By Anton Oosthuizen
For manufacturing and engineering managers, effective quality control is what keeps them awake at night, and what keeps customers from turning to their competition.
Quality control is not only good for business, it is also imperative to customer satisfaction. And in some cases, for customer safety. Take for instance the recent defect found in Takata airbags. This resulted in one of the largest automotive recalls in history, with close to 69 million airbag inflators implicated at a cost of billions of dollars, that took years to resolve.
For this reason, quality control is a pretty big deal for manufacturing managers.
In this article we will explore quality control and non conformance reports (NCR) in more detail, and show how software takes the headache out of both.
- Quality control keeps customers loyal and safe, and businesses profitable.
- NCRs must be created, tracked, and reported on. To do this you need a system.
- QuickEasy BOS’s new CSM and NCR modules empower manufacturers with the system they need to do so with very little effort, and the data they need to improve quality, lower risk, drive profits, and increase customer satisfaction.
What is Quality Control (QC) in Manufacturing?
Quality control is the foundation of quality assurance. A quality control program includes inspections and measurements of products to make sure they are within specification during production.
While quality assurance gives companies the framework and processes for production inorder to deliver an end product that meets the desired quality requirements, quality control is the deployment of the tasks that are required. These two activities work in tandem to form a quality system.
Quality Control Methods
There are many ways quality control is carried out. We’ll cover a few.
100% Inspection Method
This method of QC sees every item and aspect of production thoroughly and minutely assessed. It’s all about absolute control, and 100% accuracy. This is ideal when even the slightest flaw in your product may result in a costly recall or devastating impact, such as in the food industry.
This method of QC strives for constant improvement. To do so, the aim is to find and eliminate defects to streamline manufacturing and result in little to no variance. Six sigma defines the problem, measures the current process, analyses the root cause, improves the process, and then controls the processes going forward.
This control chart allows managers to track the mean of successive samples of a constant size, and is ideal for characteristics that can be measured on a continuous scale – such as weight, thickness, temperature, etc. The Y-axis tracks the acceptable degree of deviation. X-Bar chart is frequently used in conjunction with an R-chart, which quality controllers use to ascertain the stability and predictability of a process.
Statistical Quality Control (SQC)
Quality control is achieved using statistical data, such as sampling and probability.
The technique focuses on product design, research and development, and reducing defects and failures in the manufacturing process.
Genichi Taguchi developed this method to eliminate variances in production before they occur by focusing more on design than manufacturing when dealing with quality control.
Total Quality Management (TQM)
Total quality management is driven by customer satisfaction. Here, successful products are identified and replicated.
The customer really does come first in this process.
This method relies on system integration to streamline processes, is data-driven, and strives for continual improvement.
QuickEasy’s Customer Service Manager Module for Integrated QC
Data-driven, integrated, and customer-focused, QuickEasy ERP allows manufacturing managers to hear what customers are saying, and make informed decisions.
The new Service Manager module comes standard with your QuickEasy BOS subscription, and allows your staff to do everything in one system:
- log customer queries or complaints,
- follow up,
- add and track responses,
- link attachments,
- link transactions, etc.
Plus, everything is time-stamped and audited from inception to completion.
QuickEasy ERP unifies the entire front office (sales and service), back office (admin and finance), and manufacturing processes in one system.
In this way, managers have all the critical information at their fingertips to immediately identify and trace inconsistencies back to source, and so continually improve manufacturing, quality, and output.
Non-Conformance Reports (NCRs) and Manufacturing
For most engineering companies, when there is a non-conformance and a product or procedure falls below regulations or the quality standard, a non-conformance report (NCR) is created.
The NCR not only tracks the non-conformance, it can also be used to identify a solution with the customer, and to note any corrective changes that are made.
A typical NCR has the following information:
- The people involved
- The specs affected
- The main reason for the NCR – what went wrong
- What was done (or must be done) to fix the problem
- What can be done to prevent the problem from happening again
To manage NCRs properly, a system must be used.
QuickEasy’s New Non-Conformance Reports
QuickEasy’s new dedicated NCR module has everything manufacturers and engineers need to track non-conformance and improve quality going forward.
The QuickEasy BOS NCR module is included with all the other BOS modules you need to run your entire business efficiently, and has all the data you need to track a non-conformance:
- Full production information
- Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) related
QuickEasy BOS makes it so easy to explain the problem, cause, containment, corrective action, preventative action and evaluation, it takes the headache out of NCRs.
How Does QuickEasy Software Help Control Quality and NCR Reports?
In a word… Automation
QuickEasy automates many of the tasks that measure, track and ensure quality.
This frees up staff to do more productive, profitable work, and means quality issues are resolved rapidly.
Manage Risk and Track Issues
Risk management begins with understanding what could go wrong and developing a plan to address these issues.
QuickEasy helps you track all NCRs in one place, assess their impact and likelihood, assign an owner and much more in real time.
Streamlined Audits for ISO Certification
QuickEasy BOS ensures your NCRs keep you compliant, and that audits are quick, painless, and not the time-consuming, staff-heavy endeavour of before.
Track Costs with Ease
Plus, because QuickEasy is an integrated ERP that includes purchase orders, inventory, time tracking, and overheads, costs are easily linked to an NCR to provide automated NCR cost reporting.
Get a Company-Wide Perspective
QuickEasy’s management reports include all the fields that you populate in the NCR. This can be used for company-wide, instant, real-time reports and insights.
For instance, you can see which departments have the most NCRs, or which production processes have the most NCR’s, etc.
All Under One Roof
QuickEasy’s Service Manager module and NCR module are related.
They talk to each other seamlessly. That means, not only can you log and track a customer complaint in the Service module, you can also create an NCR from a Customer Complaint.
No more patchwork systems that don’t communicate. Just seamless communication.
QuickEasy has done just one thing for the last 30 years: create, innovate, and improve their ERP system primarily for manufacturing and engineering businesses around the world.
More than an accounting system, more than production software, QuickEasy BOS is highly customisable and is ideal for manufacturers who need complex operation processes streamlined.