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A Guide to the Differences Between Quality Inspection and Quality Control

Although QI and QC are two different processes, they are very subtle differences. These are terms that are used in manufacturing but other business sectors benefit from it as well.

When items are manufactured, there is a need for quality inspection when the items are completed. Here trained inspectors use testing, tools, and standards of customers that are very demanding. QI identifies issues with products which they report to the accountable managers so that they can advise them on how to solve the issue.

On the other hand, quality control creates products which are subject to QI. The person in charge of QC identifies and corrects issues during the development and manufacturing process. QC will be very successful if the company is focused on providing quality products as their core value and goal.

QI and QC are not simple processes. There is inspection of the finished product in QI. It is an inspector, a manager, a third-party testing service, or the customers who do QI.

As an example, in food processing facilities, poor quality items are set aside by QI so they don’t reach the market. There are rejected goods that are recycled. In order to hasten the process of sorting out quality products, checklists, visual guides, chemical testing, and other tools are used.

In QC, poor quality products are prevented from being produced. The work of QC is before inspection which helps to reduce the work of QI. The main focus of QC is to find and fix sources of error, malfunction, or weakness.

Feeback is very important and so QI can be eliminated by correcting things at the point of failure. QC inspects all process points so that problems are found and they are then repaired and reconfigured. Problems usually lie in the tools, talents, materials, machines, or even the temperature and lighting at the workstation. In order for QC to perform well, there needs to be high-volume and high-quality feedback from QI.

There are businesses that have isolated the functions of QC and QI. There is more interaction today between QI and QC where QI provides QC with important data so that businesses are free of error.

Before shipment, QI is done. Shipment delays can be reduced if QI will only test a segment of the produced products. And they assume that this represents a statistically-sound sample. Workmanship, safety, functionality, and performance are checked before delivery. Even end uses of the product are involved in inspecting when it arrives in their location using their own set of standards. This customer feedback helps to improve the management of the supply chain. It is important for business owner to weight the cost of inspection against the value of the goods produced. SafetyChain is a food quality management software that can help businesses manage the costs and the processes.