Goods inspection before just before dispatch is a common practice when buying from China. However, each and every product, and manufacturing in China is different. This is why in some cases, a During Production Inspection creates better results.

Whether businesses choose to conduct Pre-shipment Inspections, or Loading Inspections, they do not allow to prevent defects. Only to spot them before shipping from China.

We’ve witnessed this so many times in the past. Buyer sets up a loading inspection, which may reveal that products are not compliant.

Goods are ready to load, container is waiting on the dock, what is there to do? Cancel shipment, potentially put yourself and your supplier in a difficult position?

With a Manufacturing Inspection, defects in China can be dealt with without incurring too much hassle or delay.

In some cases, especially with specific suppliers, or products, complex assemblies, it is essential to check and resolve quality-related issues during production. Not only it is easier to fix the quality shortfalls in a quick fashion, but to some extent, it participates to improving the manufacturing process. We have listed below some suggestions we believe one should follow on how to carry out quality checks during productio

1.Planning a During Production Inspection

Behind any quality inspection, whether it’s in the best Chinese factory, or the smallest Chinese workshop, there’s a planning process. JS Quality has accumulated enough experience to develop a near-to-perfect inspection planning process. Here are a few key points :

– Be 200% that Inspection scopes and requirements are well understood before dispatching an inspector;

– Ask for pictures of production lines, featuring your order’s parts & processes;

– Make sure with vendor of the specific location of the DuPro inspection;

Planning a Product Inspection in China in a hurry can lead to a few surprises. The most common issue is with suppliers who haven’t actually started the production at all. Or with factories that have almost finished production. A During Production check is usually done when 20% to 80% of the goods are manufactured. Not before, or after.

2.Alternatives to DuPro Quality Check

Before conducting an inspection check during manufacturing, it is vital to make sure if it is the right choice. Here is a list of alternatives to During Production Inspection :

Pre-Production Inspection (PPI) : a must if you believe that your product specifications go hand in hand with material quality;

First Article Inspection (FAI) : if materials specification and assembly process are the key to your product’s success;

In-Process Quality Control (IPQC) : if on-time delivery in China is as important as product quality. Please note that In-Process and DuPro are the same, they’re synonyms.

Outgoing Quality Control (OQC): if the foreign Buyer and Chinese vendor have been working together and reached a level of trust and efficiency.

Feel free to contact us if you need advice on which goods inspection to choose.

3.What is checked during an Inspection in China?

Before and during a production check, the Inspection Company in China, as well as the inspector, must focus primarily on product specifications. In case product specifications are not met, it is our duty to inform the Buyer.

The most basic form of goods inspection during product should include the following:

– Product Specifications (based on Pro forma Invoice, Confirmation of Sales, Technical Sheet, and Approval for Specifications etc…) ;

– Product Assembly if the product is made of different parts, such as a fence kit for example.

– Workmanship of the product and its components;

– Remaining manufacturing time, based on current production rate, availability of packaging, and production planning;

– Labelling, packaging and shipping marks;

– Labelling, packaging and shipping marks;

During Production checks are one of the most comprehensive checks done when manufacturing in China. They assess the level of compliance of products made in China. These checks also verify if manufacturer will be able to deliver on-time.

Optional scopes of inspection include but are not limited to :

– Product performance such as test run, function test,

– Product testing (electrical, resistance to stress, drop-test, heavy metal concentration, etc…)

– Safety tests & Assessment (usually conducted on machines, or by an inspector familiar with safety standards)

At the end of every in-production inspection, the inspection company in China issues an inspection report that includes a Quality Checklist. It is usually filled with inspection data and includes pictures for each aspect of the quality check.

4.The role of QC Software and Equipment

Another reliable means of ensuring high-quality standards during production is to use software-based quality controls available on-site.

Using the Chinese manufacturer’s own metrology equipment when available is considered a successful trait in quality control. A non-negligible amount of foreign buyers actually select their suppliers partly based on their metrology instruments park.

QC softwares are widely used in the solar panel industry for example. They help detect and identify defects in panels.

Another example would be using CMMs when inspection complex parts and assemblies. Coordinate Measuring Machines measure the geometry of physical objects. It can come in quite handy to save time and resources during on-site quality check.

The most cost-effective, is still software backed by an array of sensors that collect real-time data of the products right from the production line. The data is processed and equated to the predefined quality standards. Parts and products found defective are directly rejected, reducing risk in post-production.

Thus, for some of our clients, using QC software and equipment is considered indispensable in the China Quality Inspection during production.

5.Why order a production inspection in China?

Quality controls during production allow you to fix quality-related issues in the production line itself, which is advisable and usually leads to time savings.

We’ve witnessed this so many times in the past. Buyer sets up a loading inspection, which may reveal that products are not compliant.

As the UK saying goes “Prevention is Better than cure”

Cost-efficient Production Inspections ARE the prevention, while costly reworking is the cure

Even with a good Supplier Audit prior to ordering in China, it is sometimes not sufficient to minimize risks of product defects or worse.

While FAI (First Article Inspection) and PSI (Pre Shipment Inspection) mostly focus on the product itself, a DPI (During Production Inspection) focuses on product, leadtime and processes. It is thus one of the most in-depth inspections available.

When dealing with multi references/ multiple skus production, it is highly advised to conduct a production check. Especially when you are aware of potential management pitfalls of your supplier in China. Production inspection will allow the inspector to assess the level of consistency of each production line, and the risk of products being mistakenly used on the wrong line.

When dealing with mass production, and especially when labor intensive tasks are involved, a During Production check is usually conducted. First because a Final random check would be too resource-intensive for such a large batch. Second because the stakes are high…