Quality control

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Quality inspector in a Volkseigener Betrieb sewing machine parts factory in Dresden, East Germany, 1977. Fotothek df n-04 0000019.jpg
Quality inspector in a Volkseigener Betrieb sewing machine parts factory in Dresden, East Germany, 1977.

Quality control (QC) is a process by which entities review the quality of all factors involved in production. ISO 9000 defines quality control as "A part of quality management focused on fulfilling quality requirements". [1]

The ISO 9000 family of quality management systems (QMS) standards is designed to help organizations ensure that they meet the needs of customers and other stakeholders while meeting statutory and regulatory requirements related to a product or service. ISO 9000 deals with the fundamentals of quality management systems, including the seven quality management principles upon which the family of standards is based. ISO 9001 deals with the requirements that organizations wishing to meet the standard must fulfill.

Contents

This approach places on a emphasis on three aspects (enshrined in standards such as ISO 9001): [2] [3]

  1. Elements such as controls, job management, defined and well managed processes, [4] [5] performance and integrity criteria, and identification of records
  2. Competence, such as knowledge, skills, experience, and qualifications
  3. Soft elements, such as personnel, integrity, confidence, organizational culture, motivation, team spirit, and quality relationships.

Inspection is a major component of quality control, where physical product is examined visually (or the end results of a service are analyzed). Product inspectors will be provided with lists and descriptions of unacceptable product defects such as cracks or surface blemishes for example. [3]

Inspection organized examination or formal evaluation exercise

An inspection is, most generally, an organized examination or formal evaluation exercise. In engineering activities inspection involves the measurements, tests, and gauges applied to certain characteristics in regard to an object or activity. The results are usually compared to specified requirements and standards for determining whether the item or activity is in line with these targets, often with a Standard Inspection Procedure in place to ensure consistent checking. Inspections are usually non-destructive.

A product defect is any characteristic of a product which hinders its usability for the purpose for which it was designed and manufactured.

A fracture is the separation of an object or material into two or more pieces under the action of stress. The fracture of a solid usually occurs due to the development of certain displacement discontinuity surfaces within the solid. If a displacement develops perpendicular to the surface of displacement, it is called a normal tensile crack or simply a crack; if a displacement develops tangentially to the surface of displacement, it is called a shear crack, slip band, or dislocation.

The quality of the outputs is at risk if any of these three aspects is deficient in any way.

History and introduction

Early stone tools such as anvils had no holes and were not designed as interchangeable parts. Mass production established processes for the creation of parts and system with identical dimensions and design, but these processes are not uniform and hence some customers were unsatisfied with the result. Quality control separates the act of testing products to uncover defects from the decision to allow or deny product release, which may be determined by fiscal constraints. [6] For contract work, particularly work awarded by government agencies, quality control issues are among the top reasons for not renewing a contract. [7]

Anvil metalworking tool

An anvil is a metalworking tool consisting of a large block of metal, with a flattened top surface, upon which another object is struck.

Interchangeable parts are parts (components) that are, for practical purposes, identical. They are made to specifications that ensure that they are so nearly identical that they will fit into any assembly of the same type. One such part can freely replace another, without any custom fitting, such as filing. This interchangeability allows easy assembly of new devices, and easier repair of existing devices, while minimizing both the time and skill required of the person doing the assembly or repair.

Mass production production of large amounts of standardized products

Mass production, also known as flow production or continuous production, is the production of large amounts of standardized products, including and especially on assembly lines. Together with job production and batch production, it is one of the three main production methods.

The simplest form of quality control was a sketch of the desired item. If the sketch did not match the item, it was rejected, in a simple Go/no go procedure. However, manufacturers soon found it was difficult and costly to make parts be exactly like their depiction; hence around 1840 tolerance limits were introduced, wherein a design would function if its parts were measured to be within the limits. Quality was thus precisely defined using devices such as plug gauges and ring gauges. However, this did not address the problem of defective items; recycling or disposing of the waste adds to the cost of production, as does trying to reduce the defect rate. Various methods have been proposed to prioritize quality control issues and determine whether to leave them unaddressed or use quality assurance techniques to improve and stabilize production. [6]

In general go/no go testing refers to a pass/fail test principle using two boundary conditions or a binary classification. The test is passed only when the Go condition is met and also the No go condition fails.

