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How to Tell If Your Quality Control Plan Is Failing

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

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Reading Time: 3 minutes How to Tell If Your Quality Control Plan Is Failing

Unacceptable levels of scrap and rework might be two of the most obvious signs, but there are other warning signs that you should look for that indicate that your quality control plan needs work.

These include:

  1. Missed deadlines and budgets

  2. Higher than normal maintenance and/or support costs

  3. Defect-related repairs or rework

  4. Failed audits (or too many audit findings)

  5. Customer complaints

  6. Failure to meet customer demands (or compliance with specification requirements)

These are often symptoms of inefficient quality control and production Process. You’ll need to attack the root cause of the symptom if you expect to effectively change things. Don’t just mask the symptoms with temporary workarounds.

And don’t continue to ‘limp’ along with inadequate production control and quality management systems when, deep down inside, you know your business needs a better software system implemented as soon as possible. When the quality control plan is flawed (or lacks individual operator accountability), your operation ultimately pays the price.

Practice Proactive Quality Control

An integrated quality control/quality assurance system helps you better manage the many service-based heat-treating processes for many different types of parts and sets the stage for continuous improvement. If you wait to react until problems become obvious, it’s too late, and you may have already lost a key customer to your competition. Reducing quality control issues requires a proactive approach.

Centralized Data

Avoiding quality control issues within the various types of heat treatment processes requires a proactive approach. When data is centralized and easy to access and use, you can shift from reactive to proactive quality management. Depending on the amount of data collected, your hunt can be time-consuming and overwhelming—even impossible. A solution that makes data readily available and easy to analyze can produce immediate results. And easy-to-configure, flexible, targeted reports can pull in aggregated historical information not just from across a line, but from across your entire plant—even from multiple plants—without requiring expensive hardware purchases or ripping and replacing existing systems. With early warning signs, you can take steps to make changes before they grow into bigger problems.

It’s essential to look at quality control issues holistically. Examine the entire production process from start to finish, analyzing each step along the way. It can be extremely challenging when you’re doing things manually on spreadsheets or utilizing software that’s been adapted from another industry. That’s because using the wrong software, i.e., ERP/MRP systems where the primary focus is inventory management or other outdated systems typically requires expensive customizations (if they are even possible) to adequately handle the various heat-treating workflow requirements.

Ease of Training and Ensure Everyone is on the Same Page

A shortening of the learning curve for users is another benefit of a centralized system. If all processes, inventory, equipment maintenance, reports, etc., are on the same platform, then ALL users will only need one system instead of multiple systems to familiarize themselves with functionality/features to perform their job requirements. In the end, centralized systems help keep company-wide teams organized and on track.

Contact Bluestreak for a quote, and start on your path to solving quality control issues. About Bluestreak™:

Bluestreak™ is a powerful Manufacturing Execution System (MES) and a fully integrated Quality Management System (QMS), designed for the manufacturing environment and service-based manufacturing companies ( metal-treating/powder-coating, plating, heat-treating, forging, and metal-finishing), businesses that receive customers’ parts, perform a process (service) on them, and send those parts back to the customer). Companies need MES software tailored to specific functionality and workflow needs such as industry-specific specifications management, intuitive scheduling control for both staff and machinery maintenance, and the ability to manage work orders and track real-time data. If different work centers on the production floor aren’t “speaking” to each other via the MES, the data loses value and becomes disjointed or lost in disparate silos.

Bluestreak | Bright AM™ is an MES + QMS software solution specifically designed to manage and optimize the unique requirements of Additive Manufacturing’s production of parts and powder inventory usage.

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