We have all enjoyed the satisfaction of assembling something — like a grill, child’s toy, or “ready-to-assemble” furniture.
Most of us have also suffered the frustration of bad instructions, missing parts, and components that just don’t fit right.
Some manufacturers don’t seem to realize the cost of these problems:
- Customer support calls and complaints
- Shipping missing and replacement parts
- Customer and reseller returns
- Damage to the company’s reputation
Quality Control is the Cure
Quality Control (QC) is the process of ensuring that product quality is maintained. QC can be performed in many ways at strategic points in the packaging process.
QC eliminates problems at the source, before they can damage your company’s reputation and profitability.
Typical QC processes include:
- Sampling — A statistically significant number of products or components are pulled at random and inspected, tested, or otherwise verified.
- Inspection — Components are visually checked for correct size, number, finish, etc. Visual aids like colored or UV lights and magnification may be used.
- Measurement — Characteristics like weight, length, and thickness can be checked to make sure components meet expected specifications.
- Testing — Components can be tested to ensure quality, ranging from test-fitting components and assemblies to destructive testing of a random sampling.
How to Implement QC During Packaging
QC can be employed at many points in a product’s packaging process. More tests, more often usually means higher quality assurance. For instance, every individual component could be inspected before packaging begins.
Major components, sub-assemblies, and kits can be checked at various points in the packaging process to ensure that quality is being maintained. Sampling or verification of finished product packages can reduce (or eliminate) returns and customer complaints.
When problems are identified, offending components can be rejected. Re-occurring problems may indicate deeper issues that need to be addressed. In many cases, components that fail QC can be recycled or worked, reducing wastage.
Finding the QC Sweet Spot
Companies may be tempted to add all sorts of QC to every item being packaged. Obviously, this would ensure the highest quality and consistency. But the added cost and complexity may reduce profitability to the point it’s not cost justifiable.
The secret is to identify QC processes that are effective, easy to implement, and as non-intrusive a possible. For instance, there is little need to inspect every single bolt. A random sampling when a new box is opened is likely to be just as effective.
There is probably no benefit to manually examining the contents of each package when they could be automatically weighed. Out-of-tolerance units would be kicked out of the production line, to be manually checked and reworked later.
At Component Packaging, we have decades of experience providing packaging and order fulfillment services for all sorts of products. Our experts will work with you to provide the ideal packaging for your business needs.
We’d love to talk with you about how outsourcing your packaging can improve your bottom line: https://www.componentpackaging.com/contact-us.
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