The term control, which derives from the French contrôle, has various uses. In this case we are interested in its meaning as the review, examination or evaluation of something. Quality, on the other hand, is the set of properties or characteristics that are inherent to an element. The notion usually alludes specifically to good quality: perfection or excellence.
Short for QC by abbreviationfinder, quality control is called the process that is carried out with the aim of detecting possible failures, inconveniences or errors in something. These procedures are common in industries and companies to ensure that the services and products offered to customers meet certain parameters.
Take the case of a company dedicated to the production of dairy products. In its quality process, it takes samples of milk, cheese and the rest of its products to analyze the presence of microorganisms, flavor, consistency and color, among other variables. If the control shows abnormal or negative results, the products do not go on sale. On the other hand, if everything turns out as expected, the items are distributed at the points of sale.
Quality control is always important, although in some sectors it is directly essential to avoid putting the lives of consumers or users at risk . If a car manufacturer does not properly control the quality of its vehicles and offers faulty units, drivers could suffer serious accidents due to mechanical problems. If a food producer sells contaminated food, it can harm the health of consumers. On the other hand, a person who acquires defective pants may feel cheated, but will not be at risk.
Returning to food products, it should be noted that automated processes to carry out quality control are relatively recent in the history of the industry. Until a few years ago, this work was carried out by groups of people manually, but today there are systems developed specifically for each type of food, which must carry out a series of steps to decide if the quality is acceptable.
Thanks to the technological advances of recent times, the machinery used in food quality control has sufficient artificial intelligence to analyze all the important aspects of the products and detect various anomalies; for example, they can compare sizes, notice imperfections and detect internal defects, thanks to the use of infrared vision cameras.
Throughout the process, automated systems go through several stages, which can be different depending on the type of product. Broadly speaking, in the case of food quality control, they are usually the following:
* positioning: to start the analysis process, the food must be placed on the high-speed production line. Throughout the other phases, the system must be able to recognize and locate each unit it has taken;
* identification: it is about distinguishing the different types of products, when the system must study several simultaneously, to prevent them from being mixed and analyzed with the wrong criteria;
* verification: at this stage of quality control, products that have already been assembled or packaged are checked;
* measurement: since the dimensions of the packages must be the same for all the units, it is necessary to verify them before giving the go-ahead. To do this, high-precision tools are used, which allow any anomaly to be detected.
Quality control can lead to various results, depending on the type of product; for example, in some cases it is possible to sell units with slight imperfections at reduced prices.