Ideation, manufacturing, and quality control are important steps of the product development life cycle. However, the quality control process is conducted at both the production and pre-shipment stages with various of quality control procedures. For example, product testing and product inspection create a little confusion in the mind of importers when they follow up these quality control processes.
So, what is the difference between “product inspection” and “product testing” in the quality control strategy? The processes address different quality concerns while evaluating products at different stages. Importers need to be clear about their meanings before deciding how these processes might fit into their quality inspection and management plan.
Product inspection is the process that involves various methods to check and verify if the goods comply with the specifications and requirements as requested by the importer. It is usually conducted at the manufacturing plant by a professional product inspection team that focuses on the basic look, feel, functions, and construction type. The main purpose of product inspection is to detect the defects in products before they are shipped out.
Product inspectors use AQL (Acceptance quality limit) sampling method to inspect samples randomly from production batches of the total order for quality inspection. They usually create a “pass” or “fail” report based on the severity of the defects and issues for the whole order. It can be done at different production stages to identify any quality issues before they lead to any production loss. Importers can hire a third-party product inspection company or send their representatives abroad to conduct the product inspection.
Product testing is often used for lab testing to verify the functionality of products as per the safety and quality compliances. It is like the more controlled testing of your products and usually not performed at manufacturing plants. The main purpose of product testing is to verify the composition and functioning of products to meet the performance guidelines.
Product testing is not necessary for all types of products, and not all importers need it during the quality inspection and management. For example, if you are conducting quality inspections for woven garments, you usually do not need product testing. But, if you want to check the chemical composition of cosmetics, paints, or safety measures for children’s toys, you will need to conduct product testing to ensure a specific set of safety regulations are met before sending them to the market. Product testing can be conducted for pre-production samples and production units before and during the mass production respectively.
Both product inspection and product testing help importers to detect and prevent quality issues and product defects. Importers can conduct a quality inspection of product samples at any stage of the production to ensure the products of the manufacturer meet the quality standards.
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