In order to produce as little scrap as possible, work must be economical and effective. This can be achieved with the help of quality management (QM) and quality assurance (QA). However, the difference between QM and QA is not always clear. This article explains both terms and their differences.
What is Quality Management (QM)?
Quality management attempts to ensure a high level of quality in all areas that have a direct or indirect impact on customer satisfaction. With the specification of guidelines, QM forms the basis for a minimum of rejects and maximum customer satisfaction. It is important to document and analyse all processes from production to delivery. These are then optimised (if possible). The customer requirements for the product should be exceeded. Thus, QM deals with the task of improving the quality of products through organizational tasks. However, QM is in a constant state of change and must be continuously adapted. The most important series of standards in this context is ISO 9000, for example DIN EN ISO 9000 deals with the basics and terms of quality management systems and DIN EN ISO 9001 defines the requirements for such a system, according to which companies can be certified.
What is Quality Assurance (QS)?
In quality assurance, only potentially negative influences on the quality of the end product are analysed and then at best eliminated. This ensures that the specifications of the quality management are observed and correctly implemented. All processes within the company are checked there to see whether they meet the self-imposed quality standards. In contrast, the quality control focuses on the quality of the product. Products that do not meet the standard are either sorted out or reworked until they meet the requirements again. The aim of quality assurance is to ensure and maintain a high quality standard. In DIN EN ISO 9000:2005 (Section 3.2.11), quality assurance is the part of quality management that is aimed at creating confidence that quality requirements will be met.
Comparison of QM and QA
- Guidelines are defined and planned
- Quality of the entire value chain is considered
- Potential for improvement should be identified
- Significantly determined by DIN EN ISO 9001
- Is a part of the QM system
- Specifications are observed and implemented
- Potential negative influences on quality are checked
- Quality standards shall be assured
How can a quality assurance be improved?
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