Any organization, big or small, shall look for quality input (materials) from suppliers to have the desired output or use. For this reason, it devises ways to control the incoming materials by having a check system on quantity , quality and readiness for use. Control on incoming materials is exercised through Inspection by the purchaser.
Need For Inspection
Inspection is an important aspect of Integrated Materials Management. It is an adjunct to the purchase function to ensure that the incoming materials of right quality are procured for use.
The word quality has numerous meanings. The most appropriate meaning of quality in the present context is “CONFORMANCE TO ORDERED SPECIFICATION & FITNESS FOR USE”, whether for products or services.
Depending upon the nature, criticality & value of items, inspection is conducted either at supplier’s premises or at plant stores after receipt there are several ways of carrying out inspection.
Pre Dispatch Inspection
This is inspection before dispatch of material. Usually specified in the Purchase Order (PO) , the inspection is carried out at supplier’s premises (works). Supplier gives an Inspection Request (IR) to the inspection agency mentioned in the PO. On receipt of IR, the inspecting officer visits the supplier’s premises along with documents necessary for inspecting such as copy of PO, drawing, specification etc.
The following checks are conducted depending on the nature of item:
¾ Visual check
¾ Dimensional check
¾ Functional check
¾ Physical testing such as hardness, pressure test, load test etc
¾ Electrical and other on-bed testing such as High voltage test, Insulation resistance test etc.
For critical items, it is required to conduct stage inspection of semi -finished items (such as castings, forgings etc) at suppliers premises. In such cases, the supplier gives an interim Inspection Request to the inspection agency. During stage inspection, sample is collected by the inspecting officer for Chemical analysis / Physical testing at either their own facility or at 3rd party locations. On receipt of test results, conformance to specification is verified & clearance is given to the supplier for further processing of the item. After readiness of the material in all respect & internal checking, the supplier gives the final Inspection Request to the inspection agency. In some critical cases, joint inspection by Indenter & Inspection is carried out at supplier’s premises.
Sometimes and usually for very standard ,off the shelf items, inspection can be carried out through the verification of supplier given certificates such as Material Test Certificate (MTC), Manufacturing Certificate (Mfg. TC), Guarantee Certificate (GC) etc. After ensuring conformance of materials to the ordered specification in all respect, Inspection Certificate (IC) is issued by the inspecting officer to the supplier.