in-house quality testing team in affected regions. QC outsourcing firms assign dedicated supervisors who are adept with the region’s vernacular and regulatory requirements and hence are best suited to manage the quality management team.

3. Product Quality Control Outsourcing Brings in Expert Knowledge

Quality control outsourcing firms are home to testing experts who have exceptional domain knowledge. They tap into this knowledge to think beyond the traditional quality management framework to bring product and process improvements beyond a short span of time.

They stay at the top of the testing standard dynamics and all the regulatory requirements pertaining to it. Such experts make a continuous effort to hone their testing skills with the newest technologies disrupting the market. This is particularly pertinent in the software testing genre, where enterprises face the constant pressure of launching products at lightning speed and are bugs free.

With hands-on experience with the newest product quality compliance tech, outsourced software testing experts require minimal to no handholding during the software development lifecycle. They liaise with developers and designers, understand the objective of the product and test the same from the user’s perspective.

4. Quality Outsourcing to Address Integrity Risks

Quality assurance integrity risks are rampant across many industries. Such risks include bribing quality assurance personnel with money, gifts, or other subtle forms of bribery such as personal transportation provided for an onsite inspection, taking out to lunch and other such instances. These integrity risks, if not addressed beforehand, resulting in the leaking of confidential information, biased quality inspection, or counterfeiting of products.

It is not always possible for an enterprise to keep a check on the auditory activities of its in-house quality testing team. Such a lack of control creates cracks through which integrity risks may slip in.

Partnering with experienced quality testing service providers will help address these integrity risks to a significant extent. They conduct frequent inspections of the auditing activities of individual quality testers. Third-party quality control firms enforce stringent compliance guidelines that forbid quality testers from accepting favours of any kind.

They leverage digital audit software that creates a trail of all quality assurance activities. This trail is critical to flag any incident that does not comply with an enterprise’s pre-set quality compliance standards. Third-party quality control firms are known to implement and religiously follow QA process maps. These maps help the third-party service providers bind all the quality testing experts to a set process, deviating from which issues warnings to the team supervisor.

Additionally, third-party quality control firms implement incentive programs, sudden quality control checklists and tracking inspection activities, to keep any integrity risks at bay.

5. Outsourcing Quality Control for Better Business Flexibility

One of the biggest benefits of QA process outsourcing is the flexibility that can be the real turning point in an enterprise’s business. A client does not need to be bound by a service contract. Such a binding service contract compels the client to pay service fees for a certain point irrespective of the volume of work. It also compels the client to work with the limited resources they have for quality management.

Contrary to the above, third-party quality control service providers cater to quality assurance as and when needed. The service providers station resources across various time zones. This allows them the liberty to respond to their client’s quality testing needs anytime and anywhere.

The client gets to pick and choose a team of experts without having to go through the hassles of hiring and training resources. This allows ample business flexibility for a client who can work with a team of the best of experts round the clock on a need basis.

Conclusion

Quality management has pivoted from being conducted from an enterprise’s vision to the end user perspective. This makes outsourcing even more pertinent as this helps to bring a fresh perspective to the QA process. An in-house tester is bound to think in a linear way. It is mostly because they work towards a set direction in liaison with the developers, designers and business analysts. Third-party experts bring in industry insights and a fresh objective. It manifests into an unbiased quality assurance which is a big turning point for an enterprise’s business in the competitive marketplace.

At Global Inspection Managing, we take a holistic approach to product quality testing to ensure that you launch a product with guaranteed functionality. Our QA processes are tailored to suit your product specifications. For instance, our experts conduct earth continuity tests to determine the safety of your electronic goods. Similarly, we conduct power consumption tests to evaluate your electronic product performance in the real world.

We curate a detailed quality management plan as per your needs. This plan includes inspecting the product design, determining the product’s compliance with the highest manufacturing standards and material inspection to help your product meet all the pertinent regulatory requirements.

WHAT IS QUALITY CONTROL IN THE BEVERAGE INDUSTRY?

In the world of beverages, every sip tells a story of quality, flavor, and safety. Behind that refreshing glass of soda, that perfectly brewed coffee, or that bottle of sparkling water lies a meticulous process known as Quality Control (QC). Quality Control is not just a buzzword; it’s the heartbeat of the beverage industry, ensuring that what you drink meets the highest standards of excellence.

What is Quality Control (QC)?

Quality control, often abbreviated as QC, is a systematic process that aims to ensure the consistency and quality of products or services. It involves monitoring and testing various aspects of production to identify and rectify any deviations from predetermined quality standards. The primary goal of QC is to minimize defects or variations in products, ultimately delivering a high-quality end product to customers.

