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What is Quality? How does this affect you?

Quality is a measure of excellence or a state of being free from defects.

When you review a product you're buying, control panels for example, what is "quality" and what exactly are you looking for? Is it the perceived quality of the component manufacturers - i.e. PLC, HMI, relays, etc.? Is it the quality of the overall assembled product when using different component manufacturers? Does craftsmanship enter into quality?  Is factory acceptance testing (FAT) a part of overall quality? If you said yes to any or all of these questions, WHY is quality so important?

I would submit that YES is the answer to all of the above and here are just a couple of reasons:

 
  • Containing costs (lost labor, downtime, and scrap material) is a priority in the manufacturing environment and can be done through purchasing quality machinery and their associated control systems. How much is downtime?
  • Training staff to understand the cost of poor quality is an imperative. Repairing a defect in the field is very costly. Damaged reputation, replacement parts, and warranty work all come into calculating the cost of poor quality.
 
"The Bitterness of Poor Quality, Remains Long after the Sweetness of Low Price is Forgotten."
- Ben Franklin