Good quality control should not only be the ability to focus on potential problems in the manufacture of parts but also mandate a tried-and-true process with which to produce quality products.
Software programs such as X-Bar chart and 100% Inspection can assist in improving your overall quality control and perfecting your processes. Old school approaches like the Taguchi method and the more popular Six Sigma, help fine-tune the manufacturing process to weed out every potential glitch. The Six Sigma process limits defects to a specified amount of 3.4 defects per million opportunities. An opportunity is defined as any moment in the process that has a chance for failure. The only way to reduce this number is to determine as many chances for failure as possible. For those of us in the aerospace industry, quality control also has the important job of qualifying parts per varying FAA specifications (i.e., DO-160 and the like).
Besides making sure all parts leaving a facility meet a standard, conscientious quality control can help detect bottlenecks in the manufacturing process. When parts are stuck in one process for extended periods of time, quality control can determine the cause of the slow down. Your quality control expert can then assist management in making decisions to improve the process, like hiring more people to take up the slack or proposing a new way to streamline a task. Bottlenecks are the buzzkill of productivity in manufacturing and detecting them can help manufacturing facilities keep in tip-top shape while churning out high-quality parts in a timely manner. Here at PWI, our quality control department recently expanded to include a Systems Engineer who conducts time studies on every step in our manufacturing process. Our Systems Engineer also advises on plant layout as well as product and process improvements.
Quality Control is sometimes the unsung hero of the manufacturing process. Having a quality control department humming along at top efficiency increases customer satisfaction and also improves your bottom line. It’s time to show a little love for quality control.