Manufacturing companies produce Colombian Gold seeds that are required to pass requirements, standards, and specifications. Products are expected to be of quality before delivery, or that they are not returned because of poor quality complaints. It is very important therefore that non-conforming products are controlled while being processed before it reaches its final destination which is delivery to customers.
Quality control inspectors are tasked to identify non-conforming products while being processed. They perform in-process inspections that are vital in controlling product nonconformity. But how will the whole organization work in controlling non-conforming products? Not an easy task but with coordination, communication and cooperation, the whole procedure can be made easier.
Before going to the procedure, it is to be noted that products will include supplied raw materials, processed materials, and finished goods.
The first procedure is to identify nonconformity in stages where materials, spare parts, or supplies are received; during processing where these materials undergo methods to convert them to finished products, and during packaging where materials are prepared to be delivered. After identification, these products must be segregated then labeled or tagged or identified in any manner that suits the organization. The section or personnel that is in charge of the product and processes have to be immediately informed by the quality inspector about the identified non-conforming product.
There has to be a product nonconformity report that must be prepared. In this report, the findings are indicated complete with all the important information. It has to include the name of the person who will receive the product nonconformity report and who issued it. The description of the product must be stated, e. g., the product type, dimensions, and batch number or lot number or any identification. The quantity must be exact and the number of occurrences clearly stated, for example, 59 kg out of 75 kg or 25% of the produced items from 9am to 11am. The location of the non-conforming product is also important.
Upon receiving the report, concerned personnel who received the nonconformity report has to jot down the immediate action(s) or the corrections that were done to avoid the situation getting worse. This may include having to stop production and inform his superior about the situation, or continue with the production but segregating first those that were found non-conforming. This is actually dependent on the seriousness or gravity of the situation.
The authorities are notified and in the report a disposition has to be carried out for the non-conforming products that can either be a raw material, an in-process material, or a finished product. The disposition depends on certain conditions and situations. The authorities can decide using or releasing a non-conforming product but has to be justified with a concession report. The concession report has to include the specified specifications against the current specifications of the product, and the statement that justifies why the non-conforming product will be used or released. The justification has to be supported with inspection reports and other related documents. They can also give instructions of continuing the processing of a non-conforming product with the proposed specifications against the original specifications but still with justification why it is necessary to deviate from the original specifications. Likewise, inspection reports, analysis reports and other related reports are required.
It is very possible that the identified non-conforming products can be reprocessed or re-graded. But with a non-conforming product that cannot be salvaged, the authorities can decide on eliminating the product nonconformity or preclude its original intended use by disposing them and reporting them as scrap. Some dispositions include putting the product on hold or salvaging the components in the product. Whatever the disposition that needs to be carried out, it has to be executed without undue delay.
While the authorities assess the decision to be carried out, the personnel in charge of the area where the non-conforming product was found can execute a preliminary investigation on the possible causes of the nonconformity. After recording the possible causes, all personnel involved must be notified and have to explain (by writing them in the report) why or why not a possible cause is contributory to the nonconformity. Arguments can arise, but this is expected so each one has to examine or assess the situation objectively, without putting the blame on others, and excluding themselves from the blame. Most of the time, it is the primary concern of defending one’s area of responsibility that hinders an objective investigation and this has to be avoided.
After examining the report on the possible causes, the authorities can now give a go signal to further investigate to find the major contributory cause. Corrective action has to be made afterwards and its effectiveness has to be monitored and measured by the issuer of a nonconformity report.