Thursday, 31 July 2014

What is the Basic Structure of the Supply Chain?

Each product follows a unique supply chain that can often be extremely long and complicated. Take a look at Cadbury for example. The supply chain here starts with the cocoa beans that are sourced from farms and then ends with the final consumer who buys the chocolate bar to eat. 

The supply chain covers the entire journey that the beans take all the way to the chocolate being bought and consumed. The journey can include farmers , processors, farmers, the raw materials and suppliers, component makers, assemblers, packers, agents, logistics centres, the warehouses and third party operators. Then there are the transport forms the wholesalers, retailers and all sorts of other operations too. It’s extremely complex.

Supply chains are the movement of the product through the different organisations while contributing to the added value of the product. The inward movement of materials is called upstream and the movement of materials outwards is called downstream. The upstream activities for suppliers and customers are divided into different tiers.  Most of the supply chain follows this pattern regardless of their size and product, but each product will have its unique chain.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

About the Supply Chain

Organisations don’t work in isolation when it comes to the movement of goods and logistics. Even organisations that deliver goods to their customers become customers themselves when buying supplies and materials from their own suppliers. It then will act as the supplier when they move their own goods out to their customers.  The movement of goods from the point of origin to the customer goes by many different names but the most common term that is used is called the supply chain.

A good example of this can be seen in manufacturers. The manufacturer buys the raw materials they need from their suppliers. Once the materials are in place the manufacturers will turn them into finished products, which are then sold on to the wholesalers. All of the goods that are moved go through different organisations until they reach the end customer.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

How Does Logistics Support Operations?

Operations in organisations create and deliver their goods to their customers, whether they are tangible or intangible and take inputs and turn them into outputs. The inputs may vary from raw materials, people, equipment, information, components and money while the operations include the transportation, servicing, manufacturing, selling and training. The outputs refer to the services and goods.

Logistics takes care of the different inputs as they come from suppliers and the movement of the materials as they flow throughout the operations in the organizations; as well, as the materials and goods that are sent out to the consumers.  When the goods are moved from suppliers to the organisation it is called inbound logistics. When materials are sent to customers it is called outbound or outward logistics whereas the movement of materials within the organisation itself, is classed as materials management.

Monday, 28 July 2014

What are the Roles of Logistics?

Material movements take place in every organisation. Logistics is responsible for all the movement of products, materials and documentation as they are transported from one place to the other. It takes a lot of hard work and effort to ensure logistics run smoothly.

Manufacturers collect raw materials from suppliers for their factories and goods need to be move to the customers once products have been completed. Retailers take deliveries of stock from the wholesalers and even companies responsible for delivering news need to collect their reports. Logistics is involved in every industry and w e even rely on it when we order books, buy groceries and gadgets. China is now regarded as the factory of the world and they export around $100 billion worth of products each month and the trade of goods within the EU adds up to $2 trillion per year.

Logistics make it possible, yet it’s something that tends to go on in the background, unnoticed by many of us, or just accepted as how things work. However there are signs that we see each day, from couriers who deliver your online orders to vans and trucks on the roads, container ships on the seas and retailers unloading their stock.  All of these are signs of logistics that we all depend on and that requires excellent management.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Challenges of Coordination and Operational Logistics

Coordination Logistics
Operational Logistics
Activities focus
Operational – efficiency improvement and effectiveness
Strategic – improve competitiveness of the enterprise
Activities planning 
Set systems, network and contracts to fulfill requirements
Choose the right partners; change organizational culture, set requirements
Customers
Other functions in the enterprise or other businesses
End consumer
Optimization
Functional (ie: carrier choice, facility location, vehicle routing)
Broad scope: enterprise and supply chain wide; dynamic considerations
Orientation
Efficient transaction processing: reaction to the market
Partnerships and long term relationships; planning for continuous change
Performance Metrics
Minimize functional costs, improve service to immediate customers
Market share, speed of product introduction
Place in organization 
Logistics function manager – one of the support activities
A process/flow owner – responsible for one of the two main processes of the enterprise

Friday, 25 July 2014

What are the future prospects of logistics?

