Quality of production in manufacturing

What to consider in order to increase production quality

First off, let’s start by clarifying what production quality is. 

Production quality is a metric indicating how well a manufacturing operation is able to deliver items that are consistent with their initial design criterias, such as dimension, color, functionality and flexibility. The level of production quality is based on how well these criterias are met. 

A high production quality implies that the manufacturing process produces goods that constantly meet these expectations, thus yielding dependable and superior quality products. On the other hand, manufacturers with low production quality are likely to produce items with inconsistent measurements and a high rate of faults or smudges. Things that may influence product quality are raw materials, tools, human mistakes, environmental conditions and batch sizes. 

Moreover, effectively managing production quality can result in the following benefits:

  • Increase customer satisfaction and loyalty 
  • Increase repeat business for both your business and consequently your supplier
  • Improve safety measures 
  • Gain new customers
  • Establish a strong position in the market
  • Increase  positive perception of your brand
  • Reduce legal risks

With this in mind, let’s dig into what’s important to consider if your goal is to increase production quality. We’ve listed some key areas:

1. Decide upon design criteria 

To ensure that your product's aesthetics and performance meet your desired standards, establish and document clear objectives. This will help each participant in the manufacturing process to know the purpose and intention of the product. Furthermore, set an acceptable margin of error for each criterion to determine if the manufactured goods have met quality targets. Make sure to provide drawings, technical specifications (tech pack) and implement a sample procedure with your vendors. Learn even more about acceptable quality limits here

2. Understand the Importance of Product Quality to your Consumers

It is hard to improve something if you don't have an idea of what the “ideal” is. Customers usually know why they prefer one product over another, so it is important to consider their perspective when attempting to enhance a product. To really comprehend the customer's needs, try to put someone from the business in their shoes. Usually someone in sales and marketing is often good for this task. Try to meet their requirements and make sure to always remain open to customer feedback.

3. Create a quality approval process

Incorporate quality control into the manufacturing process through organized approval methods that adhere to the design requirements. Ensure that all products meet the design criteria at each stage of production prior to advancing forward. This will help to eliminate potential issues and the potential for them to have a ripple effect on other stages of production. Make sure to document all modifications and the times they take place.

4. Document All Issues that Occur

In the event that any issues or mistakes arise, a deviation report should be conducted to identify the reason behind the problem. This type of report should collect data concerning quality issues and the factors that had an influence on them. It is essential to quickly gather details about any defective products and figure out how to avoid similar errors in the future. CAPA (Corrective Action/Preventative Action) is an effective method to implement improvements when addressing quality issues. This technique aims to provide an appropriate answer to each quality event while also putting measures in place to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

5. Maintain Quality Control Exercises 

Even with optimised internal quality processes, extra quality assurance steps are essential. Bringing in quality control specialists to evaluate products or conduct random reviews of production activities can help guarantee that the production quality is consistent and according to expectation. Moreover, for regular inspections of production batches, It is advised to have the factories you work with be frequently examined by a reliable third party, in parallel with utilising the factories own Quality Assurance protocol.

Below are different types of quality control  methods used in manufacturing process:

  • 100% inspection method
  • Six sigma 
  • X-bar chart
  • Total quality management
  • Statistical quality management
  • Taguchi method 

6. Automate Workflow to streamline Production

It could be worth evaluating the feasibility of automating your quality control process. This could involve your suppliers investing in modern equipment and also ensuring detailed quality oversight. Supply Chain Management and Production management tools can be used to log and approve production milestones before shipment. This can help ensure the timely completion of quality inspections, reducing the chances of shipping out faulty items or delaying shipments, as well as assisting with risk management and issue tracking.