Quality Control Tests for Beverages

This encompasses a wide array of assessments and evaluations to ensure that every sip meets the desired standards of beverage quality control and safety. Here are some essential tests frequently employed in the beverage industry:

  • Sensory Evaluation: Trained sensory panels assess taste, aroma, color, texture, and overall flavor profile to ensure consistency and meet consumer expectations.
  • Microbiological Testing: This involves checking for the presence of harmful microorganisms such as bacteria, yeast, and mold, which can affect product safety and shelf life.
  • Chemical Analysis: Chemical testing verifies the composition of beverages, ensuring that ingredients are accurately measured and that no contaminants or adulterants are present.
  • pH Level: Measuring the pH level helps maintain the desired acidity or alkalinity of the beverage, which is crucial for taste and product stability.
  • Alcohol Content: For alcoholic beverages, particularly for beer testing, verifying the alcohol content is essential to ensure compliance with legal regulations and consistent taste.
  • Brix Level: Brix testing measures the sugar content in beverages, important in soft drinks testing and for fruit juices, to determine sweetness and adherence to labeling claims.
  • Total Dissolved Solids (TDS): TDS analysis assesses the concentration of dissolved solids in a liquid, providing information on flavor, texture, and overall product quality.
  • Viscosity: Viscosity testing measures the thickness or flowability of a beverage, vital for maintaining the desired texture and mouthfeel.
  • Packaging Integrity: Ensuring that packaging materials are intact and properly sealed is critical to prevent contamination and extend shelf life.
  • Heavy Metal Analysis: Checking for the presence of heavy metals like lead, cadmium, and mercury is essential for safety compliance.
  • Pesticide Residue Testing: This test ensures that beverages made from fruits and vegetables are free from harmful pesticide residues.
  • Shelf-Life Testing: Beverages undergo accelerated aging tests to determine their shelf life under different conditions, ensuring product stability.
  • Allergen Testing: Verifying the absence of allergens such as nuts, gluten, or dairy is vital to prevent allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.
  • HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points): Implementing HACCP principles helps identify and manage potential hazards in the production process, ensuring product safety.
  • Compliance with Regulatory Standards: Testing ensures beverages meet local and international regulations regarding ingredients, labeling, and safety.
  • Visual Inspection: Examining the beverage’s appearance, including color, clarity, and particulate matter, is a fundamental aspect of quality control.

What Quality Control Means for the Beverage Industry

In the beverage industry, quality control assumes a versatile role that spans a broad spectrum of activities. These encompass the entire journey of a beverage, commencing with the sourcing of raw ingredients and culminating in the meticulous packaging of the final product. Here are some key aspects of quality control specific to the beverage industry:

Importance of Beverage Testing

Testing is an integral part of quality control in the beverage industry. It involves evaluating various parameters, including taste, aroma, color, texture, and safety. Beverage testing ensures that the final product meets the desired specifications and is safe for consumption.

One crucial aspect of beverage testing is sensory evaluation, where trained tasters assess the product’s sensory attributes. This helps in maintaining consistency in taste and aroma, which are paramount for customer satisfaction.

Lower Production Costs

Effective quality control can lead to lower production costs in the long run. By identifying and addressing issues early in the production process, companies can avoid costly recalls, waste, and rework. For instance, if a batch of ingredients is found to be subpar during quality control checks, it can be replaced before it is used in production, preventing the production of inferior products that would need to be discarded.

Furthermore, efficient QC processes help optimize production processes, reduce resource consumption, and minimize energy usage. This not only cuts costs but also benefits the environment through reduced waste and energy conservation.

Positive Customer Experience

In the beverage industry, maintaining a positive customer experience is paramount for success. Quality control plays a pivotal role in achieving this goal. When customers purchase a beverage, they expect a consistent taste and quality every time they buy it.

By implementing stringent QC measures, beverage companies can deliver on this expectation. Customers who have a positive and consistent experience with a brand are more likely to become loyal customers and recommend the product to others. This not only boosts sales but also enhances the brand’s reputation.

Streamlined Pricing

Effective quality control can also lead to more accurate pricing strategies. When a company consistently produces high-quality beverages, it can justify premium pricing. Customers are often willing to pay more for products they perceive as being of superior quality.

Conversely, if quality control uncovers issues that lead to variations in product quality, the company may need to adjust pricing to reflect the inconsistency. Pricing products accurately based on their quality can lead to better profit margins and improved competitiveness.

Maximize Revenue

Quality control contributes to maximizing revenue in various ways. Firstly, by consistently producing high-quality beverages, companies can attract and retain more customers. This leads to increased sales and revenue growth. Moreover, a strong reputation for quality can open doors to new markets and distribution channels.

Secondly, efficient quality control can help identify areas for improvement in production processes. By optimizing these processes, companies can increase production efficiency and output without compromising quality. This increased capacity can lead to higher sales and revenue.

New Production Techniques

The beverage industry is constantly evolving, with new production techniques and technologies emerging regularly. Quality control is essential for adopting and integrating these innovations effectively. When new techniques are introduced, they must undergo rigorous testing and evaluation to ensure they meet the desired quality standards.

Additionally, quality control helps in monitoring the impact of new production techniques on the overall quality and safety of beverages. This ensures that any changes made to production processes do not compromise the final product.

Conclusion

When it comes to beverage testing, Global Inspection Managing (GIM) emerges as the ideal partner, offering comprehensive solutions that ensure the highest standards of quality and safety. We specialize in product inspection and pre-shipment inspection services, providing meticulous assessments at every stage of the production process. Our expertise in quality control, coupled with state-of-the-art technology and a global network of skilled inspectors, makes us an invaluable ally for beverage companies striving to maintain excellent quality and compliance.

