I’m sure that you’ve seen some form of “✔✔”, “OK” or “Passed” label on many products that you’ve purchased. Those marks are mostly fulfilling a marketing purpose – they’re confirming your expectation that “I’m a very smart shopper and only buy great products from good companies that meet all of my expectations”.
Almost all consumer, industrial, medical and technology products undergo some form of inspection. Even those built by companies that embrace AQL, SPC, SQC, Six Sigma, TQM, Quality Through People, QA, QC (or whatever the “Big Q” quality acronym of the moment may be) continue to use old fashioned “Inspecting the quality in” methods. A few units are pulled from the line and inspected for cosmetic and functional properties. In most cases, the inspectors use commonsense and a general knowledge of fit and finish standards. In other cases, their work is supplemented with a features/properties checklist and a specific set of inspection criteria.
We do this too…While we carefully craft the manufacturing process to “build in” the quality and trust and rely on process controls to yield good products, we still “look” at each lot. The dangers associated with noncompliance and risks to brand name and reputation in the marketplace direct us to calculate the proper AQL and check critical, major and minor factors of each product that we touch.
The process crafting and “looking” during the Work In Process (WIP) and Final inspection stages are carried out by EastBridge’s engineers. Because they were on the scene when the product was designed, materials selected, tooling built & validated, production processes & test methods developed and the specification refined, they have a deep knowledge of how the product is made and how it should perform.
They intimately understand of how to take measurements and confirm compliance with international standards as well as our customers’ specifications because they were there while the product was conceived and launched.
We’ve found that inspectors who are trained only to inspect often don’t have the judgment and depth of knowledge to understand the product’s design intent, grasp the details of highly engineered designs or go know where to look for points of failure that may not be listed on pass/fail checklists.
We provide this level of quality assurance as a standalone service for many clients. Our rates are certainly higher than our competitors who employ contract laborers; however the overall quality of our work and the resulting peace of mind that our clients enjoy equals a lower cost of quality.
Look for the seal above on all of the products we inspect. It was placed their by one of our engineers.