Having methods in place to ensure that your company is delivering a quality good or service is a necessity. One way to guarantee a certain level of quality is by conducting inspections at various stages of production.

Overview: What is an inspection?

Inspection is the act of checking your process or products for flaws.

4 benefits of inspections

There are a multitude of benefits that come with inspections:

1. Safety

Inspecting equipment provides safety for your employees.

2. Maintenance

Inspections reduce maintenance costs. The reasoning behind this is that if issues are caught early on, less damage is likely to be done to machines, ensuring that the costs associated with fixing the issue are lower than otherwise.

3. Management

Management is able to make critical decisions based on the outcome of inspections as well as limit issues that could arise for which they would be liable.

4. Quality Control

Quality inspections help control the quality of your product or service.

Why are inspections important to understand?

Inspections are important to understand for the following reasons:

Inspections are critical

Understanding how to conduct proper inspections is absolutely critical to excellence in manufacturing for your products and processes.

Customer confidence

Understanding and implementing inspections increases customer confidence in your product.

Necessary no matter the size of your organization

No matter how big your business gets (or how small it is), inspections are absolutely integral.

An industry example of an inspection

It is found that a sporting goods manufacturer has been sending out an unacceptable number of defective baseball gloves to stores. In order to figure out where the issues are, the owner of the company orders inspections to take place at every stage of the manufacturing process. This includes inspecting the raw materials received from suppliers, the machines and staff that go into the build of the product, and anything that may occur while getting the gloves ready for shipment. Also to be inspected are the methods used during the shipping process. By conducting such robust and thorough inspections, the owner feels confident that the issues can be found and resolved.

4 best practices when thinking about inspections

These practices are worth keeping in mind when conducting inspections:

1. Listen to employees

Before conducting an inspection, get feedback from the employees about any concerns they may have. They are there daily on the ground floor and are likely to be much more familiar with issues that need to be looked at and assessed. Doing this will ensure that your inspections are as thorough as they can be.

2. Review prior inspections

Reviewing prior inspections is a good indicator of things you should be on the look out for as part of your inspection process. Other documents like accident reports and repair logs are also helpful.

3. Plan out the inspection

Make sure to have the inspection process well thought out and strategized. Have a checklist as well as a mapped out process for everyone involved in the inspection.

4. Keep detailed records

Make sure to document all of your findings. This is not only important to have for you and your team, but also for anyone that might need to do future inspections.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about inspections

What are the various types of inspection in quality control?

These types of inspections are pre-production inspections, during production inspections, pre-shipment inspections, and container loading/unloading inspections

What is a first-off inspection?

This is a type of inspection that keeps a fault that is detected from affecting an entire batch.

Who should be part of an inspection team?

Engineers, maintenance personnel, team leaders, health/safety professionals, managers, and supervisors can all provide value to an inspection team.

Inspections as part of your business

Inspections are a necessary part of running a business. Without inspections, it would be impossible to know ahead of time if quality goods and services were getting to your customers. By conducting thorough inspections through the various stages of your business processes, you can save money over time by catching issues early, maintain trust from your customers, and keep delivering a quality and competitive product or service.

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