One thing everyone takes for granted in the post-industrialization world is the ability of manufacturers to mass produce products. If you have a product that breaks, chances are you can easily go to a retail store to replace it with the exact same model.
However, in reality, mass production isn’t as easy as you would first assume. For one, ensuring that every single product in a production line that produces thousands of products a day is exactly the same is in no way easy. Quality assurance, the prevention of defects and mistakes, is certainly a challenge for manufacturers.
Implement Test Checkpoints
One way to try to implement quality assurance as a manufacturer is to implement test checkpoints throughout your production process. Many manufacturers, in fact, use several checkpoints throughout their production lines. The product may pass through one part of production and then directly enter into a checkpoint afterwards. It is then tested to make sure there are no mistakes and it meets the specified quality benchmark. If it passes the testing, it moves to the next part of the production line before it again reaches another checkpoint.
Use Quality Equipment, Machinery and Materials
You can only have the ability to mass market identical products that meet the same quality thresholds if you have machinery, equipment and materials that are able to put out that level of quality. The phrase “garbage in, garbage out” certainly applies to industrial processes. You may, for example, need to use a high quality air cannon that is able to disperse material that sticks to the side of a bin in your production line. If it’s not high quality, it may not be able to do the job and you are likely to run into serious problems.
Record, Store and Analyze Testing Data
Data retrieved during tests performed during different checkpoints in your production line must be recorded and stored for the long term. That data can then be analyzed by software to determine where the problems are in your production processes and how they can be fixed. This is almost as important as having human beings at your checkpoints. Being able to analyze all the minor variations in quality for products that passed through those checkpoints can tell you a lot.
Predict Problems Before They Occur in Production
If you collect data regarding the operation of your machinery and quality assurance testing, eventually you should be able to use analytics software to predict certain outcomes. For example, you may be able to predict when a piece of machinery is about to break down. That way, you can perform maintenance or replace it before it interrupts your production processes or starts to harm the quality of your products.
Quality assurance needs to be an absolute priority for any manufacturer. You can’t successfully mass produce products if those products are dissimilar from each other especially in regards to quality. Place serious quality assurance measures in place like test checkpoints, high quality equipment and analytics software. It can make a huge difference.
Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball. @LizzieWeakley