Quality control (QC) is the collection of methods and techniques for ensuring that a product or service is produced and delivered according to given requirements. This includes the development of specifications and standards, performance measures, and tracking procedures, and corrective actions to maintain control. The data collection and analysis functions for quality control involve statistical sampling, estimation of parameters, and construction of various control charts for monitoring the processes in making products. This area of quality control is formally known as statistical process control (SPC) and, along with acceptance sampling, represents the traditional perception of quality management. Statistical process control focuses primarily on the conformance element of quality, and to somewhat less extent on operating performance and durability.
Total quality control, also called total quality management, is an approach that extends beyond ordinary statistical quality control techniques and quality improvement methods. It implies a complete overview and re-evaluation of the specification of a product, rather than just considering a more limited set of changeable features within an existing product. If the original specification does not reflect the correct quality requirements, quality cannot be inspected or manufactured into the product. For instance, the design of a pressure vessel should include not only the material and dimensions, but also operating, environmental, safety, reliability and maintainability requirements, and documentation of findings about these requirements.
Quality control is a matter of checking and re-checking various components in the manufacturing and marketing process to ensure the product or service being provided is satisfactory and safe for all involved. There are methods used for quality control based on the industry and also the company structure.
Quality assurance is a basic method of quality control. During manufacturing of vehicles and other items, there may be inspectors that test the product to ensure it meets a certain standard for the company. Also, companies also test all the individual components that make up the individual product or service for quality and satisfaction.
Product testing usually includes purposely breaking or damaging a product to see how well it holds up. An example of this is when brand-new cars are put under rigorous crash tests to determine how safe and effective they are before selling them to customers. Pharmaceutical industries test and retest drugs before the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) states they are safe for human consumption.
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