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The Importance of Quality Control in Fabrication

May 26, 2016MainPathNewsComments Off on The Importance of Quality Control in Fabrication

fabrication and manufacturing

Quality is a crucial factor to consider in any industry — particularly designing a product or service. The higher market competition becomes, the more quality is identified as the market differentiator for consumers seeking dependable companies and resources.

In the fabrication and manufacturing industry, companies construct components for numerous industries, using the techniques of quality control and quality assurance to maintain consistent results. Though accuracy is essential for every market, when it comes to the precision machining used to fabricate products for the military and aerospace, reliability takes on a critical role.

Human lives can depend on the ability of thousands of components to work together as designed; in precision machining there is no margin for error.

Complete Quality Control Begins With Clear Standards

Most precision machining companies use a system of “Total Quality Management” to oversee each step of the production process, from manufacturing floor processes to distribution. This approach considers the responsibilities of each staff member, as well as the tools, techniques, and materials used.

In order to implement an effective quality control program, the enterprise must decide on the specific standards each product must meet. For instance, products for the Military and Aerospace industries must meet rigorous standards for durability and dependability at every turn. Once standards are outlined, the company must find ways to implement and test various factors in each fabricated product, including:

  • Accuracy
  • Precision
  • Effectiveness
  • Consistency
  • Reliability
  • Cost-Efficiency

Ways to Implement Quality Control

In some cases, automated systems inspect the factors determining the overall quality of a product. For instance, using the same CNC software in a laser-cutting machine for certain parts can help to ensure consistency and cost-efficiency. However, the fabrication company is still responsible for ensuring accuracy by selecting high-quality materials and tools, adhering to standards, facilitating precision through the use of innovative technology, and determining reliability through product testing. Implementing quality control measures for these purposes may mean:

  • Enhancing staff training: A high quality workforce is essential to producing high-quality components. Standardized training means that each component is created using the same consistent, standardized set of techniques.  
  • Upgrading machines: Using the most effective tools for precision machining means that products can be created faster, and to a higher standard. Innovative technology such as laser cutters and waterjets are necessary to achieve accuracy in intricate designs, maintain material quality, and develop customized solutions to complex problems.
  • Developing clear company goals: Management have a role in clarifying the standards all staff members should work towards in successfully fabricating parts and machining products. These standards should be clearly explained and upheld, so that everyone works towards the same, uniform goals. At precision waterjet we have a dedicated quality department that stringently inspects finished products to ensure they meet standards.

In the machining industry, one important part of quality control is maintenance. This means investing regular time (and money where necessary), on ensuring that each machine is performing at the highest standard to produce quality results. From examining errors in waterjet cutters, to testing for accuracy in laser jets and CNC machines, maintenance is an unavoidable step in both quality control, and quality management.

Quality Control Is an Ongoing Process

The final step in quality control for any industry is to measure results. While there are many reasons for implementing a quality control process – particularly when machining parts for critical industries like the military or aerospace sector, one reason will be to ensure that each part meets the standards of the company that machined it. Results gleaned from customer feedback can contribute to necessary changes in quality management, while errors documented during production can be essential to preventing further issues in the future.

The driving force behind a machining company should be to achieve the highest level of quality. This could involve more customer service training, leadership development, and higher levels of staffing, or it could mean making changes to the product, service, or production process. Whatever the cost, fabrication companies cannot afford to compromise on quality.

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