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Manufacturing Quality Control Methods That Actually Work

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

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Bluestreak Reading Time: 3 minutes

Quality Control Methods

When customers order parts or products, they expect manufacturers to deliver on time and on budget with products that meet the specs—100% of the time. Anything less risks damaging the customer relationship.

When quality suffers, costs go up. There’s more scrap, more rework, and more waste.

The Impact of Poor Quality Control

When there is poor quality or your manufacturing quality control methods are not working efficiently, it can impact your operation in a variety of ways:

  • If a part of a product leaves the facility and gets to the customer, it might mean warranty work, recalls, or even lawsuits over defective parts.

  • It might cost you future sales.

  • There’s likely more rework.

  • There are missed deadlines or additional freight costs to meet deadlines.

Poor manufacturing quality control methods raise your operating costs and lower your profit margins. While it’s not cheap to deliver consistent high-quality parts and products, if your products aren’t conforming to the quality that your customers need, you’re going to lose those customers.

When you stack up the cost of customer acquisition and the lifetime value of a customer, it can quickly get expensive.

Not only does it cost you when you manufacture parts with defects, but you also have to pay to correct them. It’s a double loss.

What Happens When Quality Improves?

The right manufacturing quality control methods can lead to quality improvements. This creates a ripple effect of positive results, including:

  • Productivity improves: There are fewer defects, less waste, and less rework.

  • Capacity increases: More defect-free units can be produced with the same material, equipment, and labor.

  • The cost per unit decreases: More defect-free units are produced at the same cost.

  • Cost control improves: Prices can be reduced and/or margins can be increased.

Manual Methods Don’t Work

It can be easy to detect when a part of a product doesn’t meet the specs in testing. It’s harder to find out where in the production process things went wrong. When QC is handled manually, it may be exceedingly difficult. Whether you’re using pen and paper or spreadsheets, vital details can get lost or never make it to individual operators on the production floor. If you see any of these warning signs, it’s time to take another look at your manufacturing quality control methods:

  • Information silos

  • Lost paperwork

  • Change orders not communicated

  • CAPAs not fully implemented

All of these negatively impact the quality that your team produces. Even if the operators on your shop floor can overcome these problems, a significant amount of time is wasted as they track down lost or misfiled paperwork, verifying that they have the latest specs or change orders and that corrective actions have been implemented. When your team is forced to spend time on tasks that you could automate, it costs you money.

How MES + QMS Systems Help Manufacturers Control Quality

For quality control to be effective, you must have formal and efficient manufacturing quality control methods. Your QC systems need to ensure that:

  • Proper procedures are followed throughout the entire manufacturing process.

  • Equipment is calibrated and operating properly to avoid variances.

  • Employees are appropriately trained.

  • Materials are handled correctly to avoid damage.

  • Variances are detected and resolved.

Using the right MES + QMS system can provide an end-to-end solution for quality control.

Bluestreak’s™ Integrated Quality Management System (QMS) ties quality control and quality assurance directly to individual work centers and processing steps on the production floor, all in one inclusive database with no separate silos of disjointed data. Much of the production process is automated, so you can have a paperless audit trail and consistent information available for everyone who needs it in real-time.

There’s no more lost or misplaced paperwork. The specs will be consistent every time. Change orders will be communicated and signed off by operators before moving production to the next phase. If corrective actions are needed, everyone will know and be required to make the necessary changes. When you eliminate information silos, everyone benefits.

There are also efficiencies that come from ensuring that you have properly calibrated equipment to do the job and trained operators scheduled to do production runs. It is amazing how often these two essential items aren’t scheduled in advance, causing a delay.

Bluestreak™ MES+QMS tracks all job routing for every part. It can capture any kind of production data during tracking, as well as qualify personnel, equipment, and outside vendors in real-time. A fully extensible QMS system is included, along with certification generation, to make compliance and audits less complex.

More Effective Quality Control Methods That Work

If your quality is suffering or you need to improve your margins, defect rates, and customer satisfaction, you should implement more effective manufacturing quality control methods. Contact Bluestreak for a demo, and let us show you how we can improve quality.

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