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quality control/quality assuranceIn the manufacturing world, quality assurance is a proactive method of preventing mistakes and maintaining consistency. The International Organization for Standardization, better known as ISO, has developed standards that address the issue of quality assurance in the metal fabrication world. Known as ISO 9000, these quality management guidelines are expected to undergo a revision for 2015 to make them more accessible for managers in the industrial manufacturing field. A number of processes are required for full compliance with established ISO standards.

Auditing and Recordkeeping

One of the most important elements of ISO 9000 compliance is auditing and keeping accurate records of the activities and workflows in the fabrication and metalworking environment. This can create a baseline from which improvements can be made and results measured, allowing these fabrication firms to streamline their processes and to achieve greater productivity and increased consistency for all their metalworking activities. Recordkeeping activities can also provide added information for clients interested in the processes needed to create their products.

Quality Controls vs. Quality Assurance

An article published in The Tube & Pipe Journal on July 20, 2011, discusses the differences between quality controls and quality assurance processes:

* Quality assurance refers to the big-picture approaches taken by managers to promote increased consistency and improved precision in the working environment.
* Quality controls, by contrast, are implemented at the production level and are designed to identify any problems in the design or fabrication of specific items. This may be achieved by spot-checking or otherwise evaluating parts after they are produced.

The quality control process can be used to obtain information for use in determining the necessary actions at the quality assurance level of management.

The Value of Quality Assurance

Especially for companies that perform precision fabrication tasks for their clients, maintaining a strict quality assurance process is essential to promote an environment in which workers can perform at optimal levels. This can help to ensure that each piece fits perfectly and serves the purpose for which it was designed. By implementing a consistent quality assurance plan, these firms can provide the high-quality parts and products needed to ensure productivity in the larger business community.

The outlines provided by ISO 9000 standards are deliberately vague and are intended to be used as general recommendations and tailored to suit the needs of various industries. Metal fabrication companies like C R Industries use these guidelines to ensure that their clients receive the precision parts they need at an affordable cost, allowing them to maintain a dominant position in the industrial marketplace. This attention to detail allows metal working firms to provide the best services for their valued customers.

See also Why Tolerance Matters in Aluminum and Stainless Steel Fabrication and The Right Fit Every Time