How Can Quality Control Software Improve Manufacturing?
Quality control teams in the manufacturing industry still often check the quality of their production processes with paper and pen. Employees usually have structured checklists at their disposal for this purpose, which they can work through step by step. However, this manual system of quality control checks is sensitive to data loss and inaccuracies, as well as to weaknesses in data evaluation.
This is where digitization offers opportunities for manufacturers to improve auditing processes, process standardization and new product introduction with special quality software tools.
Below we have collected the five most important reasons that speak in favor of a manufacturing quality software tool like Lumiform in the company.
- Manage quality control using one tool
Traditional pen and paper inspections require quality control inspectors to manually transcribe data and transfer it from inspection templates to printed reports. The quality control software for manufacturing provides pre-designed digital templates that can easily be adapted to the inspectors’ preferences. Once the quality control inspections are completed, your data is automatically stored using cloud technology, where you can access your data from multiple devices, both mobile and desktop.
- Keep control over the production processes
With manufacturing quality software, you can efficiently distribute and share responsibilities within your organization. Connect your team to QM processes to ensure consistent data, collect data, standardize processes, create and send reports, and quickly identify and correct nonconforming areas. Maintain your quality standard at every step of the manufacturing process by performing regular quality checks and audits with digital checklists. This way, you can ensure that only high-quality products reach the market.
- Gain visibility and transparency
Quality control software for manufacturing gives you real-time data about what’s happening in your operation. You get insight into inspection frequency, performance, and issues in just one place. During inspections, audits, or assessments, you can add and label an unlimited number of evidence photos of defects and damages. With just one click, you highlight areas that need improvement and track results over time. Learn more about reports and analysis.
- React faster to changes
Companies that remain in the status quo increase the risk of an incident that damages their brand reputation, loses consumer trust, or negatively impacts their bottom line. Companies that are proactive about quality control, management, and improvement are more likely to have stronger brand loyalty, grow faster and be more profitable. Manufacturing quality control software gives you the ability to implement changes quickly, easily, and in a timely manner. You can update manufacturing audit checklists, forms, and protocols digitally with just a few clicks. At the same time, all responsible persons have immediate access to all updates and are informed about the changes.
- Stay in contact with your suppliers
The manufacturing quality inspection software allows you to comment and discuss content, results and reviews with your team and suppliers. This simple exchange will enable you to communicate directly with all parties and keep everyone informed and updated.
What Are the 4 Types of Quality Control in Manufacturing?
Quality control is one of the four main components of any quality management process, including quality planning, quality assurance, and continuous improvement. Quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) are the essential processes for the success of a product. However, professionals often confuse and mix up these two processes.
A manufacturer needs to be clear about the importance of QA and QC in its quality process. Both are an integral part of the quality management plan, and the effectiveness of project teams depends on everyone involved, including management, to understand the differences well.
Effective manufacturing quality software contributes enormously to project success, but it is likely inadequate and ineffective if not properly understood. It can negatively impact your ability to ensure the product is delivered on time, built by the team within the allotted budget, and meets the customer’s requirements.
… is process-oriented and focuses on preventing quality problems.
… relates to the actions that produce the product.
… is product oriented and focuses on the detection of quality problems in manufactured products.
… focuses on the resulting product.
Both QA and QC are required for the success of a product. When we focus only on QA, we perform inspections, tests, and quality measurements to verify that the results conform to specifications, fit for purpose, and meet stakeholder expectations.
The types of quality control are many, and the technique used should depend on the type of project. The most obvious example of quality control is the inspections and tests performed to verify that a product meets specifications. Exactly which inspection method is used depends entirely on the technical nature of the product being developed as part of the project.
4 examples for QC inspections in manufacturing that can be relevant:
- Construction – part of quality control is to check the strength of the concrete.
- Aircraft – part of quality control is to check the quality of welds.
- Food – part of quality control is to specify the incredients list.
- Process – part of quality control could be to perform a test run before the product is put into service.
What Are Common Manufacturing Mistakes and How to Prevent Them With QM Software?
A product life cycle consists of many interdependent processes that must function efficiently. A mistake, inefficient process, or malfunction in one system, even in just one area, can negatively impact the entire production line.
The following are the four most common errors in manufacturing and some tips on how you can counteract them by manufacturing quality software:
- No regular inspection schedule exists.
Manufacturers should conduct regular inspections of the production process and site inspections themselves to ensure that everything is going as planned and agreed. This should also happen by ensuring that the necessary equipment, facilities, PPE, and anything else that workers need to do their jobs is in place. Effective QC software specifically for manufacturers can help plant managers, compliance officers, and quality managers efficiently and reliably assess performance, facilities, and task assignment.
- Data, defects, malfunctions, and violations are not adequately documented.
When common production goals are met, we tend to neglect data collection. However, good data documentation is essential to know which areas improvements can or must be made. Incidents such as identified defects, malfunctions, and non-compliance need to be reported immediately and adequately documented so that responsible employees can contain the problem directly and work on long-term solutions. Using a mobile solution such as an app for QC checks, audits and inspections simplifies documentation by storing all information centrally in the cloud in real-time for everyone to access. Digital documentation is a reliable way to prevent the loss of essential data and poor information transfer.
- There is no proper auditing of manufacturing partners.
Outsourcing all or part of production is a popular way to reduce costs. However, successful outsourcing requires management to investigate, compare and vet various contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs) to determine if their facilities, capabilities, and experience are appropriate for their product. This also includes reviewing and monitoring the quality of the production process throughout the manufacturing partnership. To do this, CMOs can be required to use the same QC software for manufacturing as the client. This not only facilitates control and exchange among partners but also ensures that the same quality standards are followed.
- There is a lack of accountability for tasks taken over.
Clear accountability in the company improves the entire manufacturing process, because employees are forced to work more carefully if non-compliance can be traced back to them. To achieve this, it should be ensured that there is an official employee in each case who is responsible for specific equipment, production steps and results. When there is one contact person for each specific aspect of production, information is shared more quickly, and communication is simplified. A fair accountability system minimizes carelessness and human error that negatively impacts production. In quality control software for the manufacturing, you can define responsibilities for each employee in an understandable way.