It is necessary to improve the logistics used by both private and government companies in order to take on the worldwide competition and improve the city environments. There are three revolutions found in business that impact the purchasing and supply of the manufacturing sectors which are: globalisation, information era and customer demand. Therefore the main characteristics that will play an important role in the future developments of logistics are:
  1. The role of the government to keep industries competitive and assist the logistic industries.
  2. Growth of the international goods transportation as the ecommerce continues to thrive. International cooperation is also required.
  3. Improvement of services provided to ensure good customer service is achieved.
  4. Revolution of the logistics operations using IT to improve the efficiency of logistics. RFID is one of these operations that reduce manual operation time.
  5. Reducing the product life cycle to keep up with trends.
  6. Improvements of the logistics facilities such as automation will reduce operation costs and improve overall efficiency.
  7. Cooperation between companies will reduce logistics costs and make use of the transport capacities that are available.
  8. Specialised services for logistics delivery will be in demand to cope with delicate products such as fresh food and computer chips.
  9. Using logistic centres will help to keep distances shorted between production and marketing.
  10. Freight transport alliances between the smaller delivery companies will expand the service areas, improve service quality, increase loads on the trips and reduce the costs of delivery.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

What are the common applied techniques in city logistics?

There are several techniques that are being used in city logistics. Some of these techniques are as follows:

Cooperative Freight Systems  - A solution to reduce costs and traffic congestion that come from Just in Time and door to door logistics. Companies cooperate together to use the freight systems in a way that will reduce unnecessary trips, reduce pollution and the costs involved.

Freight Villages – Freight villages are terminals that are being used to reduce the amount of handling and trucks involved for delivery.

Intelligent transport systems – There are multiple intelligent transport systems in place including GPS and GIS. GPS is the positioning of the vehicles and this allows for the efficient monitoring of trucks and deliveries. GIS uses the basic geographic database to organise routes more efficiently.  These and other similar systems can be used to improve the quality of service reduce the number of unnecessary trips and increase the loading rates.

Introducing new freight transport systems – options include new vehicles and the introduction of brand new underground freight transport systems that will result in a new era for the movement of city freight.

Transport Load Factors Control – Those involved in the delivery freight in urban areas need to have high loading rates and to use vehicles that conform to environmental standards.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

What is the Definition of City Logistics?

It is possible to define city logistics as the use of advanced information systems being used in urban areas to optimise logistics and transportation activities. It takes into account the traffic environment, congestion, energy savings and safety within the framework of the market economy. 

Business activities are mainly based in city locations so they are important areas when it comes to economic development. The problem is these are also areas of high concentrated development and therefore traffic problems and negative impacts on the environment are experienced. These negative sides to urban development cause problems for the people living in these areas and these problems need to be solved. City logistics is a new concept that is working to solve these serious problems.  By implementing City Logistics, three areas are addressed. These include the following:
  • Liveability – This examines the resident’s surrounding (attractiveness, charm, peacefulness and safety) within their lifestyle.
  • Mobility – This applies to the harmony of movement between road network and reduced traffic congestion.
  • Sustainability – This addresses to any environmental and energy issues

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

What is City Logistics?

The impact of growth in urban areas due to the increase in population size and vehicles often cause reduction in the quality of life, harm business competitiveness and hinder the city’s future development. 

