How to benefit from three different types of Quality InspectionsAugust 22, 2017
We’ve established that poor quality can be detrimental to your bottom line and supply chain visibility is key to managing quality control. Performing inspections during the production cycle prevents poor quality products leaving the factory. Auditors should catch and address quality issues before they damage a brand or retailer’s bottom line or reputation.
The Three Types of Quality Inspections
There are three primary types of quality inspections: pre-production, in-line, and final. There are a variety of details that must be inspected and approved during each phase in order to detect and correct quality problems.
During the pre-production phase, raw materials should be tested before entering production. This may include a number of tests to examine the material for weight, dimensional stability, pilling resistance, torqueing, pile retention, stretch recovery, and much more. Components including closures, zippers, elastics and other embellishments such as beads, rhinestones, sequins and rivets should also be tested for regulatory requirements.
Since quality issues are often a result of defects in the materials, inspections during the pre-production phase allow auditors to address any issues before production begins. Ultimately, by inspecting the materials up front, brands and retailers can avoid unanticipated costs and delays.
Additional inspections should take place during various stages of production. For apparel, inspections should occur at each critical step of the production process, from cutting to assembling to pressing or other finishing procedures. For example, during the cutting phase, each cutting ticket should be randomly inspected to ensure that each part is accurately notched and shades are separated. If fabric is incorrectly cut, the parts cannot be properly assembled.
In-line inspections are important, as quality issues are often re-workable during the production phase and can be fixed before the final product is complete. When quality issues are not corrected during the production process, minor issues in the beginning of production can lead to larger issues in later stages.
The final inspection is the last opportunity for auditors to catch and address quality issues before they end up in the hands of the buyer, or even worse, the consumer. During the final audit, products are examined for specific performance requirements, overall appearance, sizing and fit.
Brands and retailers often skip inspections while the products are still at the factory and only perform random, final inspections once the order is received at the ultimate destination. By then, it is too late and the only recourse is discarding the poor quality units. This is costly to every party, especially the factory, which will bear the brunt of the expense.
Simplify Inspections with Andromeda Quality Control
NGC’s Andromeda Quality Control solution provides a solution for auditors to perform all three types of inspections before the order ships. It features online and offline capabilities with global collaboration in multiple languages. The system allows auditors to conduct multiple inspection types per PO, take photos of defects, and generate the Corrective Action Plan. It supports multiple defect levels (minor, major, critical), flexible AQL tables and single and double sampling plans. All the information collected on the tablet is uploaded to the brand or retailer’s supply chain management solution, resulting in real-time reporting and failure notification.
To learn more about how Andromeda Quality Control can help simplify your inspection processes, or to request a demo, please contact us.