Efficient quality control not only benefits beverage companies but also enhances the overall consumer experience. Customers can trust that the beverages they purchase will consistently meet their expectations in terms of taste, quality, and safety. This trust translates into brand loyalty and increased revenue, making quality control a vital component of success in the beverage industry.

As the beverage industry continues to evolve and innovate, quality control will remain at the forefront of ensuring that consumers enjoy the finest beverages available in the market. By investing in robust quality control processes, beverage companies can position themselves for sustained growth and superiority in an ever-competitive industry.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT MANUFACTURING IN BANGLADESH

Things you should know about Manufacturing in Bangladesh

As the world becomes more interconnected, many countries with competitive advantages in the manufacturing industry are attracting foreign investors. Bangladesh is one of the countries experiencing significant growth in this sector. Its abundant resources, strategic location, and low labour costs have made it an increasingly popular destination for manufacturing in recent years. As a result, Bangladesh’s manufacturing industry is making a mark globally and international players have already started reaping the benefits of manufacturing out of here.

Advantages of Manufacturing in Bangladesh

Bangladesh has emerged as a significant player in the global manufacturing industry, attracting investments from international businesses looking for low-cost production options. Here are some of the reasons why the country is an ideal location for businesses looking to set up manufacturing operations.

  • Low labour costs: Bangladesh’s low labour costs makes it an attractive destination for manufacturing enterprises. Shifting operations here allows for cost savings, increased productivity, and competitive pricing, creating opportunities for business growth and profitability.
  • Strategic location: Bangladesh is strategically located between India and China, providing businesses easy access to two of the largest and fastest-growing economies globally.
  • Access to raw materials: Bangladesh’s abundant natural resources, including jute, tea, leather, and textiles, make it an attractive destination for businesses in these sectors.
  • Young and skilled workforce: Bangladesh has a large, young, and highly skilled workforce that is motivated and adaptable.

Challenges of Manufacturing in Bangladesh

  • Infrastructure: Bangladesh’s infrastructure is still developing, and frequent power outages can disrupt manufacturing operations. Additionally, the transportation network is underdeveloped, which can cause delays and increase costs.
  • Bureaucracy: The country’s bureaucratic system can be slow and complex, which can cause delays and frustration for foreign investors.
  • Corruption: Corruption is a significant issue in Bangladesh, and businesses must be cautious of this when investing in the country. The World Bank’s 2020 Ease of Doing Business report ranks Bangladesh 168 out of 190 countries in terms of corruption*.

Businesses can take specific steps to overcome them and succeed in the manufacturing industry in Bangladesh. Here are some ways businesses can navigate the challenges:

Partner with reliable manufacturers

Businesses should conduct thorough due diligence before entering into a partnership with a manufacturer. This includes checking the manufacturer’s credentials, inspecting their facilities, and reviewing their track record. Working with a trusted third-party inspection company such as Global Inspection Managing (GIM) can help businesses ensure that their manufacturing partners meet international quality standards.

Address infrastructure challenges

Businesses can invest in their infrastructure, such as building warehouses and power plants. Additionally, companies can work with their manufacturing partners to develop contingency plans in case of power outages or other disruptions.

Navigate the bureaucracy

Businesses can work with local partners who are familiar with the regulatory landscape and can help navigate the bureaucracy. Investing in technology and automation can help businesses streamline their operations and reduce the administrative burden.

Address environmental concerns

Bangladesh faces several environmental challenges, including air and water pollution and climate change. To overcome this challenge, businesses can implement sustainable manufacturing practices, such as reducing energy consumption and waste, using eco-friendly materials, and implementing renewable energy sources. Additionally, businesses can work with local communities and governments to develop sustainable solutions and reduce their environmental impact.

Main Industries in Bangladesh

Bangladesh has a diverse economy that is driven by several industries. The country is home to more than 160 million people, making it one of the most populous countries globally.

Textiles and Garments

The textile and garment industry is the largest in Bangladesh, accounting for over 80% of the country’s exports. The sector significantly contributes to the country’s economy, employing millions directly and indirectly. The sector is known for its low labour costs, which have attracted many foreign investors. This industry has grown in recent years, with several international brands operating in the country.

Agriculture

Agriculture is another significant industry in Bangladesh, employing nearly half of the country’s workforce. The fertile delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna rivers provides an ideal environment for rice cultivation. The country is also a major producer of jute, tea, sugarcane, and vegetables. Despite its importance, the agriculture sector is often affected by natural disasters such as floods and cyclones, which can cause significant damage to crops and infrastructure.

Pharmaceuticals

The pharmaceutical industry in Bangladesh has grown significantly in recent years, with several local companies expanding their operations and exporting products to international markets. The country has a large pool of highly skilled professionals in the sector, which has helped to boost the industry’s growth. Additionally, the government has implemented several policies to support the industry, including tax incentives and streamlined regulations.

Leather

The leather industry in Bangladesh is a significant contributor to the country’s economy, employing thousands of people across the value chain. The country is known for its high-quality leather products, including shoes, bags, and belts, which are exported to international markets. The industry faces several challenges, including environmental concerns and low worker wages. However, the government has addressed these issues, including implementing stricter environmental regulations and increasing wages.