The objective behind City logistics is to integrate existing resources to help overcome any obstacles arising from traffic congestion, transportation deficiency and impact to the environment while improving both the quality of life and development of the urban areas. Some innovated solutions and techniques used to solve these urban area problems include the following:
  • GIS – Geographic Information System
  • GPS – Global Positioning system
  • ITS – Intelligent Transport System
  • Logistics knowledge
  • Modelling

Monday, 21 July 2014

About Material Management

In order to manage an effective supply chain it’s necessary to coordinate both inbound (“materials management”) and outbound (“physical distribution”) logistics. Inbound logistics is a vital part of supply chain management so let’s take a brief look at inbound logistics.  Material management involves the planning and controlling the flow of materials that are part of the inbound system. The types of activities that are involved are:
  • Procurement is the process of finding and obtaining goods and services that are required by the firm. The quality of the materials is essential as this will affects both the customer’s satisfaction and revenue.
  • Warehousing is where the raw materials are stored until they are used.
  • Production planning and control makes sure the supply of product matches with the demand for the product.  This is a variable as customer demand fluctuates and therefore manufactures need to forecast or make estimates regarding the demand.
  • Traffic is the management of the inbound transportation that brings the materials.
  • Receiving is the receipt of the actual materials that have been purchased.
  • Quality control ensures the materials are of the right size and dimensions as well as being up to the industry standard and have the correct chemical of physical properties.
  • Scrap disposal is the final activity of the materials management processes. This is where any obsolete, excess, scrap and salvage materials are disposed of. If the materials still have uses for others they can provide some income for the firm.

Friday, 18 July 2014

The Contrast between Inbound and Outbound Systems Requirements

There are several companies that make up a supply chain in a food supply system for example:

Mining firm – The extraction of an ore commodity is often the starting point of a supply chain. Those that extract are concern about the outbound systems as they would need to deliver the commodity in the right amounts and at the right time. In most cases the inbound system of the mining form won’t receive as much attention as the next firm that appears in the supply chain.

Container firm – When steel has been produced it would move along the supply chain to a manufacturer of containers. The firm will need to make multiple sized containers to fit the demands.

Food firm – the next step is the food manufacturing firm where the containers are filled up with food. Forecasting is used to decide on the demand for the different sizes of the products so inventory is able to be reduced as there is less uncertainty at this level.

Retail Store – The retailer will place an order for the food and then the labels are added before shipping to the retailer. The last part of the supply chain is when the shipment reaches the store for sale. From there it is possible that the cans are recycled and the materials therefore can come back to the start of the supply chain once more.

Steel firm – The steel manufacturer would receive the cola or ore from the mining firm. They would need to be purchased in the right quantities and in time to fit in with the production planning before the manufacturing process began so they would need to pay attention to their inbound logistics to coordinate effectively.

There are contrasts between the inbound and the outbound systems. When it comes to the inbound side the shipments of the ore or raw materials can be delivered in bulk quantities using barges and railcars and then stored outside. However, the steel products would need to have stronger management and control when it comes to the warehousing and inventory, materials handling and more sophisticated transportation. As a result the inbound and the outbound systems have very different and unique design demands.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Inbound Logistics and the Difference that Exists among the Inbound Systems of Different Companies

There are different aspects of inbound logistics; it includes procurement and the purchasing of materials and management activities.  The differences within the different companies have implications for the design of the supply chain along with the management. Both inbound and outbound logistics have similar processes in the systems. Both of these different systems concentrate on similar areas such as:
  • Inventory control
  • Inventory Management
  • Materials Handling
  • Packaging
  • Transportation
  • Warehousing
The different companies that are involved in a supply chain will each have to work on their own inbound logistics in order to fit in with the design the product and the manufacturing process. Therefore there is no simple system that can be adopted along the line, each step is individual. Some companies have simple inbound systems such as the steep plant but the next step of the chain could involve an auto manufacturer that requires a more complex inbound system.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

What are the Benefits of Export Inspection?

