After reading this essay you will learn about:- 1. Meaning and Definitions of Quality Control 2. Quality Control Organisation 3. Advantages of Quality Control 4. Quality Control for Export 5. Indian Standard Institution 6. Quality Assurance 7. Causes of Quality Failures 8. Economics of Quality 9. Product Quality Analysis 10. Quality Planning 11. Quality Improvement 12. Quality Management System 13. Role of Top Management.


  1. Essay on the Meaning and Definitions of Quality Control
  2. Essay on the Quality Control Organisation
  3. Essay on the Advantages of Quality Control
  4. Essay on Quality Control for Export
  5. Essay on Indian Standard Institution
  6. Essay on Quality Assurance
  7. Essay on the Causes of Quality Failures
  8. Essay on the Economics of Quality
  9. Essay on Product Quality Analysis
  10. Essay on Quality Planning
  11. Essay on Quality Improvement
  12. Essay on Quality Management System
  13. Essay on the Role of Top Management towards Quality

Essay # 1. Meaning and Definitions of Quality Control:

Quality control in its simplest term, is the control of quality during manufacturing. Both quality control and inspection are used to assure quality. Inspection is a determining function which determines raw materials, supplies, parts or finished products etc. as acceptable or unac­ceptable.

As control becomes effective, the need for inspection decreases. Quality control determines the cause for variations in the characteristics of products and gives solutions by which these variations can be controlled. It is economic in its purpose, objective in its procedure, dynamic in its operation and helpful in its treatment.


Since variations in raw materials have large effects on the quality of in-process materials, quality control includes statistical sampling and testing before acceptance. It also includes the examination of quality characteristics in finished products so as to assure satisfactory outgoing quality.

Cooperation between the quality control group and other departments such as production, planning and inspection is of vital importance. With proper managerial support and co-opera­tion the quality control programme will be more successful.


In current quality control theory and practice, the meaning of “Quality” is closely allied to cost and customer needs. “Quality” may simply be defined as fitness for purpose at lowest cost.

“Quality” of any product is regarded as the degree to which it fulfills the requirements of the customer. “Quality” means degree of perfection. Quality is not absolute but it can only be judged or realized by comparing with standards. It can be determined by some characteristics namely, design, size, material, chemical composition, mechanical functioning, workmanship, finishing and other properties.


Quality of a product depends upon the application of materials, men, machines and manu­facturing conditions. The systematic control of these factors is the quality control. The quality of a product differs greatly due to these factors. For example, a skilled worker will produce prod­ucts of better quality and a less skilled worker will produce poor quality products.

Similarly better machines and better materials with satisfactory manufacturing conditions produce a better quality product. Thus, it is clear that to control the quality of product various factors which are responsible for quality are required to be controlled properly.

In the words of Alford and Beatly, “quality control” may be broadly defined as that “Indus­trial management technique by means of which products of uniform acceptable quality are manufactured.” Quality control is concerned with making things right rather than discovering and rejecting those made wrong.

“It may also be defined as the function or collection of duties which must be performed throughout the organisation in order to achieve its quality objective” or in the other words ‘Quality is every body’s business and not only the duty of the persons in the Inspection Staff.


Concluding, we can say that quality control is a technique of management for achieving required standard of products.

Factors Affecting Quality:

In addition to men, materials, machines and manufacturing conditions there are some other factors which affect the quality of product as given below:

(i) Market Research i.e. demand of purchaser.

(ii) Money i.e. capability to invest.


(iii) Management i.e. Management policies for quality level.

(iv) Production methods and product design.

Apart from these, poor packing, inappropriate transportation and poor after sales service are the areas which can cause damage to a company’s quality image. There are cases where goods of acceptable quality before transportation were downgraded on receipt by the retailer just because they had been damaged in transportation.

Modern quality control begins with an evaluation of the customer’s requirements and has a part to play at every stage from goods manufactured right through sales to a customer, who remains satisfied.  