Jute

Jute is an essential crop in Bangladesh, with the country being one of the largest producers of this fibre globally. The industry employs thousands of people across the value chain, from farmers to traders to manufacturers. Jute is used to make a wide range of products, including bags, carpets, and textiles. Despite its importance, the industry faces several challenges, including competition from synthetic fibres and environmental concerns.

Ensuring Product Quality and Compliance in Bangladesh

Ensuring product quality and compliance is crucial for any manufacturing business, especially in Bangladesh. Businesses must:

  • Choose the Right Manufacturing Partner: It is crucial to partner with a reliable and reputable manufacturer with a proven track record of delivering high-quality products.
  • Conduct Regular Quality Control Inspections: Regular quality control checks can identify any potential issues with products and ensure they meet international standards.
  • Choose a Reliable Inspection and Testing Company: A reliable inspection and testing company can help businesses conduct quality control and product inspections in Bangladesh.

Conducting quality Control in Bangladesh

Maintaining consistent quality standards is crucial to the success of any manufacturing operation, and this is particularly true in Bangladesh, where the manufacturing industry is still developing. Quality control in Bangladesh can be challenging due to several factors, including a lack of infrastructure and quality management systems. However, with the right approach, businesses can ensure that their products meet international quality standards. Here are some tips for ensuring quality control in Bangladesh:

Develop clear quality standards

The first step in ensuring quality control benefits is to develop clear quality standards for your products. This includes setting specifications for inspection, dimensions, and performance and establishing testing procedures and acceptance criteria. Clearly defined quality standards help ensure that all products meet the same level of quality and consistency.

Conduct routine inspections

Regular inspections are critical to ensuring that quality standards are being met. This includes raw material inspection, in-process production, and finished products. Checks can be conducted by internal quality control teams or by third-party inspection companies such as GIM. Inspections should be performed regularly to catch any issues early on and prevent defective products from reaching customers.

Train employees

Properly trained employees are essential to maintaining quality standards. This includes training employees on quality control procedures, product specifications, and testing protocols. Training should be ongoing and include regular refreshers to ensure employees are up-to-date on the latest quality control practices.

Invest in technology

Investing in technology can help improve quality control in Bangladesh by automating certain processes and reducing the risk of human error. This includes using sensors and monitoring equipment to track production processes and detect defects early on. Digital quality control systems can help streamline the quality control process and improve data analysis.

Develop a culture of quality

Creating a culture of quality is essential to maintaining consistent quality standards. This includes promoting a quality-focused mindset among employees and emphasising the importance of quality control in all aspects of the manufacturing process. By creating a culture of quality, businesses can ensure that all employees are committed to maintaining high standards of quality.

Why Choose GIM?

Global Inspection Managing (GIM) is a leading inspection and testing company that provides businesses with comprehensive quality control inspections in Bangladesh. Our team of experienced inspectors has extensive knowledge of the country’s regulatory environment and can help enterprises to navigate the challenges of manufacturing in Bangladesh. By partnering with us, businesses can mitigate risks and ensure their products meet international standards, giving them peace of mind.

Conclusion

Manufacturing in Bangladesh offers numerous opportunities and advantages for businesses expanding their operations. Despite facing certain challenges, investing in the country can be profitable with the right strategies.

WHAT IS QUALITY INSPECTION?

If you run, own or manage a business, you know how vital selling quality products is to business success. You want your customers to get products that meet or exceed their expectations and satisfy their needs. Here’s where quality inspection comes in.

What is quality inspection?

Simply put, quality inspection is a procedure or set of procedures that involve checking the various characteristics of a product and testing it to ensure it meets pre-specified standards. Usually, a product is examined and measured, and the results are compared with the specified requirements to establish whether conformity is achieved for every attribute.

During the process, an inspector keenly follows a pre-established checklist based on the specifications of a particular product. Quality inspection can be performed on semi-finished goods, the components used for production and finished goods before shipment to the consumer.

It’s advisable to outsource quality inspection to a third-party inspection company to save time, money and effort. Besides, by outsourcing, you get expert services from a company that specializes in product inspection.

Types of quality inspection

Generally, all quality inspection services can’t be adapted to the same situation, but the four common types of quality inspection include:

1. Pre-production inspection (PPI)

PPI helps to assess the quality and quantity of the raw materials and components and if they conform to pre-specified product specifications. It’s conducted before the production process starts and is beneficial to the businesses that work with various suppliers, want a new supplier, or have a large project with critical delivery dates.

It aims to eliminate mistrust between you and the supplier, ensuring no one cuts corners.

2. During production inspection (DUPRO)

DUPRO is vital in the manufacturing process as it gives you an idea of the product quality early in the production cycle. This way, you’re able to take corrective measures and re-work products before continuing with production.

Normally, DUPRO is conducted when a few finished products come out of the line.

3. Pre-shipment inspection (PSI)

Pre-shipment inspection checks the quality of products before they’re shipped to ensure production complies with the set product specifications. It’s usually carried out when 80% of the products are packed for shipping by selecting random samples for inspection.

4. Container loading inspections

Container loading inspections are rarely used, but they can be a worthwhile option in some instances. For example, if you have packaging that’s not conventional or is fragile, container loading inspections come in handy to ensure your loading plan is respected and followed.

