What is quality control?

By Ross Boyd

Between my time spent working in the industrial coatings industry, and my time spent building software dedicated to quality control, “What is quality control?” is a question I get a lot.

Non-profit groups like the Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC) and NACE have codified best practices for industrial coatings specialists based on criteria such as management and training procedures, and compliance with safety, health and environmental regulations.

Simply put, quality control to me is the comparison of measurements taken on an industrial coatings job-site to these predetermined industry standards, in order to ensure personal and environmental safety as well as a quality product.

Normally, quality means different things to different people, but quality control management on a job-site is often standardized by regulatory agencies in a way that makes it completely objective, and hence, measurable.

The telephone effect

In traditional quality control, an employee in the field takes measurements and records the results by hand. From there they are usually sent via hard copy to the home office where they may be rewritten. Often they will be rewritten again or entered into a computer before being examined for quality assurance purposes (more on that later).

The problem with this method is that there are plenty of opportunities for error during any one of these steps. Like a game of telephone, where an original message is warped by retellings until it hardly resembles the original, quality control measurements can be completely derailed by a seven mistaken for a four or a missed zero.

With TruQC, readings are recorded digitally, stored and shared via the cloud. This eliminates the opportunity for errors during successive rewritings of the initial readings.

Timing

Quality control measurements are at their most accurate when they’re done frequently and recorded immediately. When conditions on a job-site just aren’t conducive to a pen and paper, measurements are sometimes saved to be entered later, leading to lost or forgotten figures.

This was something we took into consideration with our software. TruQC records the exact time and date and GPS coordinates when readings are input, preventing against reports being skipped and filled out later (perhaps at a hotel or mobile office). This assures accuracy and consistency in the way measurements are gathered and recorded.

Quality control and quality assurance

Whereas quality control refers to the practice of documenting your work, quality assurance refers to the use of that data to improve company practices. The smartest companies don’t stop with the information regulatory agencies mandate they collect. Instead, they make use of that data to streamline practices and improve efficiency.

With TruQC, all of your data is kept safe and in one place, making it easy to review in the future. And because it’s stored securely in the cloud, you don’t have to worry about losing or damaging the device it’s stored on.

Learn more about TruQC by downloading the case study below or click here for all our quality control case studies.

Download case study PDFInterested in learning how TruQC was designed to be fully integrated for your industrial painting company?

Read our case study detailing how Thomas Industrial Coatings has proven an ROI of 390%. Click here to download.