In the United States alone there are a lot of sports balls being produced on an everyday basis. While some products offer undefeated quality at a much higher price, some products chose to skip quality control checks to cut production costs. That is why it is very important to know the different quality control standards for sports balls.
Listed below are the different types of sports balls being mass-produced at a regular basis:
Sports balls with hard surfaces:
- Golf Balls
- Billiard Balls
- Cricket Ball
- Ping Pong Ball
- Croquet Ball
Sports balls with bladders and carcasses:
- Soccer ball
- Rugby ball
Most successful sports ball companies undergo strict quality control and sports balls inspection processes to ensure that all of the products are of highest quality once it is out of the production area. The purpose of doing inspection processes is to ensure that all of the sports balls inspected are ready for the certifications needed prior to distribution.
Since there are two categories of sports balls in this article – bladder/carcass and hard surfaces – both inspection processes will be tackled to ensure all of the needed processes are done to pass quality control standards.
Hard Sports Balls:
RAW MATERIALS INSPECTION
80 percent of sports balls with hard surfaces are made of special plastics, rubbers and cores and other minerals. The purpose of this inspection is to verify that all of the raw materials to be used are free from any damage or defects to ensure that all of the products to be used are ready for assembly. Raw materials that show damage or defects will not be used for the entire duration of the production process.
All of the raw materials that passed the initial inspection process will then be transferred to the assembly line to start mass production. The purpose of this inspection process is to fully determine that premature damages and defects cause by the initial assembly will be avoided or minimized as much as possible to prevent poorly-manufactured sports balls.
Each sports ball that came out of the assembly line will be thoroughly inspected for any cracks, holes, punctures or any known production anomalies that have taken place during assembly. The purpose of this inspection process is to verify that all of the hard-surfaced sports balls have been checked for any damages to avoid damaged goods on the next production queue.
WEIGHT AND MEASUREMENT INSPECTION
Unlike sports balls that use bladder bags for air weight, billiard balls, bowling balls other hard-surfaced sports balls must undergo weight testing and inspection to ensure that all of the sports balls have the same weight specification as indicated on the product number. Items that fail either of the weight and measurement inspections will be considered “DEFECTIVE” and will be disposed accordingly.
The final inspection for sports balls includes a series of testing methods to ensure that all of the products are thoroughly inspected. Regardless of the type of sports ball, extensive unit testing on safe work areas will ensure product reliability and durability. The purpose of this inspection process is to verify that the entire sports balls under production are free from any damage or defects, fades or any other flaws that could take place during the entire inspection process.
Bladders/Carcass-type Sports Balls:
RAW MATERIALS INSPECTION
Most products to be assembled under this category are powered by air to operate. The main purpose of this inspection process is to verify that all of the raw materials used like butyl rubbers, nylon threads, polyesters, leathers, synthetic leather and rubbers etc… are free from damages or defects to ensure that all of the materials to be used for assembly are of high quality.
Raw materials that passed the previous inspection process will be sent to the assembly line for the initial production process. The purpose of this inspection process is to verify that all of the raw materials under construction are not causing any intrusions on the assembly line to ensure that little to no defects will be produced during the process. Although, mass productions tend to show defective final products, the assembly inspection personnel will greatly help minimize the occurrences.
The purpose of this inspection process is to verify that there are no internal damages inside the sports balls. All of the sports balls will be inflated to its optimal capacity and will be inspected for any holes, punctures, or air seepages on every seam to ensure that all of the inflatable sports balls are free from defects. Items that deflate prematurely will be considered as defective and will be reassembled or thrown away.
Every sports ball will be thoroughly inspected during this process to ensure that there are no visual damages or defects like loose threads, extra rubber patterns, holes etc… The purpose of this inspection process is to verify that all of the sports balls are ready for the next inspection process. If there are items that show signs of damage or defects, these items will either be disposed of or will be reassembled to save production time.
WEIGHT AND MEASUREMENT INSPECTION
Sports balls that need air to operate will be weighed and measured according to its product specifications to ensure that the information is accurate as per product number. Tennis balls and other carcass-sewn sports balls will be measured normally and will be measured according to its standard size and dimensions. The purpose of this inspection process is to verify that the entire sports ball under the same category has the same weight and specifications to ensure product accuracy. Items that fail this inspection process will be marked as “DEFECTIVE” and will not be processed for the next inspection process.
All of the sports balls under this queue will undergo a series of tests according to its product specifications to ensure that all of the products have been thoroughly tested on different circumstances to guarantee durability and reliability. The purpose of this inspection process is to verify the effectiveness of the entire sports ball under inspection to ensure safe use and operation. Items that fail the final inspection will be marked as “DEFECTIVE” and will be thrown away.
QUALITY CONTROL STANDARDS
High quality sports balls usually place the quality control certifications on packages to make it easier for consumers to know about the inspection and testing processes that was done on every product. Due to the fact that there is literally thousands of sports balls option today, it is essential for every consumer to know about the quality control standards associated with the product of interest.
Each sports ball has its own set of quality control standards either set by an international institution or a sports-related organization. Here are the different quality control standards which consumers should look out for when buying sports balls:
United States Golf Association (USGA) Standard for golf balls
The standard for identifying and verifying the right measurement and dimensions of the golf ball to ensure that the golf ball is USGA accredited and is free from any damage or defects. The purpose of this standard is to maintain fair play on all levels of the game.
National Football League Standard for Footballs
The standard for verifying the required testing procedures to be done on footballs when in production like weight and diameter inspections to ensure product durability and reliability prior to shipping and distribution. The purpose of this standard is to label good quality footballs to ensure proper use and fair play.
Major League Baseball Standard for Baseballs
The standard for assessing and analyzing the manufactured baseball to see if it passes MLB standards in terms of weight, size and diameter to ensure proper usage during use. The purpose of this quality control standard is to ensure that all of the balls are uniform in height, weight and dimensions and as well as adheres to the standard size for MLB.
National Basketball Association Standard for Basketballs
The standard for properly measuring and analyzing the official ball size to be used on official games to ensure that all of the basketballs have the right circumference, diameter, weight and size that adheres to NBA standards.