An inspector supervises the entire loading and unloading process, ensuring your products are handled with professionalism and care to guarantee safe arrival.

Quality inspection for your business

Most businesses use one or two of the mentioned quality inspection types, but you may need all four if you’re managing a sensitive project. However, it’s essential to note that an inspector might choose different approaches depending on the specs of your product and your industry.

It’s vital to work with an experienced product inspection company like GIM for a smooth and seamless quality inspection process. Contact us today for all your inspection needs.

5 TYPES OF CONTROL CHARTS IN QUALITY CONTROL

Quality control charts also called the Shewhart chart are used as an important part of process improvement techniques in numerous industries. Variations within any process are an unavoidable aspect. But when timely corrective action is not taken then these variations can affect the business negatively. The importance of quality control charts is, in such scenarios, to study the changes happening over time in the process.

Control charts are graphs with a central line for the average, an upper line for the upper control limit, and a lower line for the lower control limit. Control charts in quality control are used as a tool for data collection, data comparison and analysis. For variable data, these charts are used in pairs whereas for attribute data they are used singly.

What is a control chart in quality control?

In quality control, control charts are always used in combination with other process improvement tools. Across industries such as healthcare, service, manufacturing or others, control charts can be used to monitor how variables change over time. Using quality control charts effectively is all about having a good understanding of the variations and enabling continuous improvement.

A control chart in quality control is especially useful to monitor the process that is under statistical control. Quality control charts are considered one of the seven basic quality tools for process improvement and are used in Lean Six Sigma projects and DMAIC (an acronym for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control) projects that are under the control phase.

The importance of quality control charts is to enable the visualization of variation, monitor for problems and take actions to improve processes, predict expected outcomes and also to analyze the variation patterns. For optimum quality control, it is crucial to identify the right control charts on the basis of the available data.

Importance of quality control charts

Quality control charts are one of many graphical tools used in quality control analysis to understand the process changes that occur over time. The importance of quality control charts is evident in their use as statistical quality control tools. Statistical control charts are used to determine variables, ascertain unit defect fractions, find out the faults per unit and also as a procedure for acceptance sampling. It is not feasible for the manufacturer to inspect the entire batch of products for quality control, and this makes sampling necessary.

Here are some benefits of control charts that aid in quality control:

  • Determine process variations that occur within and outside of your control limits.
  • Find problem indicators, and know beforehand if something may or may not go wrong in the process.
  • Determine patterns within plotted points that could be the possible causes of variations.
  • Guide in deciding the right solutions or corrective actions to be taken.
  • Forecasting future performance.
  • Find new ideas to improve quality on the basis of analysis from quality control charts.

Types of quality control charts 

There are different types of quality control charts and each of these was developed to suit particular characteristics of the quality attribute being analyzed. These differences among the charts are depending on whether the nature of the monitored data is variable or attribute.

P chart in quality control

P charts in quality control are used when the data to be monitored is counted and when the sample size can change over time. Each of these data points is a ratio of its own discrete sample set. P charts can show the fraction or percentage of nonconforming data values and if this proportion changes during the sampling period.

NP chart in quality control

NP chart in quality control is similar to the P chart. The difference is that the sample size will need to stay constant during the sampling period. These charts are the best when it comes to presenting the number of non-conforming or conforming items. In this chart, the number rather than the fraction of non-conformances is recorded.

C chart in quality control

C chart in quality control is used to monitor and control data that is in the form of specific numbers.This can include data such as the number of defects in a batch of raw material inspection or the number of defects in finished products. C charts are best suited when the number of defects per sample unit and the number of samples per sampling period remains constant. C charts show non-conforming or conforming items within a consistent unit size and in a specific period of time.

S chart in quality control

The S chart in quality control is also called the Standard Deviation chart. This control chart is used for monitoring data that is variable and when large numbers of samples need to be recorded. By using the standard deviation all data within a sample set are utilized to determine the variation and not just the minimum and maximum values.

X chart in quality control

The X chart in quality control is used to monitor the statistical mean or average of a variable in a set of samples. These charts can then be utilized to find the actual process mean, versus a nominal process mean. The X chart shows variable data and also if the mean output of the process undergoes any change over time.

Conclusion

Poor quality products can lead to customers sending products back, either directly to you or to the companies that you supply. This can be damaging to your reputation as well as to your cash flow. Entrusting a third-party inspection company like Global Inspection Managing can help you ensure high levels of quality standards throughout your operations.

Quality control charts can be used in a broad range of industries. We work with everything from fresh produce to textiles to manufacturing and also offer comprehensive lab testing services. We are up to date with the latest developments in both international and industry-specific regulations and quality guidelines. Global Inspection Managing can offer a complete manufacturing audit, lab testing or pre-delivery inspection without damaging the flow of your workforce.

With our rigorous auditing process, we analyze every aspect of your business to ensure that quality control is assured. Our auditors are highly experienced in all manner of fields and adept with employing control charts in quality control. With quality inspection services tailored to your business needs, we can have a detailed report drawn up no more than 18 hours after the completion of your audit.

