Quality control and quality assurance are the 2 terms often used in the manufacturing industries. Both terms are important and related, but there is a subtle difference between QA and QC. This is because both are aspects of effective quality management. Also, they ensure that the outputs are high-quality and meet customer expectations.

In this guide, we will discuss both terms in detail and explain how they are different than each other. Let’s get into it.

What is Quality Control?

Quality control is a process intended to ensure that the products that reach customers meet the standards laid down. QC is a strategy applied throughout the production of manufacturing. Quality control experts need to ensure that nothing has gone wrong at any stage. It also ensures that no defect reaches the customer and no malfunction occurs.

How is Quality Control Strategy Performed?

A quality control strategy is mostly done by an individual who is an expert in a particular field. This person may always check whether a particular machine is doing what it’s supposed to do.

The role of quality control is not limited to checking the quality. It may also include determining the cause of any defect. Besides that, it assures that it doesn’t appear again, and decides on actions that are important to resolve issues. Quality control makes sure that defects are spotted and immediately solved.

The performance of quality control at each step can determine the outcome of the customer’s buying decision. If a method or a stage of manufacture performs very poorly, then it is likely that there will be a problem with product quality.

Why is quality control important for industries?

Quality control proves to be very important in industries where there are complex processes involved. In such cases, there may be a lot of steps between production and delivery, where the product could get damaged or spoilt if quality control is not performed at each stage.

A few examples could be the steel, automobile, and machine maintenance industries, among others.

Customers, buyers, and suppliers of raw materials all must think about quality control and how it can be easily performed. This is because the quality control of raw materials used for production is extremely crucial, and customers will not buy if they believe something has gone wrong during this stage.

What is Quality Assurance?

Quality assurance is a system of management aimed at assuring that the standards of quality are always met. It ensures that the norms and standards set out in quality manuals by the companies are being met regularly.

In simple terms, quality assurance means ensuring every person has done their job to the best of their ability. The purpose is to produce a high-quality product that meets customer expectations.

How is Quality Assurance Strategy Performed?

Quality assurance strategy involves human beings. The roles of the quality assurance department are highly specialized. Also, the people involved must have a wide range of skills that help them perform their tasks. Quality assurance experts must be more experienced than other employees. They must have knowledge about the company’s processes to examine products before they reach customers.

The performance of the QA team at each stage of production will determine how customers will rate the product quality. If there are slips or a below-par performance, the direct result will be low customer satisfaction and sales in the market.

The QA department has to ensure that activities performed by the people responsible for quality control are flawless.

Why is quality assurance important for industries?

Quality assurance is extremely important for all industries. But it is essential for those where the products or services are complex or technical. A few examples of such industries are the medical industry, aerospace industry, and IT industry. In these industries, a single mistake can have disastrous consequences.

For instance, the wrong medication dosage can lead to death in the medical industry. Similarly, a small calculation error can lead to a plane crash in the aerospace industry.  In the information technology industry, a software bug can result in the loss of data or even a system crash. Quality assurance must be given top priority in these industries to avoid any such catastrophic events.

What is the difference between Quality control and Quality Assurance?

Quality control is concerned with detecting and correcting product defects. In contrast, quality assurance is concerned with preventing defects from occurring in the first place.  Quality control is a reactive approach, while quality assurance is a proactive approach.

Quality control focuses on the end product, while quality assurance focuses on the process. In quality control, the emphasis is on inspection. On the other hand, quality assurance emphasizes is on preventing mistakes. Quality control concerns conformance to standards, while quality assurance is concerned with adherence to procedures.

Conclusion

It is clear that QC and QA are extremely important to industries, but they have very different roles.

Quality control observes a process and discovers defects that can be fixed. On the other hand, quality assurance focuses on preventing defects from occurring. It is done by implementing high-quality processes and procedures. Therefore, it is essential to train employees to follow the correct process is essential. Otherwise, the outcome will not be satisfactory.

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