Waste Unwanted or unusable materials

Waste are unwanted or unusable materials. Waste is any substance which is discarded after primary use, or is worthless, defective and of no use. A by-product by contrast is a joint product of relatively minor economic value. A waste product may become a by-product, joint product or resource through an invention that raises a waste product's value above zero.

Notable approaches

There is a tendency for individual consultants and organizations to name their own unique approaches to quality control—a few of these have ended up in widespread use:

TerminologyApproximate year of first useDescription
Statistical quality control (SQC)1930sThe application of statistical methods (specifically control charts and acceptance sampling) to quality control [8] :556
Total quality control (TQC)1956Popularized by Armand V. Feigenbaum in a Harvard Business Review article [9] and book of the same name. [10] ; stresses involvement of departments in addition to production (e.g., accounting, design, finance, human resources, marketing, purchasing, sales)
Statistical process control (SPC)1960sThe use of control charts to monitor an individual industrial process and feed back performance to the operators responsible for that process; inspired by control systems
Company-wide quality control (CWQC)1968Japanese-style total quality control. [11]
Total quality management (TQM)1985Quality movement originating in the United States Department of Defense that uses (in part) the techniques of statistical quality control to drive continuous organizational improvement [12]
Six Sigma (6σ)1986Statistical quality control applied to business strategy [13] ; originated by Motorola
Lean Six Sigma (L6σ)2001Six Sigma applied with the principles of lean manufacturing and/or lean enterprise; originated by Wheat et al. [14]

In project management

In project management, quality control requires the project manager and/or the project team to inspect the accomplished work to ensure its alignment with the project scope. [15] In practice, projects typically have a dedicated quality control team which focuses on this area. [16]

Project management is the practice of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing the work of a team to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria at the specified time.The primary challenge of project management is to achieve all of the project goals within the given constraints. This information is usually described in project documentation, created at the beginning of the development process. The primary constraints are scope, time, quality and budget. The secondary—and more ambitious—challenge is to optimize the allocation of necessary inputs and apply them to meet pre-defined objectives.

See also

Related Research Articles

A quality management system (QMS) is a collection of business processes focused on consistently meeting customer requirements and enhancing their satisfaction. It is aligned with an organization's purpose and strategic direction (ISO9001:2015). It is expressed as the organizational goals and aspirations, policies, processes, documented information and resources needed to implement and maintain it. Early quality management systems emphasized predictable outcomes of an industrial product production line, using simple statistics and random sampling. By the 20th century, labor inputs were typically the most costly inputs in most industrialized societies, so focus shifted to team cooperation and dynamics, especially the early signaling of problems via a continual improvement cycle. In the 21st century, QMS has tended to converge with sustainability and transparency initiatives, as both investor and customer satisfaction and perceived quality is increasingly tied to these factors. Of QMS regimes, the ISO 9000 family of standards is probably the most widely implemented worldwide – the ISO 19011 audit regime applies to both, and deals with quality and sustainability and their integration.

Total quality management (TQM) consists of organization-wide efforts to "install and make permanent climate where employees continuously improve their ability to provide on demand products and services that customers will find of particular value." "Total" emphasizes that departments in addition to production are obligated to improve their operations; "management" emphasizes that executives are obligated to actively manage quality through funding, training, staffing, and goal setting. While there is no widely agreed-upon approach, TQM efforts typically draw heavily on the previously developed tools and techniques of quality control. TQM enjoyed widespread attention during the late 1980s and early 1990s before being overshadowed by ISO 9000, Lean manufacturing, and Six Sigma.