WHAT IS AQL SAMPLING TABLE? A BEGINNER’S GUIDE

Quality control is an indispensable part of any manufacturing process to ensure that products meet the required standards before reaching the consumer. Manufacturers rely on various quality control methods, including the Acceptable Quality Limit (AQL) sampling, to achieve this goal. AQL sampling is a statistical method that enables manufacturers to determine whether a batch of products meets the required quality level. In this blog post, we will provide a comprehensive guide on the AQL sampling table, a vital tool in the quality control process.

Before we delve into AQL, let’s understand what is AQL. The Acceptable Quality Level (AQL) refers to the maximum allowable defect rate that is considered tolerable, as established in ISO 2859-1. The AQL provides the limit on the acceptable number of defective components in random sampling quality inspections. Typically, it is expressed as a ratio or percentage, representing the number of defects relative to the total quantity.

What is AQL Sampling Table?

An AQL sampling table is a chart that contains different sampling plans based on the AQL level, lot size, and sample size. It is a tool that helps you decide whether to accept or reject a batch of products based on the number of defects found during the inspection.

Any industry that produces goods or products that need to meet specific quality standards can benefit from the use of AQL sampling tables. By ensuring defects are caught early in manufacturing, companies can improve quality, reduce costs, and maintain a positive reputation with customers. The industries that use AQL tables include, but are not limited to:

  • Automotive: The automotive industry is one of the sectors that rely heavily on AQL sampling tables. This is because the industry greatly prioritises quality and safety standards, and any defects can lead to disastrous consequences.
  • Manufacturing: Manufacturing companies use AQL sampling tables to ensure their products meet quality standards. Manufacturers can identify defects and adjust their production processes to improve quality by inspecting random samples of finished goods.
  • Textiles and apparel: In the textile and apparel industry, AQL sampling tables are commonly used for garments inspection such as holes, stains, or loose threads. This is particularly important in the fashion industry, where high-quality garments are essential to help maintain the brand’s reputation and customer loyalty.
  • Electronics: Electronics manufacturers rely heavily on AQL sampling tables to ensure their products meet safety standards and work as intended. This is especially important in the aerospace and medical devices industries, where even small defects can have serious consequences.
  • Food and beverages: AQL sampling tables are used in the food and beverage quality control to ensure that products meet safety and quality standards. By inspecting random samples of food products, manufacturers can identify contaminants and ensure that the product is safe for consumption.
  • Pharmaceuticals: In the pharmaceutical industry, AQL sampling tables ensure that medications are safe and effective. By testing random samples of finished products, manufacturers can identify any defects or inconsistencies in the manufacturing process and take corrective action swiftly.

AQL Methods

There are three types of AQL methods: single, double, and multiple.

Single Sampling Plan: When a lot size is small and the inspection is less critical, a single sampling plan is used. This method involves taking a single sample and inspecting it for defects. The lot is considered acceptable if the number of defects found in the sample is equal to or less than the Acceptable Quality Limit (AQL). However, the lot is rejected if the number of defects found exceeds the AQL.

Double Sampling Plan: The double sampling plan is often utilised when dealing with larger lot sizes or more critical inspections. This method involves taking two samples, with the first sample being inspected. The lot is accepted if the number of defects found in the first sample is less than or equal to the specified AQL. However, a second sample is taken if the number of defects exceeds the AQL. Following the second inspection, the lot is accepted if the total number of defects across both samples is less than or equal to the AQL. If not, the lot is rejected.

Multiple Sampling Plan: In situations where the inspection of a large lot is critical, multiple sampling plans are the preferred method. With this approach, three samples are taken, and if the number of defects found in the samples is within the AQL limits, the lot is deemed acceptable. However, if the number of defects exceeds the AQL, additional samples are taken, and the process is repeated until a conclusive decision can be made. This method ensures that the inspection process is comprehensive and that any defects are accurately identified and remedied. By utilising multiple samples, manufacturers can make informed decisions about the quality of their products and take the necessary corrective actions to maintain the highest level of quality control.

How to Read AQL Table?

The AQL table is typically presented as a quality control chart specifying the acceptable and non-acceptable levels of defects for a given sample size and level. The table provides information on the number of samples to be taken, the maximum number of defects allowed, and the corresponding AQL level. Here are the steps to read an AQL table:

  • Identify the AQL level: Determine the maximum allowable percentage of acceptable defective products. Selecting an appropriate AQL level is crucial based on the product’s importance and the risks associated with defects.
  • Identify the lot size: The lot size refers to the number of products in the batch. Choosing a representative lot size for the entire production run is essential.
  • Identify the sample size: The sample size is the number of products selected for inspection. This should be chosen based on the lot size and AQL level.
  • Determine Accept or Reject Criteria: After identifying the AQL level, lot size, and sample size, determine the acceptable number of defects in the sample. The lot is accepted if the number of defects found in the sample is equal to or less than the acceptable number of defects. On the other hand, if the number of defects exceeds the acceptable number, the lot is rejected.

How to Determine Defects Using AQL Sampling Table?

To determine whether a batch of products meets the specified quality standard using the AQL sampling table, follow these steps:

  1. Determine the sample size and AQL level based on the batch size and necessary confidence level.
  2. Draw the specified number of samples from the batch based on the sample size determined in step 1.
  3. Inspect each unit in the sample and record the number of defects.
  4. Determine whether the number of defects in the sample is within the acceptable limit specified in the AQL table.
  5. The batch is accepted if the defects are within the allowable limit. The batch is rejected if the number of defects exceeds the permissible limit.

