About Visual Quality Standards

Are test engineers or operators marking verification tests as 'failed' but your engineering judgement thinks it's acceptable? This can happen with qualitative-type tests, like visual inspections.

"A picture is worth a thousand words" is an old saying, and it holds true! Visual standards, visual aids, and quality standards are a great tool, especially in design when communicating the limits of acceptability. These standards are diagrams, photographs, or physical samples made to demonstrate the limits of a defect, and usually include examples of what is acceptable and what is not.

This episode explores areas to capture this type of information and how it can be used not just for Quality Assurance and Production, but also for design verification protocols, FMEA, root cause analysis, and future field defect investigations (to name a few).

​In early design phases, you may not have a lot of pictures or diagrams of your own product. But start collecting and compiling them as another way to more clearly communicate aspects of your design to other designers, inspectors, manufacturing, suppliers, risk management, and complaint investigators. 

As a product development team, decide that (for your project) you're going to develop visual standards for the product. Pull information from your own test results, your root cause analysis, process development process, and other investigations. Tie it to your design FMEA and other risk analyses. Let other project teams know what you're doing and set up the visual standards as a normal part of your quality assurance program.

I searched for a visual standard that I could openly share with you. When I find one (or mock-up one), I'll show it, here.

Did you find an idea, help, or inspiration? Then please share:

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