A management system is a set of policies, processes and procedures used by an organization to ensure that it can fulfill the tasks required to achieve its objectives. These objectives cover many aspects of the organization's operations. For instance, an environmental management system enables organizations to improve their environmental performance and an occupational health and safety management system (OHSMS) enables an organization to control its occupational health and safety risks, etc.

Six Sigma () is a set of techniques and tools for process improvement. It was introduced by engineer Bill Smith while working at Motorola in 1980. Jack Welch made it central to his business strategy at General Electric in 1995. A six sigma process is one in which 99.99966% of all opportunities to produce some feature of a part are statistically expected to be free of defects.

Quality assurance (QA) is a way of preventing mistakes and defects in manufactured products and avoiding problems when delivering products or services to customers; which ISO 9000 defines as "part of quality management focused on providing confidence that quality requirements will be fulfilled". This defect prevention in quality assurance differs subtly from defect detection and rejection in quality control and has been referred to as a shift left since it focuses on quality earlier in the process.

PDCA is an iterative four-step management method used in business for the control and continuous improvement of processes and products. It is also known as the Deming circle/cycle/wheel, the Shewhart cycle, the control circle/cycle, or plan–do–study–act (PDSA). Another version of this PDCA cycle is OPDCA. The added "O" stands for observation or as some versions say: "Observe the current condition." This emphasis on observation and current condition has currency with the literature on lean manufacturing and the Toyota Production System. The PDCA cycle, with Ishikawa’s changes, can be traced back to S. Mizuno of the Tokyo Institute of Technology in 1959.

In the context of software engineering, software quality refers to two related but distinct notions:

Quality management ensures that an organization, product or service is consistent. It has four main components: quality planning, quality assurance, quality control and quality improvement. Quality management is focused not only on product and service quality, but also on the means to achieve it. Quality management, therefore, uses quality assurance and control of processes as well as products to achieve more consistent quality. What a customer wants and is willing to pay for it determines quality. It is written or unwritten commitment to a known or unknown consumer in the market. Thus, quality can be defined as fitness for intended use or, in other words, how well the product performs its intended function.

Operations management An area of management concerned with designing and controlling the process of production and redesigning business operations

Operations management is an area of management concerned with designing and controlling the process of production and redesigning business operations in the production of goods or services. It involves the responsibility of ensuring that business operations are efficient in terms of using as few resources as needed and effective in terms of meeting customer requirements. Operations management is primarily concerned with planning, organizing and supervising in the contexts of production, manufacturing or the provision of services.

In process improvement efforts, defects per million opportunities or DPMO is a measure of process performance. It is defined as

AS9100 is a widely adopted and standardized quality management system for the aerospace industry. It was released in October, 1999, by the Society of Automotive Engineers and the European Association of Aerospace Industries.

Armand V. Feigenbaum American businessman

Armand Vallin Feigenbaum was an American quality control expert and businessman. He devised the concept of Total Quality Control which inspired Total Quality Management (TQM).

ISO/TS 16949 is an ISO technical specification aimed at the development of a quality management system that provides for continual improvement, emphasizing defect prevention and the reduction of variation and waste in the automotive industry supply chain. It is based on the ISO 9001 standard and the first edition was published in June 1999 as ISO/TS 16949:1999.

Zero Defects was a management-led program to eliminate defects in industrial production that enjoyed brief popularity in American industry from 1964 to the early 1970s. Quality expert Philip Crosby later incorporated it into his "Absolutes of Quality Management" and it enjoyed a renaissance in the American automobile industry—as a performance goal more than as a program—in the 1990s. Although applicable to any type of enterprise, it has been primarily adopted within supply chains wherever large volumes of components are being purchased.

Quality engineering is the discipline of engineering concerned with the principles and practice of product and service quality assurance and control. In the software development, it is the management, development, operation and maintenance of IT systems and enterprise architectures with a high quality standard.

