Category: Pro QC

What are our quality engineers doing on-site during inspections?

QualityInspectionWordCloudWe receive questions relating to quality inspections and the inspection process quite often.

One of the most common questions we receive concerns the benefits of inspecting product for quality prior to shipment.  The short answer is that inspections reduce overall quality risks and cost!

Another question we receive often relates to what happens during a product inspection? What do our quality engineers do on-site?

For us, each product is treated differently depending on specifications and/or other client requirements.  We work closely with our clients to develop the specifications that help guide our inspectors on-site.  However, there are a few consistent components that include:

Quantity Verification

  • Is everything packaged? Our general rule is 100% produced and 80% packaged for a pre-shipment, final inspection.
  • Failure to meet expectations for quantity can result in a “missed” inspection result.

For more information regarding the difference between first-article, in-process and pre-shipment inspections, read our article here.

5 Reasons Packaging Integrity Matters

Packaging is considered to be both the presentation of products to consumers, as well as the configuration in which products will be expedited through various channels.

The master carton or “pack” design includes the configuration in which product will be shipped through channels for end-user consumption, making it especially important where packaging integrity is concerned.

Here’s why:

1) Carefully planned packaging includes both cost savings obtained through the minimal use of materials, weight and labor, as well as reductions in potential rework costs.

2) Packaging has a direct impact on the perception of quality by the consumer.  

3) Orientation is an important consideration because the carton itself only has stacking strength in one direction, which is why it is imperative that the pack be designed the way it will be stacked in transit.  Labeling is important in communicating packaging requirements.

4) Packaging experiences a number of potentially damaging forces, which might include shock from handling, drops, vibration from transportation or compression from stacking in warehouses and vehicles.

5) Above all else, the objective of packaging is to insure products arrive safely in the hands of consumers without sustaining damage or other potential cosmetic or aesthetic issues.

Pro QC uses the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) 1A standard for special testing during on-site inspections. This evaluation focuses on the drop-test of individual cartons at a corner, edges and sides. The ISTA Series 1 is considered non-simulation integrity performance testing and is designed to challenge the strength and robustness of the product and package combination, not to simulate environmental occurrences. Pro QC considers defects resulting from this test as critical, so any issues noted with the product result in a reject status.

Additional test procedures are available through ISTA that also incorporate vibration, compression and atmospheric conditions. “Use of ISTA test procedures reduces risks in the transport environment and increases confidence in the safe delivery of a tested packaged-product.”

There are two types of tests that ISTA offers, which includes performance tests and development tests. According to ISTA, performance tests “result in a pass/fail assessment and are used to determine the viability of a packaged product to survive normal shipment. Development tests compare relative performance to two or more designs or the same design from different suppliers.”

We posted an article related to the Importance of Packaging in our quarterly newsletter.  Contact us for additional information.

Lucky Draw Winners!

winners_emailWe are happy to announce the iPad winners from our recent client feedback survey Lucky Draw. We appreciate everyone that provided us with the critical feedback we need to continuously improve.

Congratulations to the following three clients:

– Affinia Products LLC – Mr. Anthony Ryan

– Contour Products INC. – Mr. H. Bruce Edmondson

– Trans World Marketing – Mr. Bob O’ Day

A guiding mission

A consistent trend emerges as successful organizations demonstrate sustainable mission statements and visions.  In the quality industry, many certifications even require in-depth knowledge of mission statement development and keys for successful implementation.  In Fayol’s Four Functions of Management, the development of a mission statement and strategy are included within the Planning phase.

Mission statements are important.

At recent strategy meetings, Pro QC refreshed the organization’s mission statement that now includes:

“The Pro QC Global Team enables our customers to project their interests in quality and conformance. Anywhere. Anytime.”

While most organizations have mission statements, the challenging component is following through and embedding that message into the corporate culture.  We also like to think that when organizations include quality in their guiding mission and manage successful corporate cultures, the consumer ultimately wins.

There are several articles out there offering tips for mission statement development.  A few of the most popular considerations include:

What do you do?

What is your long-term vision?

Where are you located?

Who do you serve?

How are you going to do it?

Additional resources include:

How to Write Your Mission Statement – Entrepreneur 

Developing Effective Mission & Vision Statements – Inc.

Developing Vision & Mission Statements – Purdue 

 

Connecting teams abroad

Pro QC offers services in over 30 countries.  Individuals within virtual teams like this are often disconnected and face cultural or other challenges unique to this situation.

Ways we stay connected include:

Newsletter / Announcements – We have a quarterly newsletter that goes out to everyone on the team, in addition to clients.  Regional newsletters connect internal teams.

Video Chat – An important note here is to accommodate the time in different regions.  A weekly or monthly Skype call pulls everyone together to evaluate progress and more effectively address questions or issues.

Meeting Events – It is helpful to gather teams together for personal introductions.  This time can be combined with brainstorming sessions or other productive activities.

Social Media – We use Facebook primarily as a way of connecting teams on a personal level and providing updates.

team