When most people think of careers in precision sheet metal fabrication and manufacturing, they tend to focus on positions like machinist or welder. But there are many jobs that have nothing to do with machine operation or physically fabricating end products in some way. In the past, we’ve discussed the impact and importance of positions in industrial engineering, welding and quality assurance. This week, we’ll take a closer look at the responsbilities of quality control specialists in fabrication environments.
What Does a Quality Control (QC) Specialist Do?
Every company defines QC responsibilities a bit differently, but the key role of QC specialists, in general, is to ensure that finished parts or products do not leave the facility until they have been fully inspected and rated as meeting certain standards.
At EVS Metal, for instance, our QC team may spend an entire day performing first-/last-piece approval for each order during each stage of fabrication and finishing; a morning receiving inspections for purchased items; an afternoon calibrating measuring equipment; or most of a day handling final inspection of a product before it’s released for shipment. As the last touchpoint before an item leaves our facility, QC is an absolutely integral part of our team.
Quality Control (QC) and Quality Assurance (QA) are Not One and the Same
One of the most common mistakes made when discussing QA and QC is the use of the terms interchangeably, when in fact, these two job roles and functional areas cover very different aspects of the quality process overall.
In simple terms, QA’s work is primarily focused on products before they are manufactured or fabricated. Their job is to prevent problems from occurring in the first place by working closely with engineers and other areas to ensure designs meet the necessary tolerances and other specific standards are met so that once an item is fabricated, it should work exactly as intended. On the other hand, as discussed previously, QC’s job starts once fabrication has been completed, and is there to stop products from leaving the facility that do not meet the required specifications.
In a perfect world, QC wouldn’t be necessary, but in reality, QC specialists are incredibly important to maintaining companies’ good reputations by preventing potential errors from going out the door unnoticed. Their careful inspection of products and thorough understanding of manufacturing standards even help protect consumers by keeping defective items from ever entering the marketplace in the first place.
Want to learn more about how EVS’s focus on quality assurance and quality control can make a difference on your next metal fab project? Get a fabrication quote online, or call us at 1-888-9EVSMET.