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Best Practices For Quality Control In The Chemical Industry

Quality control in the chemical industry will be completely successful when all the big industry players are involved in it. And committed to making it an integral part of their organization’s culture and business model. All parties involved in the chemical supply chain should adopt quality control best practices. They are applicable to their own part of the process and work together with partners throughout the entire chain to make sure that everyone follows them and that these practices can be implemented smoothly across the industry as a whole.

Quality Management in the Chemical Process Industry?

Quality management involves an integrated approach to all phases of a chemical process. It also includes product and service quality, where customers are considered an integral part of the production process. This ensures that consumers get what they want when they want it. To achieve these goals, quality management needs to be focused on improving product reliability, compliance with regulations and environmental concerns, employee involvement and training, and continual improvement efforts.

Key features of Quality Control in the Chemical Industry

Quality control in process industries is often defined as a set of procedures for maintaining and improving product quality during production. In a chemical plant, there are several departments that may be associated with quality control processes: product design, process development, and engineering, laboratory operations, production plant operations, product testing/control/inspection. 

The major role of quality control is to ensure that products meet specification requirements. In order to maintain a uniform quality level on all batch levels and continuously improve it, adequate resources need to be invested in personnel training, facility modification(s), instrumentation installations, waste management strategies, etc., An important objective of quality control is also to reduce costs associated with recalls from customers or distributors due to complaints about product quality; moreover one of its main objectives is ensuring safety (health & environmental) aspects at all stages through effective monitoring.  

A number of best practices developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) have been evolved over time. These standards help standardize quality control methods across different firms and countries. Some of these ISO-based guidelines include but are not limited to ASTM and ISO 9000 series for quality system management, ISO 14000 series for environment protection, ISO 31000 series for risk management, and so on. Some of their salient features are shown below. 

Establishing a quality department

One of the most important steps in establishing an effective quality department equipped with competent staff. Without competent employees, quality cannot be maintained at the desired level. 

Monitoring and inspection

Ensuring compliance with various rules related to composition specifications using noninvasive analytical techniques instead of destructive physical methods such as chemical analyses. Another best practice includes setting up a statistical surveillance program to analyze trends and deviations. Deciding which quality assurance procedures should be followed can be challenging, especially if you have multiple product lines coming out of your manufacturing facilities.  While each company has its own unique set of challenges, ISO 9000 outlines some high-level quality standards that most companies would benefit from implementing in their own business model. 

Following are some essential ISO 9000 standards for ensuring better quality control: 

A) ISO 9001 – 2008 Quality management systems – Requirements 

B) ISO 9004 – 2003 Improvement of quality management systems 

C) ISO 22000 – 2005 Food safety management systems 

D) ISO 13485 – 2003 Medical devices 

E) ISO 17025 – 2003 Testing and calibration laboratories to ensure that products coming out of your manufacturing facility meet all quality specifications. 

As you can see, quality control is a complicated process that requires sufficiently skilled staff and considerable resources. Without proper planning, you risk not only harming your reputation. But also putting yourself at risk for severe consequences down the road. For example, think about what would happen if your company received a recall from one of its major customers or got shut down by federal authorities because it didn’t follow standard quality practices?

How to improve Quality Control in Chemical Manufacturing

Improving Quality In Chemical Manufacturing is a complex process that requires a significant amount of focus. There are many ways to measure quality, and even more. ways to track it—what’s most important is to work closely with suppliers and partners along your supply chain and start implementing effective quality control procedures today. Quality should be an ongoing project, not something you think about once or twice per year. When determining how to improve quality in chemical manufacturing processes, two elements are key: initiating a culture of quality improvement and improving communication. With these strategies in place, any company can move forward confidently on its journey towards quality excellence.  

Below are five steps that should help initiate a culture of quality improvement. Implementing them will allow your organization to optimize performance and ensure product reliability across all business functions. Remember, when it comes to quality, doing anything less than taking every step possible means one thing: failure waiting to happen.  

Five steps to help in a culture of quality improvement

1) Don’t expect everyone to just know what quality is—define it clearly. ‍

2) Evaluate production processes with a keen eye towards eliminating waste. ‍ 

3) Work with your supplies to formalize quality checkpoints throughout manufacturing operations

4) Determine how you’ll measure key indicators of success. Like cost savings or customer satisfaction, and take action accordingly once progress is tracked. 

5) Set goals that challenge employees to think outside their normal duties; you’ll create a culture of innovation around quality if they think innovatively about improving it. ‍

These are valuable strategies to help formalize your quality improvement strategy—starting today! It won’t happen overnight, but the sooner you adhere to best practices, the easier and easier it gets. What’s most important is setting processes in place so everyone in your company understands what quality means for your organization and how they can contribute to its success. As we mentioned earlier, establishing a solid foundation through communication helps quality efforts go smoothly throughout every stage of production. 

Sustainable Product Quality Control Process

1) Have ongoing conversations to connect departments; discuss quality as frequently as possible. We know—sometimes it feels like there just aren’t enough hours in the day! But staying up-to-date on everything happening at your organization requires knowing when decisions are being made by other departments and understanding how those decisions impact operations down the line. 

2) Solicit customer feedback regularly. Customers have high expectations of quality products and services. And if your product doesn’t meet those expectations, chances are high that customer dissatisfaction will harm sales and brand loyalty. Make sure clients/customers have ways to provide critical feedback related to quality; ask them open-ended questions and pay attention carefully. 

3) Create an open environment where sharing problems is encouraged instead of punished or shamed.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve yet to get started, the next step is to take advantage of proven ways to implement a quality control program in any chemical factory. The chemical industry relies heavily on quality control to make sure that its products are safe for consumers and useful for businesses. It’s critical that chemists and other teams work with hazardous materials. Make sure they have a plan in place to deal with spills, explosions, and other problems. That can occur when storing or transporting chemicals. Is your quality control up to par?

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