Conclusion

Now that you kwno what is AQL and it’s importance, it is imperative to hire the right quality control solution experts to ensure quality assurance for your products. At Global Inspection Managing, we understand the importance of quality control in the business. That’s why we offer comprehensive inspection and audit services to help enterprises ensure their products’ quality. Our experienced and professional auditors are accredited in line with international standards. We use state-of-the-art technology and equipment to provide accurate and reliable results. Our services include AQL sampling, factory audits, and product inspections. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help your business ensure the quality of your products.

AQL sampling table is an essential tool for ensuring the quality of products. By using this statistical sampling method, businesses can identify the acceptable and non-acceptable levels of defects in a batch of products and make informed decisions about whether to accept or reject the batch. Following the correct method and reading the table properly ensures accurate and reliable results.

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PRE-SHIPMENT INSPECTION

Pre-shipment inspection (PSI) is a quality inspection that is done when the products are 80% packed, 100% completed and ready to be shipped to the customers. This quality control procedure is usually done onsite at the manufacturer’s premises. It is a mandatory checking done to ensure that only quality products are shipped, thereby helping importers, traders, wholesalers and customers as well.

In this pre-shipment inspection process, trained inspectors select random samples of the products using universally accepted statistical sampling methods. During inspection, the quality, quantity and volumetric size of the finished goods are ascertained. Pre-shipment inspection agencies are certified as per the Agreement on Pre-Shipment Inspection, introduced by the World Trade Organization in 1994.

Why Is PSI Needed?

With the demand for consumer products rising, developed countries began looking to manufacturers or suppliers in developing countries. Pre-shipment inspection services became an integral part of quality control. In order to ensure that substandard products don’t reach the customers, rigorous quality checks have to be done during shipment inspections. 

The need for pre-shipment inspection is to always be in compliance with international regulations and government guidelines. This also helps to steer clear of legal issues arising from poor quality control measures. Defective products can lead to reputational damage as well as financial losses for the manufacturer.

Doing such timely inspections allows manufacturers to have information with regard to the quality of the products at an early stage. This is especially useful if reworks need to be ordered and overall product standards are to be maintained. Here are some other advantages of conducting such inspections:

  • To inspect packing, shipment marks and labelling
  • To determine the percentage of defects in the shipment order
  • To ensure proper product functioning
  • To save time, money and resources in the case of product recalls

What is the Main Purpose of PSI Inspections?

Pre-shipment inspections take place at the latter stage of manufacturing once the production run is at least 80% complete. The main purpose of a pre-shipment inspection is to reduce the risk of poor-quality products entering the market. It gives you the opportunity to catch any last-minute problems that occur, and take action to fix the issue before the product is shipped to your customers. Such inspections make the quality assessment of goods during production easier so modifications can be done in a timely manner. Once the inspection is done, the manufacturers or exporters get a pre-shipment inspection certificate that is mandatory for customs clearance in many countries.

Conducting a detailed pre-shipment inspection procedure is helpful to assess both the quality and the quantity aspect of the merchandise before it is shipped. It is also necessary to ensure that the safety guidelines are all adhered to during the quality checks. Inspections before shipping for export or import are a smart move on the part of the suppliers and manufacturers to ensure that quality standards are maintained and that even the smallest of product issues are never overlooked.

Steps in a Pre-shipment Inspection

Whether the pre-shipment inspection is handled by your in-house team of quality inspectors or if you decide to hire a third-party inspection company; here is what to expect during the whole process:

Step 1 – The inspector travels to the factory where the goods are made. The date and time for this are decided upon mutually so the products are kept ready for inspection.

Step 2 – Samples are pulled out from the product batches for conducting tests. Statistical sampling procedures like the AQL Sampling methods are followed to determine the number of pieces to be inspected in each batch. The inspection of the products is done on the basis of a pre-shipment inspection checklist.

Step 3 – Some products may require special tests like electronic items that require functional tests.

Step 4 – In this step, the packaging and the labeling are checked by the inspector. Perfectly manufactured products can also get damaged if the packaging is not sufficient or properly done. Wrong labeling can also lead to expensive delays, leading to escalations and issues with the authorities.

Step 5 – The selected product samples undergo a visual inspection for workmanship-related defects like screws missing, chipped paint or sharp edges. These defects are classified as minor, major or critical.

Step 6 – The inspector ensures that the product meets all physical requirements like height, weight, length and other criteria.

Step 7 – Verification of the barcode to ensure that it has the quality to withstand international shipping and handling difficulties.

Step 8 – This step includes testing the strength of the packaging with internationally accepted carton drop test protocols such as ISTA 1A.

Step 9 – Once the pre-shipment inspection is completed, a final inspection report is issued with the findings in detail. A shipment results in a pass, fail or hold status is given to the products or consignment.

Benefits of Pre-Shipment Inspection

Being able to determine the quality of the products in the production stage itself can be very helpful for exporters, suppliers or manufacturers. Pre-shipment inspection services are a cost-effective way to check for defects or quality issues before the shipping is initiated.

