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What are your opinions on production doing quality checks?

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#1 aps


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Posted 25 May 2016 - 06:12 PM



I would like to get some opinions if possible. This is my situation


I am a technical manager of a slaughter and cutting plant. I have two assistants who help me with all the technical stuff, verification etc. We have 7 QC's doing 100% checks on all cuts before we pack.


Production in the boning hall complete hourly metal detection checks and calibration of scales and take label samples of all batches where we check when we can but they check them also. My director has it in his head that Technical should do this check on top of everything else in which my opinion is nonsense as this we have know time with audits, setting standards etc. this to me is a production function. It does not help when the boning manager is crying to him about it.


What are your thoughts, how are you set up? and is this in your opinion correct. Please help me convince him this is not the way to go.



#2 Wowie


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Posted 25 May 2016 - 07:04 PM

In my experience, every plant within every company handles this a bit differently. Some are able to staff appropriately, some may reduce some QA/QC check frequency in order to perform all checks necessary, and some use production support to help perform checks. (Hint: The trick is to do time studies every now and then and, to use a production phrase, make it work... *cough*)


IMHO, hourly metal detection and scale calibration are typically functions of the QA department. Depending on what is being checked on labels, how often you have product changes/lot changes/etc the labels may fall into the same category. However, I don't think it's necessarily wrong for production to perform these checks, depending on the amount of tasks put on the hourly team members in your quality department. I worked in one plant where the QA technicians performed metal detector checks at the beginning, middle, and end of the shift. A failure at the end of the shift meant, legitimately, that all product back to the middle of the shift was held and reworked. That was my "compromise" due to staffing. As a result, production asked if two of their leads could be trained to perform metal detector checks, so our frequency increased to every two hours. Maybe offering what you can, and seeing how far production will meet you in the middle will work? Otherwise, stick to your guns if either of these scenarios are impossible.

#3 GMO


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Posted 25 May 2016 - 09:16 PM

I would also have production doing quality checks on the product.


I would say anything which is a QC task or "monitoring" is normally nowadays a production responsibility to enable QA to be the independent eyes.  However, if you are delegating this workload to operations then staffing should be lower than when QC report into technical.  Difficult to know from your description if you're at risk of losing bodies.

#4 Mulan1010


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Posted 02 June 2016 - 03:26 PM

If you have management support then Quality Assurance (QA) rather than Quality Control is the better concept.


In QA, the quality of the product is a team approach.  Production is responsible for the quality of the product and they perform all the checks to ensure the quality.  The Quality Department is independent but works with production and randomly audits the process and product to ensure that the quality standards are being properly followed.


I say QA is the better concept because the production workers see all of the product through out the entire process so it is much better for them to see an issue and know they need to stop it before more product is affected.  The workers have a better attitude as well because most people want to be able to take pride and trust what they produce.  Quality departments are usually pretty small and can only see snapshots so if a company is only relying on the Quality Dept. to catch something then many things could easily be missed.   


I currently have the privilege to work with a committed management team under a QA concept and it was the best work environment and product I have been a part of.  When I worked for a management team that just worried about production and it was on Quality to catch the bad stuff there were lots of issues to include an almost hostile work environment on both sides; which is not good for anyone.

Edited by Charles.C, 02 June 2016 - 05:05 PM.
reformatted slightly

#5 CMHeywood


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Posted 02 June 2016 - 08:04 PM

One philosophy:

(1)  The people making the product are responsible for maintaining the quality and safety of the product.  They should be doing some sort of monitoring to get immediate feedback on the state of the process and the product.  If testing requires special equipment that is not duplicated, then off-line testing needs to be supported.

(2)  Department manager or equivalent should be auditing the checklists and verifying logs to make sure that the online monitoring and testing is being done correctly and per the required frequency.  Any trends should be noted.

(3)  Upper management should be tracking any complaints or nonconformance trends to validate that the control measures are working to the desired level.

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