Essay # 2. Quality Control Organisation:

Over the years, the status of the quality control organisation changed from a function merely responsible for detecting inferior or standard material to a function that establishes what are termed preventive programmes.


These programmes are designed to detect quality problems in the design stage or at any point in the manufacturing process and to follow up on corrective action.

Immediate responsibility for quality products rest with the manufacturing departments. All the activities concerning product quality are usually brought together in the organisation which may be known as inspection, quality control, quality assurance department or any other similar name.

Quality control is a staff activity since it serves the line or production department by assist­ing them in managing quality. Since the quality control function has authority delegated by management to evaluate material produced by the manufacturing department, it should not be in a position to control or dictate to the quality activity.


The quality control organisation depending upon the type of product, method of quality is sufficient enough to carry out following activities:

1. Inspection of raw material, product or processes.

2. Salvage inspection to determine rejected part and assembly disposition.

3. Records and reports maintenance.


4. Statistical quality control.

5. Gauges for inspection.

6. Design for quality control and inspection.

7. Quality control system maintenance and development.

Functions of Quality Control Department:

Quality control department has the following important functions to perform:

1. Only the products of uniform and standard quality are allowed to be sold.


2. To suggest methods and ways to prevent the manufacturing difficulties.

3. To reject the defective goods so that the products of poor quality may not reach to the customers.

4. To find out the points where the control is breaking down and investigates the causes of it.

5. To correct the rejected goods, if it is possible. This procedure is known as rehabilita­tion of defective goods.

Essay # 3. Advantages of Quality Control:

There are many advantages by controlling the product quality.

Some of them are listed below:


1. Quality of product is improved which in turn increases sales.

2. Scrap rejection and rework are minimised thus reducing wastage. So the cost of manufacturing reduces.

3. Good quality product improves reputation.

4. Inspection cost reduces to a great extent.

5. Uniformity in quality can be achieved.

6. Improvement in manufacturer and consumer relations.


7. Improvement in technical knowledge and engineering data for process development and manufacturing design.

Essay # 4. Quality Control for Export:

Today we need foreign exchange for our requirements and for repayment of our debts and services. If our products are expensive and are of sub-standard quality then the customers abroad will not buy goods from us.

Therefore, we must be able to supply goods which may meet the requirements of foreign buyers. For this purpose quality and good packing determines to a large extent the continued acceptability of the product.

At present some organisations lite Export Inspection Council of India, the Indian Stan­dards Institution, the Indian Society of Quality Control and the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade are helping about this problem of quality control.

Implementation of the Export Act 1963 and the work of Export Inspection Council (set up under Export Act) have helped in planned approach towards quality control. The advice of Export Inspection Council is very helpful for pre-shipment inspection of exportable goods.

These organisations have been authorised to issue a “Certificate of Quality” after satisfying them­selves that the goods fulfill the minimum standards of quality laid down or that they are of the quality claimed by the exporter.

Essay # 5. Indian Standard Institution (I.S.I. Renamed as B.I.S.):

To protect the interest of the consumers, Indian Standard Institution is serving in India. In most of the western countries, consumers nave formed their own associations to protect their interest. In some countries these associations, receive official support and guidance.


I.S.I, serves the consumers through Certification Marks Scheme. Under this scheme I.S.I, has been vested with the authority to grant licenses to manufacturers to apply the I.S.I, mark on their products in token of their conformity to the desired Indian Standards.

To control the quality, I.S.I, inspectors carry out sudden inspections of the factories of the licensee. Inspectors may check the incoming raw materials, outgoing finished products and may carry out necessary tests at different levels of control during production.

Thus I.S.I, mark gives guarantee to the purchaser that the goods with this mark have been manufactured under a well-defined system of quality control. From first April 1987 it has been renamed as Bureau of Indian Standards.

Essay # 6. Quality Assurance:

Inspection, Quality Control and Quality Assurance:

Inspection is a process of sorting good from a lot. Whereas Quality Control is aimed at prevention of defects at the very source, relies on effective feedback system, and procedure for corrective action.

