Using Digital Tools to Improve Quality Control

Quality control is an essential part of the management of products and services. It ensures that companies comply with regulations to manufacture safe and good quality products. Each individual manufacturer’s quality control process is their calling card that proves their commitment to getting it right for their suppliers.

The rise of the digital app

Many digital tools are being brought to the market to ensure quality throughout the manufacturing process. These are particularly helpful for products that have more than one element to them. Apps are used to control the quality of the manufacturing process from one operation to the next.

For example, if a manufacturer is working on a balcony cassette, an app can be set up so that one stage of the product must be built and checked before they can move on to the next stage.  If there is an issue, they aren’t able to go to the next stage until it is resolved. This stops missing components and incomplete builds from going to site.

The basic premise is if it’s not checked at any one stage, it can’t go forward to the next.

Consistency is key

A fully digital system enables all quality control information to be online and saved on the system. This way nothing gets lost. Online inspection documents can be viewed by everyone involved in the design and build of a project to ensure every stage of control has been completed.

The Hackitt report stated that the construction industry as a whole was not good at creating full traceability, which led to missing documents and uninformed personnel. Digital processes can address that issue by defining and saving each process in fine detail. In the case of balconies that can be anything: from paint numbers, to length of time products are in the oven, to what temperature the oven was, the outcomes of scratch and bend tests… Everything can be recorded and then saved for a set period of time. These can be retrieved and matched with any checks throughout the build, giving full traceability from start to finish.

Digital tools improve quality assurance and standards as they can capture every detail as it is being built and easily retrieved for reference. This means that issues can be addressed at the time, not if something fails in the future.

This article is based on an interview with Troy Geddes, Quality Process Engineer at Warren Services