Quality Control (QC) vs Quality Assurance (QA) in Manufacturing Industry

What is Quality Control (QC) ?

Quality control is the process of checking the quality standards assigned for the product and contributes in improving the product quality further in the sequence. This quality control activity is done through manual inspections where the product is physically examined for defects or inconsistencies. 

Apart from inspections the QC approaches ISO certification to support improvements in areas such as process management and competence building.

Example : The manufacturing industry in its final production line checks for the product’s specification has met in respect to its function, size, weight and measurements. If any defective products are found then it is removed and also the reason for the defect is studied to avoid future defective products.

Quality Assurance & Quality Control

Benefits of Quality Control :

Improves quality :

By introducing quality control in the production process greatly encourages and develops the quality consciousness among the workers. This in turn helps in achieving the desired quality level in the product.

Customer satisfaction :

By continuously providing quality products by regular quality control process, it drives customer satisfaction and loyalty towards your product.

Reduced production cost :

Efficient control of quality inspection over the production process enables better cost management. The defective and wastage products are completely eliminated thus production cost is also reduced.

Maximum utilization of resources :

Inefficient raw materials or other resources are minimized in the production to achieve good products. This increases efficient and maximum utilization of resources.

Increased brand name :

By consistently producing quality products and earning customer satisfaction leads to goodwill of the concern in the minds of people. 

Employee morale :

It feels great to work in a concern producing better quality products. This increases employee morale that inturn drives them to work hard.

What is Quality Assurance (QA) ?

Quality Assurance is a systematic process as a part of the quality management system to maintain and achieve the consistent, expected quality standards of products.

There is a slight difference between quality control and assurance. The QC just demonstrates the QA in doing the testing and inspection but whereas the QA compels the manufacturer to work based on the exact quality standards and requirements.

Quality assurance helps a company to achieve the expected customer requirements without compromising the quality of the products.

Example : Using software and systems to maintain SOPs, plan tasks and guide improvements are an example of engaging in quality assurance practices in a manufacturing industry.

Benefits of Quality Assurance (QA) :

Save time and money :

Checking for quality on a continuous process may seem to be a time consuming process but catching errors and making efforts to correct it at the early stage of production is really important. This can fix the problems in the long run and obviously leads to cost saving and time.

Better process control :

With setting up of quality checks from beginning to end, the chances of duplicate data and error prone data are completely eliminated. This creates a single data stream with an accurate source of data thus resulting in better process control.

Improved production efficiency :

Quality assurance makes sure to produce high quality materials with defectless goods. The function of machinery is also improved and workers efficiency becomes competent. Better business management leads to higher production.

Reliability and trust :

Once quality assurance techniques are successfully implemented then customers receive good quality products with a given timeline. The lesser the defective product, the more the customer trusts. A strong reliability gets created about the brand.

Difference between QA and QC :

Quality assurance and quality control are often confused together but whereas both are distinct in function. QC focuses on the production based inspection process where QA provides the overall guidelines to maintain quality standards.

Quality control is the subset of quality assurance. Qc refers to the tasks like product inspections ensuring the desired standard quality. On the other hand QA refers to the quality management process like defining the quality process, training the team, helping in tool selection and auditing process. QA is process based and QC is product based and both play an important role in the quality management system.

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