Product Quality and Process Quality
“Quality is the measure of excellence or state of being free from deficiency, defects, and significant variations", (Nader, 2009). Quality of a product can be mainly assessed from a manufacturer and a customer point of view. From a customer point of view, product quality is perspective as each individual perceives quality differently. Ultimately, product quality is the capability of the product to fulfil customer expectations as required from the users. Quality from a manufacturer’s perspective depends on company size, culture, financial resources, human resources, market pressures and company strategy. Due to the availability of a large number of products in the market, different industries have put forward different parameters that allow a product to be judged against the competition. For example, an electronic product may have quality parameters such as performance, reliability, safety and appearance that has to be met (UNIDO, 2006). Process quality
Process quality targets the life cycle of a product from the beginning, design, development, roll out, updates and product support. Both product and process quality are combined together and quality control measures put in place to ensure the final outcome is of a high quality.
Interaction between product quality and process quality
In order to produce a quality product it requires a quality process. This involves maintaining the process operating at a level that complies with required quality criteria. When the quality of a process varies it will have a direct impact on product characteristics and hence product quality. For example, a metal producing plant has processes such as cutting, machining, bending and coating. The smoothness, hardness and thickness etc of the metal are directly impacted by the quality of the processes. Once the metal is manufactured, the customer will judge it against the product specification and make a judgement on quality. (McGraw-Hill, 2002) Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker is a company that prides itself on product quality. As a result of this it led to an increase in customer demand and an increase in market share. To maintain the high quality of the end product while meeting demand, Jim Harris and co. put in place procedures that assisted them to retain quality throughout the different stages of the production process. The following table provides a summary of the quality techniques used in the production line: Table 1 Quality Techniques in Production Line
Production StageQuality assurance and quality control techniques used to maintain quality of the process Bean Cleaner•&The precise process associated with separating the waste from beans. •&Once cleaned, storing the beans under specific climate and humidity controls Roaster•&Roasting different types of beans separately
Winnower•&Precise process associated with separating cocoa beans from the shell Melangeur•&Quality testing of the product for texture, taste and physical properties Conche•&Quality testing of the product done through a scrape gauge to measure the level of smoothness Tempering and molding•&Human testing for texture, snap and taste Packaging•&Check quality after the production line
General•&Blind tasting at different stages
•&Hiring skilled operators
•&Calibration of equipment
All the above processes will assist in maintaining the quality of the final product. While using third party companies with the productions process, product quality is maintained by random sampling and testing to ensure the product meets required specifications. Quality process analysis
Quality control measures are put into place before and during the production process to ensure the raw materials and processes are of acceptable quality. To ensure a high quality product at each stage of the production process quality techniques can be used such as quality assurance...