What is In-Process inspection and how it works?

What is In Process Inspection?

In-process inspection for manufacturing refers to inspection at any point along the production cycle.

This is done to check the parameters within each section of the process and whether they are in accordance with industry standards such as ISO 9001 and EASA.

These in-process inspection procedures take place at any stage of production to ensure the product quality is being met before they are finalized and continue to the next stage.

Identifying a misstep at an early stage in production gives the ability to reset the issue and save time and resources in the long run.

Collecting in-process inspection records can be automated using manufacturing inspection software. This improves product quality and provides insight from data to optimize production.

In Process Inspection Example

Here is an example of a process inspection procedure, when manufacturing the axle of a car, there are certain measurement parameters set to ensure the diameter and length are able to fit into the wheel and connect to the bearing and driveshaft properly. 

If the lathe machine set to shape the axel is not set properly, the diameter of the shaft will not fit into the wheel or connect properly to other parts of the car. This axle shaft is then installed just to realize that it is the wrong size, and all other products that were brought through the same process are insufficient. In-process inspections are used to avoid these kinds of mistakes, catching the diameter mismatch at the time of the completion of the shaft, rather than the installation. If an in process inspection procedure was conducted, this problem could have been avoided.

It is important to continuously observe the manufacturing process as even the slightest change could result in faulty products.

These quality inspections can take place any time after the arrival of the input parts and before the process is complete. These inspections compare the measurements of the machinery or equipment with the measurements of the product specifications to maintain alignment.

Types of In Process Inspection

These in process inspection procedures are at the discretion of the management team, but there are typically 3 types of intervals used to decide when an in process inspection is necessary. These include:

  1. Time-based intervals: Inspected every 2 hours or 2 days depending on the equipment
  2. Quantity-based intervals: Equipment is checked after a certain amount of output (Ex. In process inspection for every 5 units produced)
  3. Freely-defined intervals: Discretionary, can be done at any time, simply based on intuition

The goal of in process quality inspections is to report any corrective action or improvement suggestions while the manufacturing is still ongoing.

This helps to identify problems as they arise in order to take corrective action, rather than redo the process over again. An automated in process inspection system can help you trace and streamline the inspection process and ensure its accuracy.

Having these in process inspections implemented throughout the process helps to avoid any last-minute delays in shipment and saves wasted material before it is unusable.

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