Defining quality in today’s manufacturing environments – and how to achieve it

In the current manufacturing environment, the definition of “quality” is expanding beyond finding and removing flaws to include product consistency and continuous improvement.

Defining and achieving these expansive quality goals can be done by utilising tools such as advanced inspection systems and software. Eagle Product inspection regularly updates its advanced technologies to meet food and beverage manufacturers for safety and quality parameters. For example, the newer EPX100 with the latest SimulTask5 control and image processing software can check for missing components, broken items, count, shape and position placement and also features an Eagle Repository that allows for on-screen review of production statistics and rejected and saved images.

That is just one example of Eagle’s inspection systems that help assure quality. The systems can be an integral part of quality assurance programs that are based on best practices for optimal performance and products.

Kyle Thomas, strategic business unit manager for Eagle Product Inspection, said, “Being on the front lines of production and the leading edge of technologies, we help manufacturers as they take important steps to achieve quality in its many forms.”

Suggesting the first step of determining the realistic expectations for quality programme as fundamental, he stressed the importance of identifying the expectation and feasible budget. For instance, after conducting a realistic review, manufacturers can set quality standards and metrics and then create a thorough risk assessment and risk mitigation plan that can include the use of multifunctional x-ray systems.

“Assessments, definition and planning are upfront ways to create an optimal quality program that fits a particular operation,” explained Thomas.

The execution of quality programmes includes step-by-step quality assurance processes with built-in benchmarks. Statistical Process Control monitoring can be implemented to assess achievement, while data can be collected, including through inspection systems that capture important product information. That and other data can be used to drive continuous improvement, a hallmark of today’s manufacturing operations.

“While the definition of quality has evolved and in some way is more involved than before, manufacturers can take advantage of advanced inspection systems that perform important quality checks with data and feedback that identify and fix quality gaps,” Thomas concluded. “Ultimately, best practices combined with the best systems on the market lead to the best products.”