You can’t ignore Chinese manufacturers while sourcing products from overseas manufacturers. In Aug 2022, Chinese exports reached $315B compared to $236B, resulting in a positive trade balance of $79.4B. One month’s trade balance in China is higher than many countries’ annual trade revenue. These incredible stats hint at the significance of Chinese manufacturers in today’s world.
You can spot at least one Chinese manufacturer in the supply chains of every prominent global business. There are exceptional benefits to having Chinese manufacturers in a business supply chain regarding on-time deliveries, handling big orders, and prices. But all of this comes with a stack of challenges, especially maintaining an appropriate AQL score can be a severe challenge to import from China.
You can meet these challenges of non-compliance by strictly following the standard QC practices. Quality control can make or break your business, whether you consider Chinese or any other country manufacturer for goods imports.
You might be wondering what QC inspection method will suit your business to source goods from China. We’re here to assist you in selecting the best QC inspection method while sourcing from a Chinese manufacturer. This blog will walk you through the top 5 QC inspection methodologies and how to consider and implement one in your business scenarios.
Quality Control Inspection Methods
Quality control inspection is an integral part of the manufacturing process. It ensures that a finished product meets safety, quality, and performance requirements. A third-party inspector or internal employee usually does QC inspections. These inspectors look at different parts of the manufacturing process to ensure that everything conforms to the specifications and standards the company or customer sets.
The Quality Control inspection steps
This inspection process commonly referred to as the “10-step QC Inspection” method, has been adopted by many industries to ensure high-quality products. The ten steps are:
- Inspection Planning
- Preparation of Inspection Tools and Equipment
- Inspection of Critical Dimensions and Features (of a part)
- Critical Feature Control Gauging (CFCG) or Coordinate Measurement Machines (CMMs)
- Statistical Process Control (SPC) using statistical tools or through an experienced inspector’s eye
- Verification of inspection data accuracy and completeness
- Sampling plan development for attributes/variable
- Sampling Plans for Attributes/Counting
- Sampling Plans for Non-distributable Attributes
- Removing the products that do not match pre-defined standards.
There are five quality control inspection methodologies, whether you’re sourcing from a Chinese manufacturer or any overseas manufacturer. Let’s review these quality control inspection methods to consider the best fit for your business while sourcing goods from China.
PPI – Pre-Production Inspection
Pre-production inspection (PPI) is performed to ensure that the product being manufactured complies with the customer’s specifications. PPI is used to verify that all components are functional and fit together before they enter production. This type of inspection is typically performed at the supplier’s facility but can also be performed by a third party if your company or client requests.
When should a PPI perform?
You can use a PPI when:
- It is a great time to perform a PPI before production starts, as the manufacturer can make any necessary adjustments before the product goes into production.
- Go for PPI when there is a change in the production process. Changing the way of manufacturing could change its quality, so you must complete this process with eyes wide open and a keen eye on all possible issues that might arise from these changes.
- When a new supplier or product line is being introduced into production. Before allowing a new supplier to provide materials or components for your products, it’s best to ensure their materials are of high quality by performing PPIs on them and their processes for manufacturing those materials (if applicable). The same goes for introducing new suppliers for finished goods; if they have not yet been inspected through this method, have them do so before accepting delivery of their finished goods onto your assembly line(s).
What does the inspector check during a PPI?
The inspector will check for compliance with the standard and conformance to the specification and drawings. They will also check for compliance with the bill of material (BOM).
DPI – During Production Inspection
DPI is a general term that refers to any inspection during the production phase, which occurs after your product has been designed and finalized. The goal of DPI is to catch any errors or problems before your product goes into full production.
Why do you need a during-production inspection? You need DPI to ensure product manufacturing according to the predefined standards, so they can be sold as-is or customized if necessary. It lets your customers know they’re getting exactly what they paid for and helps prevent them from having issues with their purchase when they receive it.
How often should you perform a DPI? Your company should keep track of how many times each item needs to be inspected, whether every few months or once every year—whatever makes sense based on the nature of the product.
When should you perform a DPI? You may perform the DPI when the product is in production. You may perform it at regular intervals, depending on the product and its production process. DPIs are generally performed at key points in the production process to ensure that quality standards are being adhered to, but this will depend on your business goals for each inspection. The specific reasons for performing DPI vary depending on factors like:
- What stage of development or manufacture is your product at
- How crucial it is for you to get things right the first time around
PM – Production Monitoring
Production Monitoring (PM) is a method for monitoring the performance of a manufacturing process and identifying areas in which improvements can be made. In this inspection method, the following steps are carried out:
- Identify the problem and its cause –It is crucial to determine the reason behind a defect or problem so that you can address it more effectively. For instance, if your machine is making faulty products because of an incorrect calibration setting, you would want to change that setting before trying any other interventions.
- Identify the scope of the problem –The scope refers to how complex your issue is in terms of location and time frame. Do defective products show up only during certain times? Are they only produced at one location? Defects may occur in a particular batch size or production line order. It may also vary depending on the raw material quality and quantity. A thorough analysis will help determine what factors are contributing most directly towards defects occurring where they occur most often so that adjustments can be made accordingly.
When should you perform PMs?
PMs are performed during the production process to ensure the quality of the product throughout the production process. You can perform PMs as regular inspections where you look for non-conformances or defects in the sample parts and products. Or they can be done randomly, where you inspect all your products at a given time frame regardless of whether they have been processed yet or not.
PSI – Pre-Shipment Inspection
Pre-shipment inspection (PSI) is a quality control method that involves the inspection of goods before they are shipped to the buyer. A PSI can be used to determine if there are any issues in an order, and it can also help identify risks associated with manufacturing those goods.
Some steps involved in performing a pre-shipment inspection include:
- Defining specifications for each item being inspected
- Identifying items that have been inspected before shipment or delivery by using bar codes or other methods
- Checking for defects on each item as specified by your company’s quality control plan
CLS – Container Loading Supervision
Container Loading Supervision (CLS) is the final step in quality control inspection, typically performed in the manufacturing place or shipper warehouse. It’s a visual inspection of the containers before they get loaded onto the ship, and it ensures that nothing has been missed during your previous inspections. The steps for CLS may vary from product to product. But, in particular, inspectors check to ensure that no damage has occurred during handling, cleaning, and packing. They also ensure that all goods are accounted for and labeled with barcodes.
Final Words | An Ultimate Guide to Product Inspection in China
Quality control is vital to any manufacturing process and should be performed on every product. Picking up the right quality control method for every product stage is crucial to achieving pre-defined quality standards. The more accurate your QC method is, the more rarely it will catch any defects before they reach customers.
This blog has discussed the five quality control inspection methodologies Chinese manufacturers use. If your company plans to collaborate with Chinese manufacturers, you can find Chinese QC inspection agencies to work on your behalf. As far as the legitimacy and standard of a Chinese manufacturer or QC inspection agency matters, verifyfull.com can verify the Chinese company’s legal status, production capabilities, and standards through document analysis and on-ground visits.