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Quality control


Quality control

Quality inspector in a Volkseigener Betrieb sewing machine parts factory in Dresden, East Germany, 1977.
X-ray zoom series of a network adapter card.

Quality control, or QC for short, is a process by which entities review the quality of all factors involved in production. ISO 9000 defines quality control as "A part of quality management focused on fulfilling quality requirements".[1]

This approach places an emphasis on three aspects:

  1. Elements such as controls, job management, defined and well managed processes,[2][3] performance and integrity criteria, and identification of records
  2. Competence, such as knowledge, skills, experience, and qualifications
  3. Soft elements, such as personnel, motivation, team spirit, and quality relationships.

Controls include product inspection, where every product is examined visually, and often using a stereo microscope for fine detail before the product is sold into the external market. Inspectors will be provided with lists and descriptions of unacceptable product defects such as cracks or surface blemishes for example.

The quality of the outputs is at risk if any of these three aspects is deficient in any way.

Quality control emphasizes testing of products to uncover defects and reporting to management who make the decision to allow or deny product release, whereas quality assurance attempts to improve and stabilize production (and associated processes) to avoid, or at least minimize, issues which led to the defect(s) in the first place. For contract work, particularly work awarded by government agencies, quality control issues are among the top reasons for not renewing a contract.[4]


  • Notable approaches to quality control 1
  • Quality control in project management 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5
  • External links 6

Notable approaches to quality control

There is a tendency for individual consultants and organizations to name their own unique approaches to quality control—a few of these have ended up in widespread use:

Terminology Approximate year of first use Description
Statistical quality control (SQC) 1930s The application of statistical methods (specifically control charts and acceptance sampling) to quality control.[5]:556
Total quality control (TQC) 1956 Popularized by Armand V. Feigenbaum in a Harvard Business Review article[6] and book of the same name.[7] Stresses involvement of departments in addition to production (e.g., accounting, design, finance, human resources, marketing, purchasing, sales).
Statistical process control (SPC) 1960s The use of control charts to monitor an individual industrial process and feed back performance to the operators responsible for that process. Inspired by control systems.
Company-wide quality control (CWQC) 1968 Japanese-style total quality control[7]
Total Quality Management (TQM) 1985 Quality movement originating in the [8]
Six Sigma (6σ) 1986 Statistical quality control applied to business strategy.[9] Originated by Motorola.

Quality control in project management

In project management, quality control requires the project manager and the project team to inspect the accomplished work to ensure its alignment with the project scope.[10] In practice, projects typically have a dedicated quality control team which focuses on this area.

See also


  1. ^ ISO 9000:2005, Clause 3.2.10
  2. ^ Dennis Adsit (November 9, 2007). "What the Call Center Industry Can Learn from Manufacturing: Part I". National Association of Call Centers. Retrieved 21 December 2012. 
  3. ^ Dennis Adsit (November 23, 2007). "What the Call Center Industry Can Learn from Manufacturing: Part II". National Association of Call Centers. Retrieved 21 December 2012. 
  4. ^ "Position Classification Standard for Quality Assurance Series, GS-1910". US Office of Personnel Management. March 1983. Retrieved 21 December 2012. 
  5. ^  
  6. ^  
  7. ^ a b  
  8. ^ Evans, James R.; Lindsay, William M. (1999), The Management and Control of Quality (4 ed.),  
  9. ^ "What Is Six Sigma?".  
  10. ^ Phillips, Joseph (November 2008). "Quality Control in Project Management". The Project Management Hut. Retrieved 21 December 2012. 

Further reading

  • Radford, George S. (1922), The Control of Quality in Manufacturing,  

External links

  • ASTM quality control standards
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