Manufacturing processes are constantly changing to decrease cost and increase profits, all while turning out products at a faster rate. A good quality control program is the catalyst for manufacturing businesses to bring in and retain new customers. Failure to follow a good quality assurance checklist can cause catastrophic costs and delays for big companies, for example tire and vehicle manufacturing recalls.
There is a huge difference in ‘quality assurance’ and ‘quality control,’ and the difference can mean a lot for companies guaranteeing products. Quality assurance is an ‘administrative system’ that ensures quality control can be carried out effectively. Quality control is the checks workers carry out on a product during stages of its manufacture. While quality assurance relies on quality control first and foremost, without quality control, a company’s product is not suitable for public consumption in any form.
Different companies go about quality control in different ways. There’s the in-progress checklist that each employee must fill out for his or her work on the project. This sheet then gets passed on to the next person who makes sure all things are done before their own task appears on the sheet. It’s almost a production line of quality control, with each person checking the quality of the last person’s work.
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Other companies hire full teams of quality control professionals or keep a quality control team in-house to test random pieces of production at random times, checking for any malfunctions or weaknesses the product may have. This type of quality assurance does not keep faulty equipment away from the public and often, product malfunctions are not caught in time and a recall must be issued.
Implement quality control procedures to keep the customer happy and coming back, but also to prevent safety hazards and keep company costs down. In 2009, Toyota had to recall 12.4 million cars for sticky gas pedals and floor mats that could jam accelerators, all in all costing Toyota approximately $2 billion. Had quality control been properly integrated, Toyota could have saved a lot of time and money.
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While there are federal quality control procedures and requirements, big business still finds a way to scrimp on good quality control, as seen in the example of Toyota. When big warehouses get moving, with hundreds and thousands of workers on hand, it is easy for precise quality control to slip through the cracks.
Obviously our first priority at Easter-Owens is creating a product that our customers need, can rely on, and can’t find anywhere else. The processes that make our products reliable for our customers is our top-notch quality control procedure and open door policy. At Easter-Owens, we aren’t afraid to open our doors at any phase of a project for our customers or engineers to test, question and make sure we are doing things in the absolute best way that we can while delivering a stellar product.