As a rule of thumb, quality controls are important for every industry. No less so for metal fabricators — a proper quality control (QC) plan ensures that an effective quality system is in place and, for their customers, it reassures them that the products they receive will be of the highest quality.
Advantages of Quality Control for Metal Fabricators
In many ways, an effective QC system is symbiotic for a company’s success. One that assures customer satisfaction and approval, which leads to increased employee performance and production, which further improves customer relations and business. In effect, customers that receive quality products are happy customers, ones that become loyal and repeat business; ones that offer referrals, which improves the company’s position in the market. QC improves overall safety in the shop, too, which improves employee performance that, consequently, reduces liability risks from poorly fabricated products that, in turn, further assures customers that only the finest of products are fabricated in your shop.
As part of the fabrication process then, quality control is vital to building and ensuring success. QC creates a productive, cooperative environment for both management and employees to strive in. It also creates benchmarks for quality, testing products, providing ongoing training of personnel in materials and applications, and so forth. QC systems are as much a process as a procedure, one that establishes well-defined controls that not only provide high standards for the shop but standardizes production and reactions to quality issues that may arise. The process limits room for error, improving the quality of products, and allows the shop to meet the challenges presented by customer expectations.
To manufacture a custom metal fabricated part, component, or finished product involves many steps. From CAD drawings and specifications and selecting appropriate material to the proper fabricating and forming techniques, as well as handling and shipping, every step along the way should include quality standards and inspection policies to ensure the finished product is of the highest quality.
Quality Control vs. Quality Management Systems
For many companies, quality control is an essential component in a broader quality management system (QMS). A system best exemplified by companies that have achieved ISO 9001 certification. ISO 9001 is the world’s leading international standard for QMS. The standard offers assurance to customers that ensure adherence to manufacturing processes and protocols at the highest performance levels. As a customer service-focused standard, ISO 9001 is the yardstick by which all quality assurance systems are measured.
Because QC is so integral to an overall QMS, overseeing the QC system in the shop is a QC Manager oversees the system and is responsible for implementing and coordinating the quality control program. As custom metal fabrication is a multi-step process, QC is a team effort that can affect every office or department in the shop. It begins with top management—the owner, president, shop manager, head of engineering, other managers, and shift leaders—as well as personnel on the floor and support staff—all working in concert to resolve any quality issues that may occur.
On an average day, a QC team is tasked with performing first and last piece approval for products during the fabrication process. This would include receiving inspections, in-process inspections, first-article inspections, final inspections, and even any calibrations or measurements before products can be readied for shipping.
Before deciding on a shop, companies seeking custom metal fabrication services should ask about that shop’s quality control system. Central to the effectiveness of a quality management system, quality control is not only essential for the success of custom metal fabrication shops but will ensure customers that the production of custom metal products will be fabricated to the highest standards.
Quest-Tech has long been an ISO 9001 certified fabrication company that practices and adheres to quality control systems that assure the highest quality products are delivered to our customers. To learn more about the quality control implemented by our metal fabricators, please contact us today!