There are many benefits that can be gained as a direct result of the export inspection. The benefits include:
  • Only the products and goods that meet the standards that are set for export will be accepted for the shipments. As a result a lot of potential damage to the reputation of the country that is exporting is reduced, helping to improve their standing on the international market.
  • All efforts that are required for compliance for the standards are met in advance during manufacturing.
  • Quality of products is improved.
  • Buyers receive assurance that the products are of good quality and that they are safe to use.
All of the companies that want to export or import goods, regardless of their size, must get the information concerning the existing regulations that are in place for pre-shipment inspections of exports or on the arrival if imported goods. Inspection agencies will then get involved before the export of contracts is completed to help prevent any possible delays or rejections.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

What are the Three Classifications of Export Inspection?

There are three classifications of export inspection, which are as follows:

1.     The export inspection is performed under the domestic legislation of the exporting country.

Compulsory pre-shipment inspections on certain products have been introduced by many developing countries including China, India, Philippines and Thailand. The inspections are sometimes performed by private agencies but most are carried out by governmental agencies. The checks include audits of in process quality control, national product certification marking and test samples from consignments.


2.     The inspection is performed in connection with the legislations and systems that concern the safety and quality of the country of destination.


A lot of countries protect consumers by setting out prescribed technical legislations surrounding the product specifications.  The regulations are compulsory for products that are manufactured in the country and for imported products.  The responsibilities for the inspections are often put on authorities in the export country.


3.     The specific demands of the inspection are set out by the buyers.


The inspection s for specific demands that are made by the buyers are agreed over contract. The mutual agreements include the quality, quantity, price and other details. This type of inspection is common for bulk commodities including grains, mineral and ore.

Monday, 14 July 2014

What are the Procedures for CE Marking?

If a manufacturer wishes to use CE marking on their products they must conform with an assessment procedure. There are several different modules that can be selected by the company, which include:
  • Conformity to type
  • Full quality assurance
  • Internal control of production
  • EU type examination
  • Product quality assurance
  • Product verification
  • Unit verification
The company chooses based on what the permitted modules are by an EU directive and the perceived risk of the product.  There are a variety of options so the company needs to establish which ones are appropriate. For example a toy maker could pick the internal control of production or with the EU type examination and the conformity to type if they don’t conform to the European standards.  Different actions are required depending on the choice made. To go with the internal control of production the company needs to submit a declaration of conformity but for the other two the company needs to have a notified body that will carry out the conformity assessment tasks.

More information can be found by visiting www.CEMarking.Net.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

The Different Types of Maritime Cargo


Commodity Type
Example
Maritime Transshipment
Inland Distribution
Dry Bulk
Irregular
Coal, iron ores, non-ferrous ores, phosphate rock
Conveyor, grab
Barge, conveyor, lorry, rail wagon
Flowing
Grain, powders (alumina, cement), sugar
Conveyor, grabs, pneumatic/suction
Barge, conveyors, pipes, lorry, rail wagon
Liquid
Normal pressure and temperature
Crude oil, most oil products, wine, slurried coal
Pipe/ pump
Pipeline
Other pressure and temperature
Liquefied gases (LNG), heavy oils, latex, bitumen, vegetable oils
Pumps, temperature controlled pipelines
Temperature controlled pipelines
Neo Bulk
Forest products, steel products, baled scrap
Lift-on/ lift–off, roll- on/roll-off
Barge, lorry, rail wagon
Refrigerated/ chilled cargo
Dairy product,  fruit, meat
Lift-on /lift-off
Lorry, rail wagon
Wheeled Units
Cars, lorries, rail wagons
Roll on/roll off
Rail wagon, lorry

Source: adapted from D. Hilling and M. Browne (1998) “Ships, Ports and Bulk Freight Transport” in B.Hoyle and R.D. Knowles (eds), Modern Transport Geography, London: Wiley.

Friday, 11 July 2014

What is Conformité Européenne (CE) Marking and What Products Require it?

Conformité Européenne is French for European Conformity and the abbreviation CE is used as the indicator on products that meet the required standards. However, it is not to be confused with a quality mark. The CE mark is an indication of the safety of the product and not the quality. This marking is mandatory for the product unlike other quality markings which are voluntary.

