A Quality Control (QC) Analyst checks or tests the product of a manufacturing process to make sure that it meets predefined quality or safety standards. The completion of this quality check ensures that the final product is safe for sale or distribution. He or she works in a range of industries such as car, electronics, aircraft, food and drink and pharmaceutical manufacturing.
Some companies might call this role…
- Quality Control Associate
- Quality Control Technician
- QC Specialist
- QC Stability Coordinator (Senior Analyst)
Let’s take a closer look at the details of quality control and the role of a Quality Control Analyst.
Quality Control is product-oriented and focuses on testing a sample of a manufacturing process to make sure it meets the required design specifications or quality standards. The product can then be released to the next stage of the production process or deemed suitable to be released for sale or distribution. 100% sampling or Statistical Process Control (SPC) are some of the more widely used techniques in quality control.
The Quality Control department will test the product at various points along the manufacturing process as well as testing the final product. Each test measurement is compared to the standards as defined in the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
If the test shows the product deviates from the standard it could be destroyed or reworked (depending on the industry) and actions taken to adjust the manufacturing process to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
The standards that test measurements are compared with are internal standards, external regulations and industry-wide standards. Clear documentation must be kept to show that rigorous Quality Control has been carried out before products were authorised for release.
The type of testing used is highly dependent on the product or industry.
In pharmaceutical manufacturing, quality control includes ensuring the product does not make a patient sick, so the company performs chemical and microbiological testing of samples from the production line. As the sample testing is done in a laboratory, people who work in quality control usually have a laboratory/science background.
In automobile manufacturing, quality control focuses on how parts fit together and interact and makes sure the engines operate smoothly and efficiently.
In electronics, quality testing could involve using meters that measure the flow of electricity.
In all cases, a defective product can mean significant harm to a patient, driver or pedestrian or consumer. Maintaining the highest levels of product quality is essential.