If you prioritize quality control in your business, you may want to learn a little more about pre-production inspections (or PPIs). PPIs are a type of quality inspection. Many businesses choose to rely on them when they start working with new suppliers or sign very large contracts. With a pre-product inspection, it's easier to ensure that your supplier is not cutting costs and you're getting the products you deserve.
What Is a Pre-Production Inspection?
Pre-production inspections take place after you identify and evaluate a vendor or factory. Their main purpose is to highlight quality risks before the start of manufacturing. Your pre-production inspection may take place right before production starts or prior to the start of final assembly. A PPI allows you to gain:
- A clear understanding of production schedules
- The ability to anticipate potential problems that might impact project timing or product quality
- Assurance that your requirements will be met
- Assurance about raw material quality and product components
Why Are Pre-Production Inspections Important?
Pre-production inspections are one of the cornerstones of risk assessment and quality assurance management. Without a pre-production inspection, you would not have a structured way to verify that your supplier can begin production, meet your specifications, or adhere to your quality requirements.
These inspections provide many benefits for your business. When you choose to hire an individual or entity to conduct pre-production inspections for you, you:
- Reduce the risk of your supply chain being disrupted
- Have a chance to verify your supplier's production readiness
- Can measure your manufacturer's ability to meet your needs and quality objectives
When Should My Business Consider A Pre-Production Inspection?
Businesses can benefit from pre-production inspections in a lot of ways. They're not always the end-all-be-all solution to quality control, but they allow you to ensure production starts in a timely fashion.
Pre-production inspections also allow you to get an overview of some of the most important components of the production process. Your business should consider a pre-production inspection if you need to know more about the materials for your project, potential prototypes, and/or mass production.
If your project involves a lot of manual operations, an inspection during production may be more helpful than a pre-product inspection.
A Checklist for Pre-Production Inspections
Your inspector should visit your supplier's production site and provide a checklist of what should be covered. The inspector needs to physically inspect the raw materials, the components, and the factory that will contribute to your project
During the inspection, your inspector will...
- Verify the availability and condition of materials
- Review the manufacturer's preparation and planning for production
- Check up on in-house quality control
- Help prepare for future product inspections (he or she will review your approval samples and list the tools that are available to perform product testing)
The ideal pre-production inspection includes these checks
- Material status
- Material condition
- Production readiness
- Factory facilities and machinery
- Measuring and testing equipment
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