It’s best to think of the CE mark as a trade passport that can be used within any of the countries within the marketplac e in Europe.  This means that the products bearing the CE mark can be traded freely within the EU. In order to achieve the CE mark it is necessary to pass through one set of requirements and procedures within the design and manufacture of a product.

There are set products that have to have the CE mark, it is required for the following product types:
  • All toys
  • Machinery
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Electrical and electronic equipment
  • Pressure equipment
  • Medical devices including active implants and in vitro diagnostic devices
  • Gas appliances
  • Recreational craft
  • Lifts
  • Pressure vessels
  • Equipment for radio and telecommunication terminals
  • Cableways
  • Hot water boilers
  • Products used in construction
  • Explosives for use by civilians
  • Equipment and protective items that are used in atmospheres that are explosive
All of the products are listed on the official website of the EU: www.europa.eu.int

Thursday, 10 July 2014

What are the Procedures for Product Certification?

There are several steps that must be completed in order to achieve the product certification mark. They include:
  • Applying to the national standards body.
  • The business premises will be inspected once the application has been processed in order to establish the capability of the production and the quality control systems in place. A sample will also be taken by the inspector for independent testing.
 Once the application and inspection processes have been completed the licence will only be granted providing:
  • The independent inspection creates a test report that meets the applicable standard
  • The applicant commits to following the testing scheme and inspection as the minimum quality control during the production processes.
  • The applicant is willing to agree to the conditions of the licence and pays the fee.
When the licence mark is used on the product the product will continue to be monitored and it must be maintained to the required standards. It is therefore necessary to:
  • Continue following the scheme and the maintain records regarding the testing and inspections.
  • When the inspections take place the product samples are continued to be tested in the lab and the results are compared with the testing data as set out by the license.
  • The licence needs to be renewed on a yearly basis, providing the inspection and the test reports are satisfactory.



Wednesday, 9 July 2014

About Product Certification (CE) and Its Benefits

The purpose of product certification is to inform consumers that the product is meeting set standards, that it is suitable for the purpose and that it is safe to use. A third party has provided assurance that it conforms. 

Products with the Product Certification can be identified by the CE labelling on the packaging and sometimes on the product itself. Along with the CE mark there is also a reference number.

The benefits of the CE are as follows:
  • Customers are provided with assurances of the quality of the product and that it is fit to use for the purpose it has been made for
  • Integrity of the product is provided
  • Product certification helps to streamline the production process for manufacturers
  • Trade barriers can be reduced such as the World Trade Organisation as they recognise the mark helping products to get through technical barriers
  • Some products need to have the CE mark in order to be included on the list of EU product regulations
  • The marketability of products bearing the CE mark is improved.
  • There is a third party guarantee that that allows the customer to approach a certification body to make a complaint if the product doesn’t meet the standards that are declared.
Return tomorrow to discover more about the procedures that need to be followed to achieve product certification.


Tuesday, 8 July 2014

What is Japanese 5S?

Japanese 5S is a quality control that is popular in Japanese factories. They are renowned for their organisational skills and cleanliness and it is because many follow the 5S tool, but what is it?

The 5S’s

Seiri – This means tidiness.  Seiri is the processes in making sure only essential items are available in the work area. All non-relevant items are sorted and discarded.

Seiton – This means orderliness.  Seiton focuses on straighten the workplace in order to maximise efficiency. Of the 5 steps, seiton typically produces the greatest cost reduction and bears the most repeat visits to implement continual improvement. 

Seiso – This means cleanliness.  Seiso aims to keeps the workplace clean and neat. All employees are involved in the cleaning of the workplace including the head management Cleanliness is a regular part of the daily work effort.

Seiketsu – This means standardisation.  Seiketsu in the work practice concentrate on operating in a consistent and standardised manner.  Everyone recognise their role and exactly what their responsibilities are. The practices are set out and distributed so all are able to follow the expected standards.