The manufacturers often determine the final date when the products can be ready for shipment by considering the time allocated for pre-shipment inspection. The pre-shipment inspection certificate received following the inspections is displayed as a part of the quality systems followed by the company.

Here are some more benefits of pre-shipment inspection:

  • To check if the quantity or the metrics of products is as specified
  • To minimize delivery delays and defective products
  • To ensure that product safety requirements are met
  • Offers peace of mind that comes from knowing product orders are completed successfully
  • Ensures that you are reducing the risk of your products being returned
  • Improves customer retention, delivering good quality products
  • Increases your company’s ROI in the longer run

Three Methods of Pre-shipment Inspection

The three methods of pre-shipment inspection are consignment-wise inspection, in-process quality control and self-certification. Let’s look at what is involved in each of these methods:

Consignment-wise inspection

In this method, a detailed inspection is conducted on the actual export consignment that has been packed for shipment. The inspection is done as per statistical sampling methods. Once the quality check is passed, a pre-shipment inspection certificate is issued with details like the validity period during which the export should be done.

Without this certificate, no consignment of the specified commodity is given the go-ahead for export. This inspection method is especially beneficial for small manufacturers who can’t afford their own personnel or facility for the inspection of products.

In-process quality control –

This method of pre-shipment inspection is used in the case of products like paints and allied products, linoleum, ceramics, printing ink, sanitary wares etc. If such continuous process industries can prove that they have the infrastructure to manufacture or process standard-quality products, they can be approved as export-worthy production units. Such companies can do their own inspection and submit a declaration on the basis of the inspection done and following which a certificate is issued.

Self-certification –

  • A self-certification system was recently introduced under the Quality Control and Pre-Shipment Inspection Scheme in India. As per this system, the manufacturing unit with the in-house provision for ensuring quality control through thorough inspections can certify their own product for export.

Types of Pre-shipment Inspection

The two different types of pre-shipment inspection are government-required pre-shipment inspection and the importer voluntary pre-shipment inspection. The first type is the inspection that is made mandatory for imported products by the government. In this pre-shipment inspection, a designated agency is tasked with inspecting the products before being shipped from the exporting country. The purpose of this type of pre-shipment inspection is to prevent the evasion of import duties, capital outflows and low-quality product imports.

The second type is when the pre-shipment inspection is not made mandatory but the importers themselves initiate quality checks before the shipment is done to protect the rights of buyers. This type of inspection majorly focuses on ensuring that the quality, quantity and specifications of the product are in line with the purchase agreement. But this inspection need not necessarily be as per ISO standards.

How Pre-shipment Services are Must for Your Business?

Ensuring that product quality meets accepted standards and customer expectations is a challenge faced by all manufacturers, importers and exporters. Pre-shipment inspection is the most effective way to minimize any issues arising from quality-related issues. Such shipment inspection also encourages production units to take preventative actions like purchasing only the best raw materials so this is reflected in the quality of the finished goods.

Pre-shipment inspection takes place before the product is completed and then packaged. It is the last stage of the process before recalls and corrections start to become very expensive, and it helps you stay away from import risks. A business that consistently produces quality products has a good reputation in the market. In the same way, continuously churning out defective products can lead to huge money-wise losses and wastage for the business. Hence pre-shipment inspections are a must and not something that should be overlooked by any means, however established the business may be.

Outsourcing Pre-shipment Inspections

Outsourcing pre-shipment inspection processes to a reputable and dependable pre-shipment inspection company in the quality control space can be a very beneficial option for your company. Here are some top reasons:

  • Better communication to help minimize the language gap between you and your supplier so there is no deviation from the required standards and specifications in manufacturing your products.
  • Professional inspection companies have integrity and follow strict policies so there is never any bias that could influence inspection outcomes or reports.
  • They can be flexible if your company requires an inspection report in a specific format or if the inspectors have to employ specific types of testing procedures.
  • The top advantage of hiring a third-party inspection company is its cost-effectiveness. This can also save you time, resources and extra effort.
  • They have the resources for ensuring quick turnaround times.
  • Strict compliance with ISO standards is a guarantee.
  • Cutting-edge and secure inspection practices that ensure your products or commodities are always safe.
  • Most third-party inspection companies offer 24-hour customer service by phone, email, and web chat as well as worldwide shipping options.

Conclusion

Global Inspection Managing is a global quality assurance firm, offering state-of-the-art pre-shipment inspection services to clients across continents in a broad range of industries from fresh produce, to textiles and manufacturing and even the provision of lab testing services. Our team of fully qualified inspectors based in Hong Kong boasts a wealth of experience, blending both real-world understanding and knowledge of relevant industry regulations.

Our expert shipment inspectors also work on customized pre-shipment inspection checklists. We can tailor our pre-shipment inspection services to suit the unique needs of your business, and check to ensure your products meet any specified industry standards. Our teams always stay abreast of the latest developments in both international and industry-specific regulations. We don’t just operate on general principles and standards of quality; we operate on the specific guidelines set out in the regulations and legislation governing your industry.

Our team travels throughout the world on a daily basis ensuring quality control standards are being met and that businesses are allowed to reach their true potential. Once the pre-shipment inspection is complete from our side, the final report is generated within the next 18 hours promising fast turnaround times.