In Quality control programme, inspection data are used to take prompt corrective action to check the defects. For this purpose, detailed studies are conducted to find out that from where the defect is originated, and how to prevent it, may it be at manufacturing, design, purchase of raw materials, despatch or storage stage.


Quality Assurance means to provide the necessary confidence to the customer as well as to top management that all concerned are carrying out their job effectively and that the product quality is as per customer’s satisfaction with economy. Quality products can be produced only when all the departments fully participate and co-operate.

Presently, customers demand for higher quality and reliability. It has been felt that even a single defect whatever may be the reasons, result in economic loss.

These reasons have neces­sitated the need for total quality and reliability programmes to cover wide spectrum of func­tions and various areas of product design, production system design through various states of material, manufacture and commitment to efficient maintenance and operation of the system as a whole. This is necessary for quality assurance and reliability of the product. This assures the continuous failure free system to the customers.

Responsibilities of Quality Assurance Department:

i. Plan, develop and establish Quality policies.

ii. To assure that products of prescribed specification reaches to the customers.

iii. Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of the Quality programmes.

iv. Conduct studies and investigations related to the quality problems.

v. Liaise with different department, in and outside the organisation.

vi. Organise training programmes on quality.

vii. Plan and coordinate vendor quality surveys and evaluate their results.

viii. Develop Quality assurance system and regularly evaluate its effectiveness.

Concept of Cross Function for Quality Management

Quality Assurance System:

Quality assurance system should be developed incorporating the following aspects:

i. Formulate the quality control and manufacturing procedures.

ii. Percentage checking be decided.

iii. Procedures and norms for plant performances as regards to quality be developed.

iv. Rejection analysis and immediate feed-back system for corrective action.

v. Prepare a manual for quality assurance.

vi. Formulate plans for quality improvement, quality motivation and quality awareness in the entire organisation.

Essay # 7. Causes of Quality Failures:

Quality failures occur due to various causes, most of them are because of lack of involve­ment of men concerned with the quality. Studies have indicated that more than 50% of quality failures are due to human errors at various levels, such as understanding of customer’s require­ments, manufacturing, inspection, testing, packaging and design etc.

Error affecting quality can be classified into following categories:

(a) Error Due to Inadvertence:

These are due to lack of knowledge of the product, and continue due to lack of information about quality deficiency. Such mistakes can be controlled, if a system for feedback is developed in which quality performance results are analysed in a regular and timely manner.

(b) Errors Due to Lack of Technique:

These errors are due to lack of knowledge, skill, technique etc. In such cases performance of ‘better’ operation are compared with those of ‘poor’ or ‘defect prone’ operations, and the process adopted by them are studied and reasons for errors are investigated.

(c) Willful Errors:

Sometimes quality is compromised due to early delivery schedules, reduction in cost, safety etc.

Reduction of Errors by Improved Motivation:

Quality motivational programmes are developed for getting quality product from the line staff so that they take interest in improving the quality. Motivational programmes are de­signed after identifying the sources/reasons of failures.

Operators are motivated by designing a campaign to secure alertness, awareness and new actions, and by observing the managers for their behaviours or reactions on any quality problem. Campaign can be launched through mass meetings, quality posters, exhibition of quality deficiencies etc.

Campaign may also invite operators to participate in analysing the causes of defects or the failure on the part of operation and/or systems. Trainings are very helpful in making the operators aware of the technological does and don’ts and the purpose behind each operation.

Essay # 8. Economics of Quality:

The good economic performance is the most essential for survival and growth of any organisation in the highly competitive environment. Therefore, one of the most common objec­tions of every organisation is to attain excellence in its economic performance. The single most important factor which leads to good economic performance is the ‘quality’ of its products or services.

Therefore, in order to achieve economy, quality management system must contribute to­wards the establishment of customer-oriented quality discipline in the marketing, design, engi­neering, procurement, production, inspection, testing and other related servicing functions.

Everybody in the organisation must be involved in the production and delivery of quality product or services, consistently to meet the customer needs and satisfaction.

