Writing an effective quality plan for manufacturing
March 7, 2022
Quality planning for manufacturing is a crucial step in ensuring that you can deliver high-quality products. If you don't have a well-thought-out quality plan, it's very likely that your product will have to be re-worked or redesigned to the point where it takes longer and costs more.
Your Quality Plan Should Be Part of the Planning Process
Your quality plan needs to be part of your overall manufacturing planning process for the project at hand. It shouldn't be something you add on after you've made the final decisions re: material selection, resource planning, or HR considerations. An initial draft should be developed as early as possible when you first decide on the design of your product or service and then refined throughout the entire manufacturing process.
Start With a Functional Analysis
The first step in developing a quality plan is to do a functional analysis of your project. This analysis will help you understand what your customer wants and the best way to deliver it. If you're delivering a piece of plant and equipment, for example, you'll need to understand its intended use as well as the technical and regulatory requirements that it needs to meet in the marketplace. You'll need to work closely with your customer(s) and determine exactly what type of features it needs to have.
Once you understand these things, you'll be able to commence the development of the Quality Plan. At this point in time, I also recommend reviewing the outcomes of any similar projects completed earlier for any deviations or improvements made.
Decide on Your Core Quality Measures
Once you've done a functional analysis, you should decide on the key quality measurables needed to ensure compliance to specifications and develop either Staged Inspection Plans for single parts or simple assemblies and more detailed Inspection and Test Plans for large and complex assemblies.
Once your projects hit the shop-floor it is essential that inspection records are maintained and collated for inclusion in the records transfer process required at the project handover stage.
What to do if you need help with Quality Planning
The above is somewhat brief in its coverage of the quality aspects that are essential to the successful delivery of your product and your overall service. They are however the basic elements that must be included in every product or service you produce.
We have some more resources on planning for quality:
- Planning for Quality - Product / Service
- Planning for Quality - Management System
- Inspection and Test Plans
If you feel that you need more details or information regarding quality planning then please contact us - we are happy to assist!