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While some quality control best practices are universal, quality control processes vary from industry to industry. For example, food and aerospace production plants are likely to have very different quality control protocols.
For the best quality control, manufacturing plants of all types should have a quality control plan, automation, sample inspections, computerized tracking, and checks, balances, and review procedures.
Best Practice #1: Your Quality Control Plan
Your quality control plan will contain many levels, from the view of the entire company down to each product and process you need to test. The high-level plan should give guidelines on how each level is drilled down into and the processes that will be included. The organization-wide quality control plan outline will likely ask the following questions:
- What are the company goals for quality control?
- What are the company’s quality standards?
- What is required for the company to reach its desired quality standard?
- What general procedures, tools, and vendors will be used to confirm that the above criteria have been met?
Outlining the general criteria for your quality control plan assembly will give you a place to refer to when special considerations or changes arise.
Best Practice #2: Automation
Automation is the number one way to ensure adherence to rigorous procedural protocols within clearly defined systems. It can ensure that the steps in your manufacturing processes are consistently followed to produce the highest quality products possible.
Automated document management goes hand in hand with automated manufacturing. It turns the complete process of receiving an order, producing the goods, and shipping them to the customer into a fully automated and connected event. So full automation makes for faster production and better efficiency, which often lead to cost savings.
These benefits are derived from:
- Fewer Errors: With automation, human error is reduced.
- Increased Accuracy: Zero-touch processes are better at repeating tasks that require precision, like filling molds or retrieving documents from large databases.
Removing humans from the equation helps manufacturers reduce costs and lower the risk of accidents. The same goes for documentation; automating your document management processes will also increase efficiency.
Best Practice #3: Computerized Tracking
Using an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system in conjunction with automated document management can allow you to digitally track supplies, assembly, production, shipping, customer interactions, and more.
Rather than entering data into a spreadsheet, your system tabulates and tracks the location, processes, and procedures used throughout the manufacturing site. The information collected can help you:
- Assess your supplier’s performance
- Observe patterns in different processes
- Make improvements to scheduling and production
- Easily monitor quality issues
- Improve customer interactions
Best Practice #4: Checks, Balances, and Review Procedures
Here you are confirming that your quality control criteria have been met. Gather your data and assess it for problems in workflows. When you find an issue, address it. You will also want to be sure that your quality control process is consistent by bringing in a consultant to assess your quality control processes and procedures.
Get on Top of Quality Control with Seal Systems
Document process automation can also help in this area. Your system can call up documents and data necessary for a viable review of processes; it can also alert you when it observes a quality control problem. SEAL Systems offers document control systems for manufacturers that help streamline your quality control workflows and make retrieving and viewing data much simpler than using a spreadsheet.
Simplify your quality control procedure and speak with a document management expert at SEAL Systems today.