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quality control

Even the tightest of ships will experience fabrication defects and errors in the manufacturing industry. The key to preventing those defective parts and products from making their way into the unknowing hands of valuable customers is a quality control strategy based on prevention instead of damage control. Here’s what it means to have a preventative quality control process as a machined parts manufacturer:

Preventative Quality Control vs. Reactive Quality Control

The occasional defect in manufacturing is inevitable, and treating it as such reduces the chance that problematic parts will slip past your quality control department. Reactive quality control is usually implemented through an isolated quality control department that inspects machined parts after they have gone through the total manufacturing process. The problem with a reactive strategy is that it’s disconnected from the manufacturing process itself, allowing for more subtle fabrication and assembly errors to slip through as a part makes its way through each step of the manufacturing process. Subtle defects impacting long-term durability can be the most difficult to catch, even with product testing measures in place, because those problems won’t start to surface until the customer has already used the part over an extended period of time. A reactive quality control strategy can only attempt to rectify such an issue after a customer has been made aware of the problem.

Preventative quality control measures are designed to detect product defects at each stage in the manufacturing process, therefore reducing the likelihood that a defective part will slip past an end-stage inspection. This type of strategy requires quality control responsibilities to extend far beyond a single department, with each employee trained in preventative measures and defect detection. As an added benefit, preventative quality control supports a lean manufacturing model because fewer defects detected in the final stage result in less material waste and a streamlined quality control department. When every machine operator acts as part of the inspection team, a business can cut down on mid-level quality control department staff and pass those savings off to their customers.

Preventative Quality Control Methods

What do preventative quality control tactics look like in machined parts manufacturing? At Allis Roller, we implement a number of steps and techniques at every stage in the manufacturing process, while employing top-level quality control engineers, managers, and inspectors to train machine operators and oversee the total manufacturing process. Here are some of the steps and technologies that keep machined parts consistent:

  • Utilize SPC techniques to eliminate process variation and provide valuable information so that tool changes and other adjustments can be made based on preventive measures
  • Utilize quality Control Lab outfitted with a Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) and FARO Arm, allowing for accurate measurement of rollers and other complex parts up to 12 feet long
  • Employ problem solving techniques such as 3Leg5Why and 8D to find the source of potential problems and apply that information to prevent future concerns
  • Implement APQP, PPAP, ISIR, Capability Studies, and Control Plans that comply with customers’ quality programs

Beyond these steps, Allis Roller espouses a company-wide quality control  commitment based on proven manufacturing processes, versus an environment that relies on inspection by the QC Department. Our preventative quality control strategy involves training operators to use quality control gauges and equipment, and requiring them to check their own parts. In addition, inspectors and managers spend as much time training and working with the operators as they do inspecting random parts. In this way, we make quality control everyone’s responsibility and provide multiple layers of inspection throughout the manufacturing process in a cost-effective way.

For more information on how preventative quality control gives you the best results for your investment, connect with an Allis Roller quality control expert through our Contact page.

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