The production of defective output results in the costs of sorting, scrap, rework, dealing with customer complaints, replacement under warranty etc. It is more serious and very diffi­cult to ascertain the cost associated with the loss of goodwill, following the sale of defective or non-conforming products.

Designers of economic models use following costs:

i. Fixed costs of sampling, inspecting, testing and measuring.

ii. Variable cost of sampling, measuring, calculating and plotting each sample value on control charts.

iii. Cost of correcting and assignable cause.

iv. Total loss in profit, when the process is running out of control.

It has been experienced that the savings due to control of poor quality products, better control over the quality of purchased product, use of more economical materials or methods due to their greater reliability, are sometime spectacular.

Quality is a dynamic phenomenon and is being improved continuously with the new devel­opments in technology and management techniques.

Quality and Cost:

Studies have indicated that any reduction in quality results in a reduced level of satisfac­tion and decrease in customer goodwill toward the producer. This will lead to reduction in return on investment in the long run.

Following are the general principles of quality and cost relationship:

(i) Cost of poor quality are far larger than that had been recognised.

(ii) Appraisal costs are reduced by focussing on preventing errors at the source.

(iii) System be established for reducing the cost rather than reducing the quality.

(iv) By focussing on quality improvement overall, performance of the firm can be im­proved.

(v) Focus of quality improvement be shifted from product attributes to operational proce­dure.

Quality Cost (or Costs Associated with Quality):

Quality cost means cost of poor quality goods or services.

Following are the main quality associated costs:

1. Failure Costs:

(A) Internal Failure Costs:

(i) Scrap and rework cost.

(ii) Costs involved in testing, inspecting and sorting for down-gradation.

(iii) Losses due to avoidable processing.

(iv) Expenditure in failure analysis.

(B) External Failure Costs:

(i) Warranty charges.

(ii) Redressal of complaints.

(iii) Loss of future sales.

(iv). Other expenses on return of materials, failure analysis outside the factory.

2. Appraisal/Detection Costs:

(i) Incoming test and inspection including materials, in-process and final quality sampling.

(ii) Quality audits.

(iii) Equipment calibration.

(iv) Evaluation of performance.

(v) Evaluation of customer satisfaction.

3. Prevention Costs:

(i) Quality planning.

(ii) New product review.

(iii) Process control.

(iv) Training and education.

(v) Process quality planning.

Quality Cost Control:

For the purpose of reducing the cost, when internal and external failure costs are cost down, the appraisal cost and preventive cost may slightly go up. Therefore, it is necessary for opti­mum balance to reduce failure cost with slight increase in appraisal and preventive cost, with the aim of substantial reduction in total quality cost without compromising with the quality.

Efforts for reducing quality cost must be continuous.

The cost reduction programme must be followed in following stages:

1. Identification of quality cost items.

2. Structuring of quality cost reporting, including related analysis and control, and

3. Maintenance of programme to ensure that the objectives of higher quality at lower cost.

Quality control and quality cost must be directed in such a way so as to provide the firm with major added business value.

Essay # 9. Product Quality Analysis:

It includes:

(i) The various functions to be performed by the manufactured product.

(ii) Life and durability of product.

(iii) Working conditions required during manu­facturing.

(iv) Product specifications.

(v) Manufacturing processes and methods.

(vi) Maintenance and installation.

(Quality at level Y is the most economical. A drop of quality to level X reduces the cost by M but also re­duces the quality value by N which is greater than M. A rise of quality to level Z increases the quality value by O and increases the cost by P, which is greater than O) — Refer Fig. 62.1.

Relation of Cost and Quality

Essay # 10. Quality Planning:

Quality planning is done keeping the company needs and customer needs in view, and a comprehensive quality plan is prepared for implementation in the company.

Quality plan is a document setting out the specific quality practices, resources and activities relevant to a par­ticular product, process, services, contract or project.