In business, engineering, and manufacturing, quality has a pragmatic interpretation as the non-inferiority or superiority of something; it's also defined as being suitable for its intended purpose while satisfying customer expectations. Quality is a perceptual, conditional, and somewhat subjective attribute and may be understood differently by different people. Consumers may focus on the specification quality of a product/service, or how it compares to competitors in the marketplace. Producers might measure the conformance quality, or degree to which the product/service was produced correctly. Support personnel may measure quality in the degree that a product is reliable, maintainable, or sustainable.

In process improvement efforts, quality costs or cost of quality is a means to quantify the total cost of quality-related efforts and deficiencies. It was first described by Philip B Crosby in a 1956 Harvard Business Review article.

Dorian Shainin Quality guru

Dorian Shainin was an American quality consultant, aeronautics engineer, author, and college professor most notable for his contributions in the fields of industrial problem solving, product reliability, and quality engineering, particularly the creation and development of the "Red X" concept.

In quality management system, a quality policy is a document developed by management to express the directive of the top management with respect to quality. Quality policy management is a strategic item.

References

  1. ISO 9000:2005, Clause 3.2.10
  2. Praxiom Research Group Limited (16 August 2017). "ISO 9001 Translated Into Plain English". Praxiom Research Group Limited. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  3. 1 2 Aft, L.S. (1997). "Chapter 1: Introduction". Fundamentals of Industrial Quality Control. CRC Press. pp. 1–17.
  4. Dennis Adsit (9 November 2007). "What the Call Center Industry Can Learn from Manufacturing: Part I" (PDF). National Association of Call Centers. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  5. Dennis Adsit (23 November 2007). "What the Call Center Industry Can Learn from Manufacturing: Part II" (PDF). National Association of Call Centers. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  6. 1 2 Shewhart, Walter A. (Walter Andrew); Deming, W. Edwards (William Edwards) (1939). Statistical method from the viewpoint of quality control. Washington: The Graduate School, The Department of Agriculture. pp. 1–5.
  7. "Position Classification Standard for Quality Assurance Series, GS-1910" (PDF). US Office of Personnel Management. March 1983. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  8. Juran, Joseph M., ed. (1995), A History of Managing for Quality: The Evolution, Trends, and Future Directions of Managing for Quality, Milwaukee, Wisconsin: The American Society for Quality Control, ISBN   9780873893411, OCLC   32394752
  9. Feigenbaum, Armand V. (1956). "Total Quality Control". Harvard Business Review . Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. 34 (6): 93–101. ISSN   0017-8012. OCLC   1751795.
  10. Feigenbaum, Armand Vallin (1961), Total Quality Control, New York, McGraw-Hill, OCLC   250573852
  11. Ishikawa, Kaoru (1985), What Is Total Quality Control? The Japanese Way (1 ed.), Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, pp. 90–91, ISBN   978-0-13-952433-2, OCLC   11467749
  12. Evans, James R.; Lindsay, William M. (1999), The Management and Control of Quality (4 ed.), Cincinnati, Ohio: South-Western College Publications, p. 118, ISBN   9780538882422, OCLC   38475486, The term total quality management, or TQM, has been commonly used to denote the system of managing for total quality. (The term TQM was actually developed within the Department of Defense. It has since been renamed Total Quality Leadership, since leadership outranks management in military thought.)
  13. "What Is Six Sigma?" (PDF). http://www.motorolasolutions.com . Schaumburg, Illinois: Motorola University. 19 February 2010. p. 2. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 24 November 2013. When practiced as a management system, Six Sigma is a high performance system for executing business strategy.Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help); External link in |website= (help)
  14. Wheat, B.; Mills, C.; Carnell, M. (2001). Leaning into Six Sigma: The Path to integration of Lean Enterprise and Six Sigma. Publishing Partners. p. 100. ISBN   9780971249103.
  15. Phillips, Joseph (November 2008). "Quality Control in Project Management". The Project Management Hut. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  16. Rose, K.H. (2014). Project Quality Management: Why, What and How. J. Ross Publishing. p. 224. ISBN   9781604271027.

Further reading