The term “quality” is somewhat ambiguous in nature as it means differing levels of satisfaction to different people. However, even though acceptable levels of quality vary widely from person to person, one thing is for sure, when a person purchases a product to meet a specific need he or she expects the product to fulfill the need it was intended to fill. In essence, quality can be defined as the standard something is measured against when comparing similar items, basically the level of excellence it portrays. When quality is defined by actual customers who purchase products they often use words and phrases such as “good, reliable working products” and “always meeting the changing needs of customers.” It is important to consider the needs and wants of customers as they are the driving force behind both product demand and development.
Quality within Manufacturing
In regards to quality within products, it really begins in the design phase at the manufacturing facility. A product cannot be finished and then have quality injected into it; instead quality must be a considered and implemented during the development and process stage. Once a product has been designed, it needs to be produced and tested in various different methods for effectiveness. If a product does not meet the needs it was created to meet, the product is not successful. However, even though a product may feature a great design, the process to make the product may not elicit all the intended benefits of the actual design. For instance, if a company produces a tape that promises to have a 10 year adhesion warrenty, the customer is going to expect that the tape adheres securely to a surface for a minimum of 10 years without peeling or becoming loose. While the product may have been designed well, look good and come in fancy packaging, if the process where the adhesive is applied to the back of the tape is compromised in any manner it will be ineffective. This could happen if too much water was put into the adhesion mix and the adhesive on the tape lost strength. This would pretty much compromise the whole integrity of the tape. This is an example of a process defect that would greatly affect quality despite the original quality design. Manufacturing quality can be described as products being free from defects or significant variations and able to meet user requirements.
How can Quality be Assured?
The assurance of quality is tough but it is attainable. In order to produce a quality product, everything from initial design, to process, to customer satisfaction should be taken into consideration. The overall goal is to please the customer, right? People usually just don’t go out and buy things for no intended purpose, they make purchases to help meet a need and when that need is not met they are rightfully dissatisfied with the product. Since all processes should be taken into consideration, it is important to collect data that is accurate, as well as measurable so both inferiorities as well as strengths are able to be noted and accounted for.
- Quality Counts!
- Using Quality Objectives to Drive Strategic Performance Improvement
- Lean Metrics + Process Improvement = Success
- Verification vs. Validation
- Six Sigma Manufacturing : Waste Reduction and Process Enhancements
- An Overview on Six Sigma Technique