Quality planning is a systematic process for:

(i) Identifying customers,

(ii) Discovering customer needs,

(iii) Designing the responsive products,

(iv) Developing the process for creating and delivering the products, and

(v) Transferring the process and its contents to those who will perform the product or service.

Essay # 11. Quality Improvement:

Quality improvement is a structured process for reducing the deficiencies that are present in products, processes and services and/or improving performance whenever there is an opportunity to improve.

Quality problems are of following two types:

1. Sporadic Problems:

A sporadic problem is a sudden adverse change in the status quo, which requires remedy. The variations due to these problems are so significant that they trigger the alarm signals of the control system.

2. Chronic Problems:

Chronic problem is long-standing adverse situation which requires remedy through changing the status quo. For such problems, by adopting ‘continuous improve­ment concept’ better and better levels of performance can be achieved. These problems occur for a long time, and are often difficult to solve, as they are accepted as inevitable.

Essay # 12. Quality Management System:

A quality management system organises overall activities of the company in such a way that the technical, administrative and human factors affecting the quality of products or ser­vices are under control. The quality management system guides the cooperated actions of the people, machines and information to achieve the quality objectives.

1. Activities:

Activities of quality management system are:

(i) Marketing to evaluate customer needs and use requirements.

(ii) Design and engineering to translate the customer needs into product, process and material specifications.

(iii) Purchasing to select the competent vendors who can supply materials, components, sub-assemblies as per specifications.

(iv) Production to ensure that product is produced under controlled conditions in conform­ance to standards.

(v) Quality assurance to identify appropriate test methods and exercise quality control techniques.

(vi) Shipping to ensure proper packaging, transportation and distribution of material.

(vii) Documentation to maintain system and progress documents at each stage of opera­tion.

(viii) Product development for innovation and improvement based on customer’s feedback.

(ix) Auditing to identify the non-conforming of the system and product, and follow up the corrective actions.

2. Benefits:

(i) To meet the customer requirements by providing quality products or services to satisfy the customer needs.

(ii) Good reputation helps in better marketability of the company’s products and services.

(iii) Confidence is created.

(iv) Consistivity in quality.

(v) Productivity improvement.

(vi) Better financial performance.

(vii) Brings clarity in working.

(viii) Better documentation.

(ix) Better monitoring.

(x) Increases export potential.

(xi) Human resources development.

3. Quality Function:

(i) Marketing and market research.

(ii) Design and product development.

(iii) Procurement.

(iv) Process planning and development.

(v) Production.

(vi) Inspection, testing and examination.

(vii) Packaging and storage.

(viii) Sales and distribution.

(ix) Installation and operation.

(x) Technical assistance and maintenance.

(xi) Disposal after use.

4. Quality and Top Management:

Responsibility for and commitment to quality always belong to the highest level of management.

Following action points are necessary to be adopted by top management to achieve quality objectives of the company:

(i) Define and state quality policy.

(ii) Appoint a management representation.

(iii) Define responsibility and authority.

(iv) Establish an internal verification system.

(v) Establish a quality system.

(vi) Review the functioning of quality system at regular intervals.

5. Installing the Quality System:

(A) Preparations:

(i) Analyse the existing status and identify what needs to be done? Prepare an ac­tion plan.

(ii) Develop an organisation structure.

(iii) Develop quality system documentation.

(iv) Prepare the material and machinery resources.

(B) Implementation:

(i) Implement the documented quality system.

(ii) Establish internal quality audit system.

(iii) Monitor, control and stabilise the quality system.

(iv) Hormonise the practices with the standards.

Essay # 13. Role of Top Management towards Quality:

Main roles of the top management towards quality are:

1. Define quality Control. Establish a Quality Council.

2. Establish quality policies.

3. Establish quality goals.

4. Provide the resources.

5. Provide problem-oriented training.

6. Serve on quality improvement teams which address chronic problems.

7. Stimulate improvement.

8. Provide for reward and recognition.

9. Top management is required to:

(a) Develop strategies for quality, and

(b) Provide leadership for implementation of these strategies.