Quality Control

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qualitycontrolengineerAs the actual hand that conducts the quality on site, quality controlling should never be taken for granted. Quality control personnel verifies and serves as the guard for the quality and assurance team (normally, quality control personnel are under the Quality Control and Quality Assurance Department or QA/QC Dept.).

This being said, quality control is crucial as it is the one that is holding the overall integrity of the project. Quality control checks that the materials installed on site are all as per specifications and plans.

All materials including the ones people cannot see through the naked eye like the grade of the reinforcing bars up to the adhesive used during the tiling installation. Any missed inspection would mean disaster or future rectification.

I have a project once wherein the adhesive for the tiling work where deliberately mixed with cement because the supply of adhesive at that time is about to run out. It is to reduce a little bit of cost as well.

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I knew about it and allowed the builder to do it. After several months, as I have observed, the area of the tiling work used with pure adhesive remained intact. On the other hand, the area with mixed cement popped up, and so, I have to do the rectification work charged to the subcontractor. A lesson learned the hard way it is.

I’ll share with you the meaning of Quality Control.

Mechanism used, such as checks or tests that are performed to ensure that requirements are met.

Quality Engineer Tip

• I recommend reading What is Quality Assurance and Quality Control and Its Difference. It will give clarity between the two observation techniques and so, therefore you can take steps and action you should do.

Most of the time, engineers truly have to follow the methodology and specifications as discussed by the supplier to get the best quality and to diminish future rectification works as well. It is also advisable to get the supplier to demo their product and not just read their brochures so there will be a physical interaction. Get your best laborers to witness the supplier’s demo and encourage them to ask questions.

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Most of the time, laborers have the real-world questions that even technical engineers cannot think of because they are the people who actually install the product or material on site. Thus, it is practical to have them witness it with you.

The people manning the quality control work are called quality control engineer and quality inspector. With the weight he is carrying for the project’s integrity, quality control engineers should as well be a person of high honor and rectitude. He or she should be meticulous and strict enough to check, inform and have it rectified whatever design deviations a construction has encountered.

This being said, quality control engineers should pro-actively inspect actual site installation to avoid any rectification. Rectification drags any project schedule which would mean delays and is harming the construction project.

Sometimes, there will be external pressure that will make you want to compromise quality like the low adhesive supply example above. At the end of the day, it is the discretion of the engineer with what to do with the resources that he or she has. Thus, it is advisable for all the engineers to work hand in hand and work as a team on site. From the person who checks the supply on site to the top person who makes the decision.

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Do you adhere quality control on site? What are your contributions or activities on site that inline to quality control?
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