Quality control is the principal managerial function that is vital to an effective quality assurance system. Quality control is the continuing process of evaluating performance, comparing the performance with the laid-down standards and taking corrective action when necessary.
Components of Quality Control System
Any quality control system has three components:
a) A standard.
b) A means of measurement of accomplishment.
c) Comparison of actual results with the standard along with feedback to form the basis for corrective action.
Types of Quality Control
Quality control is of two types:
a) Online quality control: This consists of all control activities that are conducted during the production cycle of a product.
b) Off-line quality control: These consists of all control activities that are conducted outside the production process, viz., improving the product design, inspection of incoming materials and special process studies.
Objectives of Quality Control
The following are the main objectives of a quality control programme:
a) To easily assess the quality of raw material used for semi-finished goods and the final product produced at various stages of the production process.
B) To ensure that the production process operates up to the desired standard and if there is some deviation from the set norm, necessary remedial measures are taken.
C) To facilitate improvement in the standard of goods produced with very little or no increase in the cost of production.
D) To develop quality consciousness in various departments/sections of the manufacturing unit to help reduce the cost of inspection.
E) To minimise wastage, thereby improving the overall productivity of the firm.
F) To generate consumer satisfaction through improved quality and earn higher profits. These profits can be used to give various monetary and non-monetary benefits to the employees resulting in elevated motivational levels.
Methods of Quality Control
a) Quality audit
A quality audit is a systematic and independent examination and evaluation to determine whether quality activities and results comply with the planned arrangements and whether these provisions are implemented effectively and are suitable to achieve the objectives. The quality audit provides a tool to control the quality system itself.
Need for quality audit
Quality audit allows an organization to know exactly where it stands about any potential gaps _One of the most critical objectives of quality audit is measuring the effectiveness of an organization’s quality management system. By Inspecting its processes, an organization can identify areas, which needs improvement.
The following are the reasons that necessitate quality audit:
A) It provides benchmarks for determining whether or not a quality system is complete.
B) Periodic audits make everyone aware that the organization is serious about improving the product quality.
c) Audits highlight the innovative activities. The same can then be shared throughout the organization.
D) A quality audit can reveal areas that are inefficient or need improvement.
E) It constitutes a permanent record of the progress in achieving the goals of quality.
f) It facilitates and encourages supplier quality certification systems.
B) Inspection is an important tool for ascertaining and controlling the quality of a product. Its fundamental purpose is to safeguard quality by comparing materials, workmanship, and products with some set standards.
Definition of inspection
According to Alford and Beatty, “Inspection is the part of applying tests, preferably with the aid of measuring appliances, to observe whether a given item or product is within the specified limits of variability or not.” Sprigel and Lansburgh define inspection as “the process of measuring the qualities of a product or services regarding established standards.”
Objectives of inspection
Inspection aims at attaining the following purposes:
a) Quality product: It aims at maintaining the quality of the product by comparing materials, artistry and tools and equipment used with some set standards. The ultimate aim of this is to create a quality product.
b) Removing defects: It helps in locating the defective items. The reason for the mistakes can be determined, and necessary corrective measures can be taken for future production.
c) Reducing costs: By reducing and eliminating wastages, inspection minimizes the cost of production.
d) Consumer satisfaction: Inspection helps to eliminate rejection. The rejected items are sorted out, and quality products are passed on to the customers. This generates consumer satisfaction.