Shitsuke – This means self-discipline.  Shitsuke requires management to continue new standards that have been established and to maintain that way of life.  Providing training to all that require it is a must and all the training that is learnt needs to be put into practice in the workplace.

Other Quality Control Options

Quality Circles – Circle or group of staff are formed working together to solve problems related to their own jobs and contribute to the improvement of the company.  The volunteered staffs from the same work area meet on a regular basis to identify, investigate, analyse and solve their work related problems.  It is believed that problems in the workplace can be solved by using the quality circle tools and by the effective work of quality circle.

Kaizen
Kaizen was created in Japan after WWII, it means “continuous improvement”. The systems involves and encourage every employee to come up with small enhancement suggestion on a regular basis to meet the ongoing consumer’s demand for better product/service and progress made by competitors.  The introduction and direction is implemented both from top down and bottoms up.   Kaizen is also a way of life philosophy for those who embodies continuous minor incremental improvements in their personal life for the betterment as a whole,. 


Monday, 7 July 2014

What Are the Seven Quality Control Tools Part Two

Last week we looked at the first four tools that are used in quality control. Today we shall be taking a quick look at the remaining four.

Cause and effect diagrams
The cause and effect diagram also known as the fishbone or Ishikawa diagram visually display the relations between a problem and its possible causes.  This diagram is especially useful for situations in which there are little quantitative data available for analysis as it only deal with factors instead of quantities.

Scatter diagrams
Scatter diagrams also known as scatter plot or X-Y graph, focuses on the relationship of one variable with another and is used to test and determine the cause and effect relationship. The scatter diagrams make it possible to see the relationship links and determine how strong that relationship is. Usually the closer the dots are group along an axis, the stronger the correlation and the more scattered the dots, the weaker the correlation.

Control Charts
Control charts are also called statistical process control and are used in quality control to help analyse and unde rstand process variables; determine process capabilities; and monitor effects of the variables on the difference between target and actual performance.  To help detect trend of plotted values, control charts show the upper and lower control limits, and usually an average line,

The process where data points are within the control limits is considered in control. Difference in values may derive from common cause and process. When data points fall outside the control limits, it is considered to be out of control and the variations may be from special causes.

Other Quality Control Options
The seven tools are used to assist the operators and supervisors with monitoring and discovering the potential causes of variations. They aren’t the only tools that are used, other tools include:
  • Japanese 5S
  • Quality Circles
  • Kaizen
Return tomorrow when we shall be looking at the remaining quality control options in more details.


Saturday, 5 July 2014

Chit Chat: A Look at the Textile and Footwear Industries in Mexico

The textile industry has a vital effect on the economy’s employment and revenue. In the past 50 years, the apparel industry has expanded beyond the industrialized nation into the developing countries.   During the 1960’s the expansion of the industry hit Asia and there have since been many more counties import fabrics or substituting the imported fabrics resulting in domestic textile industries taking shape.

Over the past 20 year more counties have been applying the substituted fabric strategy, resulting in the industry growing at a global rate of around 1.2%. The different rates depend upon the level of development that is in place in the country in question. So for the more industrialized economies the growth averages approximately 2.7% and in Asia it stands at around 3.6%.

The characteristics of what’s happening in the textile industries are similar to the footwear industry. The footwear industry has also experienced changes in distribution of the manufacturing activities and the international trade. For example Mexico has two pairs of shoes per capita that are bought each year. Approximately 60% are exported. China is responsible for producing around 9.5 billion alone, exporting around 7 billion.

The most impressive levels of growth in the shoe industry are found in China and India, taking the lead over exporters such as Italy. However, the biggest shoe importers to date are the United States, Japan and Germany.

Asia is dominating the international market as they are able to provide cheap labour costs and compete with the more expensive products that have a higher level of quality and design. Italy, Spain and Portugal are known for being the higher more expensive producers.

