In-line inspection services

Two factory workers looking at the papers and discussing them

Historically, quality control inspections were done after a product was completed and ready to use. Unfortunately, this method proved unnecessarily expensive because defects that occurred early in the manufacturing process were more difficult to correct than those that occurred later. As a result, in-line quality control became the standard method for reducing or avoiding costly manufacturing defects. In-line inspections involve using the manufacturing process itself to monitor and correct problems as they occur. Generally, the inspections are performed to sets of tolerances for each part of the manufacturing process. In-line inspections catch small problems that might otherwise fly under the radar and identify minor manufacturing defects that can gradually worsen as a tool wears out, saving time and labor. Since they are performed during the manufacturing process, they are also known as During Production Inspections, or DUPRO. These inspections often augment factory audits, which contain processes designed to reduce errors in shipping, like pre-shipment inspections. Together, these quality control inspections are largely responsible for a manufacturer’s success because they prevent avoidable defects before, during, and after production.

How do in-line inspections work?

Quantity-based inspections

Some facilities, like those making quantities of textiles or packaging, tend to use quantity-based inspection processes. Machines designed for high production volumes rather than precision typically need to be inspected and repaired after creating a certain number of units.

The inspections are performed at regular intervals to minimize downtime and are usually timed in response to specific goals or industry seasonality. This method allows manufacturers to meet production targets and dedicate extended periods to maintenance.

Time-based inspections

Time-based inspections are common in precision industries where machinery performs repetitive tasks, making wear and tear more predictable. The inspections are based on service hours rather than the production volume to ensure consistency between product runs and address any equipment degradation before it affects output quality.

Random in-line inspections

Random in-line inspections can be used as a sole inspection method or in combination with others. Random assessments provide an extra layer of control by allowing an inspector to choose any product at any stage. Random in-line inspections are often used to improve quality control within a batch or between production runs.

What Are the Benefits of an In-Line Inspection?

An in-line quality control inspection can prevent material waste and lost productivity and improve return on investment. For the same reason a home builder won’t build a new home on a bad foundation, manufacturers use in-line inspections to prevent costly corrections that could have been avoided upstream. In-line inspections are also useful when production lines first begin building different products, which is when most defects occur.

How to book an in-line inspection

Factored Quality makes booking in-line inspection services as easy as clicking a button. Our managed service platform makes it easy to connect with over 1,500 trained QC inspectors and track project statuses and outcomes. Sign up for a free demonstration of our platform.

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