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How To Improve Quality Control Processes In Manufacturing

There are few things more important to large and small manufacturers than improving the quality of their products.

Quality control methods in manufacturing ensure that the companies produce products of high quality, that meet product lifecycle expectations and avoid customer complaints.

What is Quality Control?

A business's quality control (QC) procedure strives to ensure that product quality is maintained or enhanced. Quality control necessitates the establishment of a culture in which management and employees strive for perfection. This is accomplished by enacting quality control steps in manufacturing, educating employees, establishing product quality goals, and testing products for statistically significant differences.

The creation of well-defined quality control steps in manufacturing is an important part of quality control. These controls limit the margin for error by identifying which production activities are to be accomplished by which workers, decreasing the risk of employees being assigned tasks hey are unprepared for. Quality control steps in manufacturing also allow inspectors to carefully ensure that product attributes fall within acceptable parameters. If the products coming off the line do not meet these attributes, they are marked for non-conformance, rework, or scrap.

According to Investopedia:

"Quality control (QC) is a process through which a business seeks to ensure that product quality is maintained or improved...Quality control methods in manufacturing involve testing units and determining if they are within the specifications for the final product. The purpose of the testing is to determine any needs for corrective actions in the manufacturing process. Good quality control helps companies meet consumer demands for better products."

What is the Importance of Quality Control Methods in Manufacturing?

The article “The Importance of Quality Control In Manufacturing” on the Measurex website points out that quality control software or other quality management software built for quality control processes can reduce manufacturing costs, maintain customer loyalty, and help comply with industrial standards. Additional benefits include stabilizing the supply chain, speeding corrective action, and improving risk management.

Quality Software for ManufacturingBut improving quality is easier said than done. Manufacturers know that improving quality control requires buy-in and cooperation from everyone in their companies, from the shop floor all the way up to executive suites.

The article, “How no-code QMS [quality management systems] puts the experts in control” notes that traditionally, decision-making about quality control methods in manufacturing has been only in the hands of management. It goes on to say, “In contrast, factory-floor operators, who had more insights and first-hand experience with quality issues were often completely excluded.”

The article points out: “The tables have turned today. Operators on the production floor are no longer shut out and quality-management systems (QMS) ensure product consistency. The switch to digital supports data-driven decision-making and saves from the burden of manual work.”

That’s all well and good. But the article adds that IT often ignores the needs of quality management software or systems on the factory floor. The article goes on to state that, “IT teams are often understaffed and overburdened, hence implementing and maintaining a QMS is likely not high on their agenda.”

Manufacturing Quality Improvement Plan and Methods of Improving Quality Product

If you’re wondering how you can implement a manufacturing quality improvement plan at your organization, there are three tenets that are universal, regardless of what product comes from your floor.

1. Define Quality From the Customer’s Perspective

  • While you may define quality through one lens, your customer may have a completely different vision. Before embarking on manufacturing quality improvement plan adoption be sure to level-set with your consumer values.

2. Enact a Culture of Quality

  • Rather than discouraging employees from raising issues, encourage eeryone from your night shift worker to your CEO to ask questions around quality. This mindset will pay dividends.

3. Embrace Technology

  • Your manufacturing quality improvement plan can be greatly impacted by software adoption. Low and no-code tools can help you get your plan moving and keep improvements coming.

manufacturing quality control softwareHow do you use software for quality control?

No-code/low-code systems, though, can be a game-changer when used for quality control methods in manufacturing, improving document control, quality standards and business processes. The software turns paper into digital software solutions, eliminating pains around physical document control and burdensome workflows. No-code and low-code solutions allow workers on the factory floor to build and maintain their own quality control steps in manufacturing and tools.

The software enables continuous improvement by making quality data easier to collect and immediately available for analysis in real-time. The article says:

“No-code technology makes software accessible to non-technical teams—a welcome solution to the under-supply of skilled developers…Instead of writing code or waiting for their turn on the IT agenda, operation and quality teams can start implementing the platform with a user-friendly interface and drag-and-drop editable building blocks…and they don’t need programming experience or an IT background… This DIY approach translates into flexibility and speedy deployment, allowing teams to go live with their first processes within days.”

How Quality Control Methods in Manufacturing are Achieved with Software

Here are a few examples the article cites of how the systems can improve quality: “For example, a packaging operator can retain certain data on the production line and visualize these in a graph with the push of a button. A plastics operator can access step-by-step protocols and download screens with useful instructions. Yet another chemical manufacturer uses dashboarded data to comply with industry standards and prepare for the next audit.

“The ability to adapt and respond to events and changing regulations make no-code quality management future-proof and ready to evolve as the factory continues to innovate.”

manufacturing quality control appsHow Manufacturers Find and Solve Quality Issues - The Best No-Code/Low-Code Solutions for Improving Manufacturing Quality

Here at Alpha Software, we’re big believers in how no-code/low-code software can improve manufacturing quality, but sometimes you don't want to code.

Alpha Solutions for ManufacturingAlpha Software manufacturing solutions are ideally suited to leaders who want to solve business problems and modernize their businesses. These best-in-class custom solutions for digital data collection and analysis can work independently or augment quality management systems. 

The solutions utilize the latest mobile phone and tablet features (camera, GPS, bar code scanning, digital signatures, etc.) for fast, accurate data capture on the production floor, in warehouses, or at customer sites. The company can build a complete solution for your organization or customize a pre-built solution for your process.

Book a call with us to learn about Alpha Software Manufacturing Solutions.
On the call we'll provide you with access to our Gemba Walk App, 5S Audit Checklist App, Non-Conformance Report Template or other manufacturing apps for free.


Further reading:

What is Six Sigma software and how can it impact quality?

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About Author

Amy Groden-Morrison
Amy Groden-Morrison

Amy Groden-Morrison has served more than 15 years in marketing communications leadership roles at companies such as TIBCO Software, RSA Security and Ziff-Davis. Most recently she was responsible for developing marketing programs that helped achieve 30%+ annual growth rate for analytics products at a $1Bil, NASDAQ-listed business integration Software Company. Her past accomplishments include establishing the first co-branded technology program with CNN, launching an events company on the NYSE, rebranding a NASDAQ-listed company amid a crisis, and positioning and marketing a Boston-area startup for successful acquisition. Amy currently serves as a Healthbox Accelerator Program Mentor, Marketing Committee Lead for the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Launch Smart Clinics, and on the organizing team for Boston TechJam. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University.

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The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.