Do you send inspectors to your suppliers’ factories? Have you spent time ensuring they are well equipped? If not, chances are they are wasting much time on useless tasks.
I listed 5 quality control inspection tools that can change their lives!
1. Custom Measurement Gauges
I see many inspectors take their calliper and check the same dimensions of the same product, over and over. I feed bad for them. Setting up a custom gauge can be quite quick.
It might look like this:
It can get much more complicated for some mechanical pieces. But you get the idea… If it fits, it is good!
2. Smart Shortcuts
If you know the production process, you can probably take a few shortcuts. Here are a couple of examples:
- You check pairs of jeans and you know that the were all cut together? Measure one, then stack up the rest, and see if they are all roughly the same length. (Obviously you need to do this for each size.)
- You check a widget with a plastic case that is injection moulded? Measure one and then line them all up on a table to see if there is anything out of line.
There is one extra benefit here. Since they are all lined up/stacked up, any color variation will be easy to notice.
3. A Mobile Application
Why take photos, then paste them into a Word or Excel file along with some comments, before the final QC report is ready? That’s pure paperwork and it can be automated.
Here is a simple illustration of how the SynControl quality inspection software saves serious time.
4. Skip Some Checkpoints Based On Their Importance To Customers
I touched on this in a past article (how to save time on product inspections).
Here are a couple of examples:
A bike can be a fairly technical product. There can be 500 checkpoints. But, in reality, only a dozen need to be measured. The rest can be checked visually, or with a quick ride. In a case of doubt, and only in that case, should more points be checked.
The same is true for tests. Imagine an Android phone. How can an inspector check all functions? There is no way it will happen. However, a smart checklist will only list a few points that help ensure the underlying features (ringing, calling, talking, listening, wifi, Bluetooth…) are working fine on the devices being inspected.
5. Mistake-Proofing Devices
Your QC inspectors work on end-of-line products, but do they also check on in-process productions? In that case, it makes sense to follow this approach:
- Gather data about the most frequent defects;
- Sort them and analyse the 3 most frequent sources of defects;
- Work with a process engineer to put in place mistake-proofing devices if possible.
For example, the production operator sometimes misplaces the piece before drilling, and the hole is not in the right place. There are many ways to address this. One way is to set a few pins in the fixture that hold the piece in place, and those pins will make it IMPOSSIBLE to misplace the piece.
If they can still place the piece in the wrong side/direction, there is still an opportunity for mistakes.
The idea is, your inspectors can check if the mistake-proofing devices are still in place, and if all is good they can skip certain points. That’s called source inspection and it is by far the best approach to QC.
I hope this was useful. Did you find other tools that make the inspector’s job faster?
We’d love to hear from you.