Mexico is playing a vital role in the US and their own domestic markets when it comes to the contribution to the economy from textiles and footwear. Trade barriers were lifted in the 1990’s which benefited their trade but they have had to compete with China. This competition has made Mexico evaluate their position and take stock and shore up all the activities in the country.

There are strengths in the Mexican domestic market that it relies on as a back-up, such as the infrastructure and it’s close proximity to the US and Latin American suppliers.  They also have lots of excellent opportunities in the product design and development processes. Foreign investment is encouraged as in the introduction of modern technology.

As a result the footwear industry is now extremely important in the Mexican economy. Around 300,000 pairs of shoes are purchased in Mexico each year. Mexico makes around 250,000 pairs, with 20,000 pair exported and 60,000 pairs imported. Demand continues in the country and Mexico has shown they are able to be flexible when it comes to the demand and being close to the US has increased the opportunities that are available to them.

Friday, 4 July 2014

What are the Seven Quality Control Tools? Part One

Kaoru Ishikawa created seven quality control tools. These tools are called the Father of Quality Control Circles. Here’s the first part of a two part series where we’ll be looking at these seven tools in brief detail.

Check Sheets – Check sheets are sometimes called tally charts. It’s a simply system that allows for the collection of data by using a marking system against the items of measurement that have been predetermined. Check sheets are used in a number of different ways, such as timeliness and tracking events and inspection processes.

Graphs – Graphs come in all shapes and sizes and can be complex or simple. They are excellent to use when displaying data that needs to be analysed or as a way of summarising data.

Pareto Analysis – The Petro analysis is based upon bar graphs and a line chart. The bar chart has the problems in the process that are recorded in descending order. The line chart has the percentage of the amount of problems that are recorded for each of the areas. This tool is also known as the 80/20 rule as it indicates that 80% of problems are caused by 20% of the causes.

Process Flow Charts – The charts record events and activities, decisions and stages in a way that can be easily understood and shared among others. The flow chart is a great way of communicating between personnel and departments but it’s also effective as a tool for problem solving.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

What are the Three Different Forms of Inspection? - Final Inspection

The final inspection takes place once the manufacturing process has been completed to ensure that the goods are all ready to be dispatched either to the consumer or onto the next department of operations.

The final inspection is based on the set product specifications and the tests that need to be completed are prepared beforehand.  There will be details of the tests, the measuring instruments that are to be used along with the criteria that determine what is acceptable and what isn’t. The instructions for inspection should also have a sampling plan that covers areas such as the size of the sample being tested.   Control is also required for the movement of the products through the inspection area to help avoid disorder between the accepted and rejected products.  Control practices include:
  • The use of clear labels in different colours is useful to categorise the different products processes (waiting inspection, accepted, reject products, product on hold, waiting result and test, etc).
  • Separation of the accepted and rejected products
  • Through rejected products review, determine if products can be rectified, repaired or sold as seconds
  • Accepted products should be released only after authorisation

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

What are the Three Different Forms of Inspection? - In-Process Inspection

In-process inspection is designed to help prevent manufacturing poor quality products. During the process, product decisions are made based on the data collected. Whether or not they continue, rework or discontinue the product line will be decided then. 

The in-process inspection often takes the form of:
  • First piece inspection. Each time a new run starts the first piece is inspected before the whole new run begins to ensure the job is on track. This can help prevent the full batch from going wrong.
  • Patrol inspection. Patrol inspectors monitor the entire run, occasionally making checks to ensure nothing goes wrong and to correct anything that does.
  • Operator Inspection. The operator performs the inspection at predetermined time in the manufacturing process.
  • Last piece Inspection. The final piece is inspected from the manufactured lot. This ensures that problems that are detected can be rectified before the beginning of the next run.
  • Stage Inspection. The stage inspection takes place after each operation/group of operations. Components are usually located on the shop floor for inspection
Return tomorrow when we’ll be closing this short series with the final inspection.