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Product integrity is a big issue for manufacturers. The high speeds at which products are processed, packaged and labelled today, as well as the reality of short and varied production runs, results in a wide variety of possible defects. And the second those defects leave the factory doors, they can be potentially damaging for the brand owners.
Companies can spend a great deal of time, energy and money checking products manually. However with complex processes and faster production lines, humans are unable to inspect for packaging errors, contamination and quality standards without impacting efficiency. And as the Japanese master of lean manufacturing, Dr Shigeo Shingo, once said: “Humans are animals that make mistakes.”
In a worst-case scenario, relying on human inspection means problems may only be found days after they first appear. However, hundreds or even thousands of products that do not meet the standards or are contaminated could have been produced before the issue was even detected. In many cases where human inspection is utilised as the main method of quality control, the first time you find out you have a problem is when a customer alerts you to it. And that’s where brands run the risk of recalls, a damaged reputation and high costs.
For many, automating inspection is the best solution. Inspection systems not only have a higher average detection rate than humans, but they are also able to streamline processes and improve the line’s efficiency. They can also operate at higher speeds where humans struggle.
As a general rule of thumb,
- automation of inspection drives quality improvement through repeatable and reliable inspection,
- with automatic data capture to measure reject rates and alert operators.
Using an inspection system means technological devices can undertake most of the work when it comes to Quality Assurance (QA), allowing you to reallocate staff to other more productive areas, as well as decreasing the likelihood of an unfit or faulty product leaving your doors.
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