Definition

quality control (QC)

Part of the IT standards and organizations glossary:

Quality control (QC) is a procedure or set of procedures intended to ensure that a manufactured product or performed service adheres to a defined set of quality criteria or meets the requirements of the client or customer. QC is similar to, but not identical with, quality assurance (QA). QA is defined as a procedure or set of procedures intended to ensure that a product or service under development (before work is complete, as opposed to afterwards) meets specified requirements. QA is sometimes expressed together with QC as a single expression, quality assurance and control (QA/QC).

In order to implement an effective QC program, an enterprise must first decide which specific standards the product or service must meet. Then the extent of QC actions must be determined (for example, the percentage of units to be tested from each lot). Next, real-world data must be collected (for example, the percentage of units that fail) and the results reported to management personnel. After this, corrective action must be decided upon and taken (for example, defective units must be repaired or rejected and poor service repeated at no charge until the customer is satisfied). If too many unit failures or instances of poor service occur, a plan must be devised to improve the production or service process and then that plan must be put into action. Finally, the QC process must be ongoing to ensure that remedial efforts, if required, have produced satisfactory results and to immediately detect recurrences or new instances of trouble.

See also: Total Quality Management 

 

Continue reading about quality control:

Putting a global face on manufacturing quality control
Learn why globalization is bringing new challenges to manufacturing-quality-control systems. Understand the limitations of traditional quality-control tools and why building trust with suppliers is essential to global quality control.

Experts share tips for shop floor quality control
Learn how integrating plant floor and enterprise IT infrastructure can improve shop-floor quality control. Understand the importance of a broad, networked view in shop-floor integration. Discover quality-control best practices.

This was last updated in June 2011
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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