FAQs for Quality Control and Product Inspection Standard
Why do I need quality inspections when importing from China?
Manufacturing is not an exact science like Math. The question is not if, but how severe the quality issues are in your shipment
Most of the defects found from the pre-shipment inspection are:
- Untrimmed thread ends
- Dirt marks
- Minor cosmetic issues
This is even to be expected. However, there are also more severe quality issues:
- Loose parts
- Incorrect labels
- Incorrect design
- Printing peel off
There is no manufacturing in any country including China without quality issues, even your products are manufactured by robots.
However, what is unique to China, and most other countries in Asia is that it will be difficult to return goods if you find quality issues in your own country.
For this reason, quality inspections are a crucial step in the process. You simply cannot skip this part of the process.
What are the types of inspection offered?
How does sampling work during an inspection? any inspection standard definition?
AQI Service recommends ANSI Z1.4 2003 sampling tables to determine the number of units that will be randomly selected for evaluation. Based on the lot or batch size, code letters are assigned that cross-reference to the sample size required depending on which plan is being employed. Single and double normal sampling plans are the most commonly used.
If you do not have existing sampling requirements, AQI Service will assist you in determining which plan works best for your specific needs.
Samples are checked against a detailed inspection plan for appearance, applicable functionality, packaging integrity, workmanship, etc. If you currently do not have an inspection plan, AQI Service can assist.
Defects noted are classified as major, minor, or critical depending on inspection plans. The acceptable quality level (AQL) is determined by totalling the defects and using the corresponding accept/reject criteria within the sampling plan, check more about AQL Table and AQL Calculator
What is an AQL inspection standard, and why is it such an important consideration?
An AQL, or Acceptable Quality Limit, is a probability limit chosen for a given product or process characteristic. There are normally three limits chosen, one for critical, major, and minor. Usually, each of these three limits is different for each category. A typical sampling plan would be as follows:
|General Level II||0||2.5||4.0|
The lower the number, the fewer defects can be accepted in the sample of the product. When choosing AQLs, it is important that one understands the balance between setting them too low, rejecting many shipments, setting them too high, and releasing unacceptable products.
Check with our AQL Calculator to calculate the required sample size quickly!
What do we inspect during an quality inspection standard procedure?
- The quantity produced check (semi-finished, finished, and packed)
- The product specifications check (size, dimensions, colors)
- The labeling and marking check
- The packing and packaging check
- All possible functions and possible on-site tests (safety, abuse, printing, etc)
- Dimensions and measurements
- Visual inspection (look for damages and defects)
The goal is to verify that the product is matching all specifications and quality requirements.
What do I get from inspection company after the quality inspection?
Within one working day after the quality inspection is executed, the inspection agency will send you a PDF report with photos and other data they collected. Include product dimensions, defect descriptions, the number of defects found and more.
You can also request videos.
Keep in mind that the PDF report corresponds to the quality inspection checklist which you asked for or the regular inspection checklist, the inspector will not improvise during the inspection.
What will I do with the quality control report from inspection company?
After the inspection company performed the service based on inspection standards, The inspection report (Check more about the report sample from AQI Service) shows the number of defects, together with photos or videos of the shipment. Hence, the report can help you decide if you approve or reject the order.
Keep in mind that you should set an acceptable defect rate before you place the order. Otherwise, it’s hard to say if the number of defects is acceptable or not.
A lot of buyers asked us to perform a full inspection after production finished because they want to receive perfect products with ZERO defects. What do you think?
How do I know if my supplier accepts third party inspection or not?
Firstly, you should never even a consider a supplier that is not fully accepting a third party inspection service.
The suppliers that do reject, or even hesitate to accept, a quality inspection always (and I mean always) have something to hide.
Such suppliers intend to scam you or subcontract your order to a local sweatshop.
Should I let my supplier know in advance?
Yes, you should inform your supplier that you intend to get the order quality control inspection as early as possible. Even before you have placed a sample order.
It’s crucial to make the supplier understand that you are a buyer with a serious quality assurance process in place. Not one of those gullible buyers who bend backwards to accommodate the supplier. Any suppliers have no respect for buyers who give in easily to their demands.
How much time in advance should I book the quality control from inspection company?
Most QC companies advertise that they accept bookings made only 72 hours before the date. That said, this assumes that you already have a quality inspection checklist. If you need advice from the QC company on how to outline the inspection checklist first, you should book at least 2 weeks in advance. The earlier, the better, More about inspection booking process
How much should I expect to pay for the inspection?
Inspection company charges around US$180-$300 per inspection. their cost charges by Man.day, This also includes travel expenses, check our inspection fee
When should the products be inspected?
At a minimum, you should get the products inspected before the shipment and the balance payment. However, you may also want to consider an on-site quality inspection during production.
A quality inspection that takes during production can help you find early-stage quality issues (i.e., incorrect colours or materials), and correct them while there’s still time.
How do I know what kind of checks the inspector should do? any inspection checklist?
The point of the inspection is to show you the state of your products. You can ask them to report anything that can be obtained while in the factory.
For example, you want product photos, dimensions, a packaging check and a visual inspection.
The Inspection agent will do the checks you instruct him or her to do, so don’t leave anything out. Keep in mind that you are the product expert here.
Further, you should also instruct the agent to take a closer look at potential quality issues found during the sampling process.
How do I know that the inspector is qualified to check my products?
Most established agencies are qualified to inspect any product. Ultimately, it comes down to what you write in the quality control inspection checklist.
There are few, if any, inspection agencies that specialise in certain product categories.
What matter is that they have a solid track record and that you provide a clear and measurable checklist.
Should I do quality control on every order?
Yes, you should get every single order inspected.
As said, manufacturing is not a science, and one faulty or damaged component can ruin the entire batch.
Given that one defective batch can ruin your reputation, or even get your Amazon account suspended, you must always check the quality before shipment.
Further, your supplier is much more likely to keep defects to a minimum if they know that you will get the batch inspected.
If you start relaxing, so will they.
Can the quality inspection company also check if the products are compliant with mandatory safety standards?
The agent can check labels, and verify compliance with mechanical (i.e., loose parts or sharp edges) compliance requirements.
However, they don’t have the equipment to do more complex product safety testing (i.e., electrical or EMC testing), or chemical and heavy metals checks.
While portable testing equipment will be available in only a few years, further expanding the role of quality inspection companies, that is not yet the case.
For such tests, the agent can collect batch samples for submission to an accredited compliance laboratory testing company
Keep in mind that the lab test is paid separately, and is often more expensive than the quality check.
What happens if they find quality issues?
Most likely, you will find quality issues. If the inspector only finds a few minor quality issues, you can go ahead and approve the order.
If the issues are more severe, you should require your supplier to remake or repair the products – and then get the order inspected again.
Keep in mind that you will need to deal directly with the supplier. The agent will not negotiate compensation or anything like that with the supplier.
Why can't I let the supplier do the quality inspection?
Well, you should expect that they have some sort of quality management system in place. Still, you cannot expect that the supplier will be impartial and give you an accurate quality report – in case they would find quality issues.
Instead, you need a trustworthy third party agency, with a solid track record in the quality assurance industry, to give you a report that shows the actual state of your products.
Some suppliers do claim that no third party inspection is needed because they will check the products themselves.
And some buyer’s swallow that, and get the result they deserve.
If you need a complete guide, please check the sources in Chinaimportal.com