September 11, 2013
Making the Case for Bar Codes to Ensure Product Quality
Consumers care deeply about the quality of the products that they consume. When it comes to the operational safety of items that are used on a day-to-day basis, there is little patience for parts that do not meet specifications. While various individuals have long been a part of the inspection process, however, there is one problem: humans make mistakes.
Automation, on the other hand, allows manufacturing executives to remove the burden of inspection from workers and re-allocate them to a different part of the production line apart from direct quality control. Statistical process control software is used to scan a product as it comes down the line and to ensure that once a product is scanned, it has been thoroughly checked for quality and is safe for use. This protects a company from two extremely negative problems: lawsuits and recalls.
In the U.S., for instance, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has reported 1,541 home product categories. There have been 1,267 categories of child products recalled, not including toys. And there have been 846 categories of sports and recreation products that have been taken off of the market. Just as bad, there have been 1,562 products recalled due to fire and fire-related burns, and 837 recalled due to choking hazards.
If American production is to make any sort of long term comeback and re-establish itself as a manufacturing powerhouse, these recalls must cease. Enterprise quality management software allows companies to manage the quality of products as they flow across a supply chain. A product can be scanned for proper specifications and logged into a database—which protects both the organization at hand and the consumer who will be using the product.
Without such measurements, these product recalls will continue—and American manufacturers will not hold themselves to the standards that they are capable of. But with the right manufacturing intelligence a new era of safe production can start in the U.S.