Automotive Quality Control Checklist: Reducing Comeback Frequency and Costsby James Rawstron on January 17, 2017 From News And Comment
Quality control is key to successful automotive manufacturing. It ensures that motor vehicles and their associated parts are safe, properly produced and free from defects and other serious issues. This results in a number of benefits for manufacturers, including increased customer loyalty, reduced liability risks, decreased costs and an improved position in the market.
In addition, there are very real and serious consequences associated with eschewing a strong quality control process. An undetected defect that leads to consumer injuries or a far-reaching recall can have severe financial implications in the form of lawsuits and costly repairs. It can also negatively affect the health of the organization, as time and resources are invested in damage control, rather than accelerating production and focusing on future innovation.
To mitigate these risks and capitalize on the benefits of a consistently high-quality product, automotive manufacturers should make sure they’ve implemented a strong quality control process – ideally one that involves each individual car being thoroughly tested for mechanical problems, serious defects and operational issues before it goes to market.
The most efficient way for companies to accomplish this objective is with a comprehensive checklist that employees can follow to ensure that each part meets quality standards. Each automotive quality control checklist should be tailored to the motor vehicle and include the following components:
- The parts to be tested
- Quality requirements and standards
- Major defects that the consumer will notice
- Minor defects that the consumer may not notice, such as aesthetic variances
- Critical defects that pose a safety hazard
- The proper function of each part
The checklist should also outline the protocol for responding to identified defects. For example, should defective parts be returned, repaired or tested further? Depending on the severity of the flaw, production may continue as usual or it may be halted temporarily until the issue is resolved.
Using a comprehensive automotive quality control checklist as a guide, employees can easily and efficiently test all of the required components to ensure that each part is safe, operational and has been properly manufactured. In the event that a defect is found, the checklist will direct them towards the appropriate, company-approved response, dramatically reducing the risk that a defective part makes it to market.
James Rawstron is a Senior Marketing Specialist at Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence North America, located in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. Rawstron has 20 years of marketing communications experience in the software, high tech, industrial, advanced manufacturing machinery and medical device markets. He has written numerous articles for B2B publications, including blogs for a variety of industries. Prior to joining Hexagon, Rawstron served as a web marketing professional at IBM and a Marketing Manager at Vector Software. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and European History from Union College of Schenectady, New York.