P. L. Light Systems Expert Articles: The Definitions of Quality Assurance and Quality Control

Bill Dolphin

Helpful Tools, Sustainability | January 19, 2018

A well-defined and well-executed quality system is the backbone of every successful manufacturing program. The quality system contains two parts: Quality Assurance and Quality Control.

Quality Assurance (QA)

QA is about making sure that there are processes in place in order for the company to produce a high quality product. As a result, this system involves constructing and implementing standard operating procedures and build documents for each manufacturing process. QA ensures that all procedures are up to date with new information, in a timely manner. Also Quality Assurance works closely with manufacturing with regard to manpower and management of resources.

Quality Control (QC)

QC is an auditing of the product and the reporting of deviations and other control measures put in place by QA. Therefore Quality Control’s responsibility is to ensure that no defective product leaves the facility. They work closely with the production group to ensure proper training has been given and understood. QC forwards documentation and audits to QA for analysis and corrective actions, when necessary.

My goal for PL? I will continue to improve development and test processes to identify any potential defects throughout the product life-cycle. So, how will I achieve this? I’m implementing the lean manufacturing methodology, six sigma technique.

A great company gives quality as a directive from the top down, it is their priority, from the director to the assembly workers. Therefore a successful organization must have an effective and robust quality system that ensures delivery of a good product to the end customer. To sum up, the excellent quality system at PL Light Systems is one of the reasons we are successful and a leader in the marketplace.


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Written by Bill Dolphin brings 15 years of experience in manufacturing of high volume custom electronic devices for a wide range of highly technical applications. Prior to joining P.L. Light, Bill worked in aerospace and military electronics manufacturing.