Protection for Consumers – safe use of products

Introduction

The aim of any manufacturing company is to make and distribute their products to satisfy customers demand. Cost is the main factor which influences consumer product choice, although quality of design and performance are also important factors.

Quality control and Quality assurance play important roles from the early stages of designing through to packaging.

Quality control

Quality Control is a system set in place by a manufacturing company to ensure products are made to a high standard. To ensure that products are of the highest quality, a series of inspections are made at every stage of manufacturing to identify whether it meets the design and manufacturing specification, and most important of all to satisfy customers expectations.

A quality control officer will monitor the production line and evaluate whether the product meets the design specification at different manufacturing stages. If the product fails to meet these set requirements, it will either be recycled or disposed of.

A high quality product must:

  • Function properly
  • Meet the criteria set in the design and manufacturing specification
  • Satisfy customer expectations
  • Be free of imperfection

Once the product has passed all manufacturing and production criteria, it is then tested in its intended environment.

If the quality control officer is satisfied with its performance it is then ready to undergo British Standards Institution (BSI) tests.

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Quality Assurance

Quality Assurance ensures that the product is ‘fit for purpose’. A company will have systems in place to ensure that raw materials, manufacturing equipments and staff training are of the highest quality. By following these systems high quality products are produced, retaining the manufacturers’ credibility and customer confidence. If the product meets the highest quality standard it is awarded with the ISO 9000 standard (International Standard of Quality).

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British Standard Institution

BSI is an independent company which sets out clear rules and guidelines for companies to follow in the designing and manufacturing of their products. Manufactured products can be sent for testing to BSI. If all goes well the product will be awarded the ISO 9000 Kite Mark.

Key Points

  1. Quality control is a series of inspections on the production line to identify quality and note any imperfections.
  2. Design Specification will highlight detailed requirements that the product must achieve.
  3. Quality Control contributes to Quality Assurance.
  4. The Quality Control Manager is responsible for ensuring accuracy and consistency throughout the manufacturing process.
  5. ISO 9000 is awarded to high quality products.
  6. BSI will test products prior to distribution and a Kite Mark is issued if the product meets all standards. making

Quality control is a series of tests or inspections that are carried out throughout the manufacturing process to ensure that the product is of a high quality.

Quality control takes place throughout manufacturing:

Before manufacturing begins – checking materials for faults or flaws

During manufacturing – correct settings

On completion of the product

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