By Daniel Lee | 21st August 2015
A critical step in the offshore manufacturing process is quality control (QC). Without extensive quality control measures in place, you are not able to guarantee end-products that meet international standards, and of course, client expectations. When we talk about quality control in the manufacturing process, the determining factor will be to minimize the number of defects in the production line. After all in a manufacturing environment,
Higher defection rates = Higher costs for the buyer.
When vetting and qualifying a manufacturer, make sure that the manufacturer can be held accountable in the event of a higher number of defects during production. The most widely used industrial QC standard will be the acceptable quality limit (AQL); a proven and effective method. Typically, the most commonly AQL level requested is 4.0%/2.5%/0.1%, with 4.0% being minor defects, 2.5% being major defects and 0.1% being critical defects. This level is considered the ‘standard’ tolerance for most consumer products sold in North America and the UK.
Let me give you an example, in the case of a lot size of 10,000, the examiner will select 200 samples in random; sample size is based on the total lot size. The QC test will fail if one or more of the following conditions are determined to be true:
1. Fifteen or more minor defects are found (4.0%)
2. Twelve or more major defects are found (2.5%)
3. One or more critical defects are found (0.1%)
Of course, you are able to set your standard higher, for example 2.5%/1.0%/0.1% if you deal with luxury products or if you deal with pharmaceuticals or automobiles where a defect might cause an accident or in serious cases, death. Tier 1 manufacturers and OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) take it one step further and implement the six sigma or lean manufacturing systems, applying the use of statistical analysis and sophisticated calculations to minimize room for error and ensure excellent quality products.
Here at Sourcing Overseas, we go the extra mile to ensure that you receive the best terms, prices and product quality when offshoring your production. Looking to bring your product from conception to launch seamlessly? Get started now!