What is quality control and what does it do?

Author: E2M Couth
March 6, 2024

In any kind of industry, quality control is a key process. This is because it ensures that each one of the products that leave your production plant have an excellent quality level for sale. E2M COUTH prepared this post to talk about what quality control is and what its purpose is at all factories.

What is quality control?

Quality control is a process present in all industries, designed to ensure that these products meet the established quality standards. This means implementing measures and procedures to monitor and evaluate quality at all stages of the production process. All with the objective of detecting and correcting possible defects or flaws in production.

Within quality control, we see processes such as inspection, testing, monitoring, and data analysis, so that all products can meet the client’s expectations and requirements.

Why is quality control so important in the industrial production process?

Quality control processes play a key role in production. There are several reasons for this:

  • Quality guarantee: Quality control helps to guarantee that all manufactured products that leave your plan meet the established standards. This contributes to customer satisfaction and the company’s reputation.
  • Cost reduction: early detection of flaws or defects gives you the opportunity to correct them before they become costly production errors or guarantee claims.
  • Improved efficiency: By identifying and eliminating waste, re-processing, and re-working, you can improve the efficiency of quality control. This also leads to increased productivity in the production process.
  • Regulatory compliance: With quality control, you can comply with different governmental regulations and industrial standards related to product safety and quality.

What are quality control’s main objectives?

Now that you know what quality control is, we are going to tell you the process’ objectives:

  • Customer satisfaction: Quality control is a process that seeks to make products meet client expectations and requirements, which contributes to their satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Efficiency: With quality control, we seek to optimise production processes, identifying and putting an end to waste, re-working, and non-productive activities that could affect operative efficiency.
  • Cost reduction: Quality control helps to reduce costs associated with producing defective products, reworking, guarantee claims, and loss of clients due to quality issues.

Which industries use quality control processes?

Many industries implement quality control systems. Here are some of them:

  • Automobile industry: When manufacturing automobiles, quality control is implemented with quality tests at all stages during the production process. From raw material inspection to final tests for assembled vehicles.
  • Food industry: In the food industry, quality control includes processes like raw material inspection, monitoring hygiene and food safety at production facilities, and quality tests to guarantee the freshness and safety of the foods.
  • Pharmaceutical industry: In industrial medication preparation, quality control consists of rigorous quality tests to guarantee the efficacy, safety, and purity of the pharmaceutical products. This is all to comply with regulations for this sort of product, too.
  • Electronics industry: In making electronic products, quality control requires operational and performance tests for the electronic components, as well as visual inspections to detect possible manufacturing defects.

What is the industrial quality control process like?

The quality control process can be divided into several stages, which would range from planning to implementation and monitoring. Each one of these stages is key to ensure that the products offered fulfil the established quality standards and meet client expectations:

Quality control planning

In this first stage, one establishes quality standards and objectives. This is also the time to establish the procedures and methodologies to be followed during the quality control process. In any industry, such as the automobile industry, one must establish which quality standards must be fulfilled, and also stipulate the inspection processes and tests that will be carried out during production.

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Control during production

During the production process, it is also necessary to conduct inspections and tests in order to verify that all products meet the established quality standards. This is when one monitors and logs all the processes to identify possible deviations and take corrective measures.

One example would be plants that work with food, where they conduct quality tests on each product batch, in order to verify their freshness, flavour, and quality. This includes the inspection systems we have at E2M COUTH, which are able to analyse and detect any flaws, as well as excess or insufficient fill levels, improper cap placement, the presence of foreign objects, and more.

Inspection and tests

This is the third phase we must consider in quality control: final inspection and tests. Here, before products reach the hands of consumers, we conduct a final inspection and exhaustive tests to ensure that they meet the established quality standards. In this regard, defects are identified for possible solution before sale.

Monitoring and ongoing improvement

Lastly, once said products have been delivered and reached the consumers’ hands, you can monitor them to compile data and assess client satisfaction. This means you can identify areas for improvement and implement corrective measures to avoid repeating said errors in the future.

Artificial vision systems for quality control available at E2M COUTH

As stipulated above, quality control is a key process at any factory or production plant. At E2M COUTH, we have different key solutions and systems for exhaustive quality control. They include:

Inspection systems

Let’s begin with one of the most important systems for quality control: inspection systems. This is in charge of verifying the quality of each one of the units in a batch.

One of the most noteworthy features of these systems is the operational speed they offer. They can go much faster than a manual inspection, which also avoids possible human error.

Our inspection systems can be used in different processes, such as quality control, labelling, and packing, in different kinds of industries: These systems prevent products with irregularities, residue, flaws, and errors from going out, removing them from the production line.

Orientation systems

Let’s continue with another key system for quality control: orientation systems. One a production line, where you need a container to fill it with product, they must be oriented perfectly to avoid errors, defective products, and lack of quality.

Orientation systems fulfil a key role, since they can turn each container 90, 180, or 270 degrees so that they are in the perfect position for filling or labelling, in addition to other tasks. Moreover, these systems can adapt to different kinds of containers, regardless of height or width.

Rejection Systems

Lastly, another artificial vision system we have available and that are key for quality control are rejection systems. These systems are responsible for removing products from the line with errors or defects that make them unsuitable for sale. Consider that it is estimated that 2% of a production are rejected units.

Some of the main flaws and errors that can occur on a production line are blows, flaws in labels, etc. The mission is to discard products that do not meet quality requirements. One of the rejection systems we have available is the Push system, which removes defective products by impact, removing them from the production line. This is ideal for products that are not delicate.

We also have gentle deviation rejection systems, which can create a line in parallel to the production line with products that cannot be sold, but that will be analysed later to determine whether they can be repaired.

The benefits of integrating artificial vision into quality control

Integrating artificial vision systems into quality control provides a series of benefits that positively affect operative efficiency, product quality, and competitiveness on the market. These are the main benefits:

Improved precision in defect detection

Artificial vision systems are designed to conduct inspections with exceptional precision. They used advanced algorithms to analyse images and detect errors, invisible to the human eye, with great precision. Vision systems can identify the smallest defects that would be unperceived in a manual inspection.

Increased efficiency in the inspection process

Artificial vision systems conduct inspections at a much faster speed than manual inspections. This reduces times and increases production speed without sacrificing product quality. Moreover, vision systems can operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, which provides ongoing, interruption-free inspection.

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Consistency in defect detection

The artificial vision systems we have at E2M COUTH guarantee quality in defect detection, regardless of environmental conditions or the worker’s state of mind. The same inspection criteria are applied in uniform fashion to each product, which reduces variability in quality and guarantees a consistent standard for the entire production.

Reduced labour costs

By automating the inspection process, artificial vision systems put an end to the need for labour devoted to repetitive tasks that are prone to errors. This reduces labour costs associated with manual inspection and frees up workers to conduct more specialised tasks of higher value.

Reduced quality costs

Early detection of defects with artificial vision systems allows one to quickly correct them before they become expensive problems later on in the production process or, even worse, after the product has reached the client.

Increased competitiveness

By improving the quality of the product, reducing production costs, and guaranteeing greater efficiency in the manufacturing process, integrating artificial vision systems into quality control makes companies more competitive on the market.

As you have seen throughout this article, quality control is another phase within production processes to ensure an excellent degree of quality for products when they reach the consumer. Would you like to learn more about our artificial vision systems for quality control? Please contact us. We would be delighted to help you.

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