Differences Between QA and QC

Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC) are two terms that are often used interchangeably. Although they sound similar from the definitions, there are some fundamental differences between the two concepts. Both activities have the same purpose and are related to each other. Typically, QA or Quality Assurance activities and responsibilities cover multiple quality systems, while QC or Quality Control is part of QA activities.

Fundamental differences between QA and QC activities:
QA: Quality issue prevention measures by implementing several procedures and guidelines in the production process
QC: Action to catch or find product defects during the production process and post-production by inspection

A quality controller perform inline inspection

What is Quality Assurance?
For a factory to manufacture wooden furniture or other wood products, Quality Assurance is a fundamental system, methods, protocols, or procedure established and implemented by the company to ensure that product quality is maintained consistently and in accordance with the standards set by the factory or client. The QA department helps to organize and improve the production process in various processes.

Therefore, the range of responsibility and knowledge of QA in a furniture factory can be quite broad, such as:
  1. Preparation of raw materials, from purchase to the receiving of raw materials including furniture fittings such as hinges, locks, and others.
  2. Anticipate and prevent potential 'product failure' starting from product development stage.
  3. Design and implement inspection procedures (material inspection, inspection during the production (dupro), and inspection of finished goods.
  4. Follow the production process and improve it if needed to get better results.
  5. Prevent and respond to the findings of product defects or production defects.

Why is Quality Assurance Important?
Good quality products will increase market demand, inline with increasing sales, it will increase revenue and profits, and the results from profits can be used to produce more quality goods to meet market needs.
This cycle of success can be achieved by properly implementing all activities in Quality Assurance.

QA Activities
A commonly used methodology in QA is PDCA.
Plan - Planning and defining related processes to produce a quality final product.
Do - Building and testing the processes and making changes to processes as needed.
Check - Monitoring and checking whether the process meets the goals and targets that have been determined.
Act - Taking the necessary actions to improve or improve the process of achieving product quality.

What is Quality Control?
QC or Quality Control does not deal directly with the production process; rather it focuses more on checking the quality of components and products or the final result.

The main purpose of QC is to check whether the product meets the specified specifications and quality. If a problem is found during inspection, the QC team will instruct to fix it before the component is further processed or before the product is sent to the consumer.

QC activities are basically part of QA activities although in some factory organizations or furniture companies they are structurally separated.

Scope between QA & QC

To get maximum inspection results, QC requires good product knowledge and regular training to improve skills. Special equipment is also needed to help the Quality Controller carry out inspections.

QC must properly understand the characteristics of the product, the targeted quality level and check properly to produce the best product quality. To achieve these expectations, QC needs to do several related things, such as:
1. Identify several types and levels of production defects (minor, major, critical defects)
2. Conduct in-depth analysis of the main causes of production defects or 'root cause analysis'
3. Carry out inspection processes both during production and post-production, or before shipping goods according to procedures
4. Conduct product tests from production results based on testing standards and requirements
5. Make a complete and clear report on all findings of product defects and their action plans.


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