What Does A Quality Control Inspector Do?

When it comes to ensuring quality, the task of determining whether a product has passed established quality and safety standards lies in the hands of quality control inspectors. They perform a very important function not only to the company they work for but also to the end-consumers who will be buying and using the products on a day-to-day basis. From food to beverages to appliances to medicines, quality control inspectors must carefully scrutinize samples of products to make certain that they are durable and safe.

Quality control inspectors are involved in all aspects of product manufacturing to make certain that quality standards are being followed. From the procurement of raw materials to monitoring them in the assembly line to accepting finished products, they are there to ensure that the products stay true to specifications and don’t have defects.

Companies rely on quality control inspectors to stay in business. This is because government agencies like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency have established rules that companies have to follow when it comes to manufacturing their products. If quality control inspectors don’t do their job well and federal agencies find violations, the company could suffer losses because they would need to recall their products and suffer penalties in the form of heavy fines, lawsuits or a combination of both.

In the worst case scenario, the company could lose its permit to operate and close. This is why quality control inspectors must be thorough and exacting in their job.

Using calipers, alignment gauges, liquid level measurements and other tools, quality control inspectors are able to assess the quality of certain products. They may also employ taste-testing and liquid-testing methods to determine if foods and drinks pass quality standards. They may also determine if it meets the nutritional standards the company claims the food item contains. In the pharmaceutical industry, testing for quality may involve determining if the individual components of a drug are safe and uncontaminated.

For inspectors reviewing electrical products, the process may involve using voltmeters and ammeters to test for potential difference and current flow. Those who test gadgets and appliances may subject computers, printers, refrigerators or air conditioners to conditions that mimic regular wear and tear to find out if they can withstand its rigors. The products that don’t meet the quality standards are either removed and discarded or returned to the appropriate production personnel for repair if only minor issues are found.

In some companies, the quality control process is automated. There are sophisticated inspection systems set up at various stages in the production line and the job of inspectors in this set up is to see to it that the equipment is functioning well. They also perform random product checks and record the output in the production line. Although automation could reduce the need for physical inspections, there are certain industries—such as in food processing and pharmaceuticals—where human quality control inspectors cannot be replaced.

Quality control inspectors make reports about every product they inspect. They also look at relevant documentation and computer data to make their report.

Depending on the findings of their inspection, the inspectors may recommend that changes be made in various points of the manufacturing process. Since quality control personnel are also responsible for ensuring that quality is maintained in the long-term, they also talk with those working in the production line so that they are apprised of the areas where improvements can be made.

They also educate them on recent trends and changes in policies that would have an effect on the quality of the products that are being manufactured. It’s very important that quality control inspectors determine areas where breaches in standards have occurred, pointing out who are responsible for these and reporting these to company management who will determine the appropriate sanctions for them.

Aside from physical products, quality control inspectors also help service providers maintain the quality of the services they are offering. Determining the quality of the service being offered requires a different set of evaluation strategies than those used for evaluating the quality of manufactured products. It may involve attending sales presentations and monitoring customer feedback about the product.

A positive sentiment about the firm’s services is generally an indication of good quality while customer complaints indicate that something needs to be addressed to improve the service.

Career Spotlight: Quality Control Inspector

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