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Tech | October 2015

QA activities in textile mills

QA is the systematic measurement in comparison with a standard monitoring of processes and an associated feedback loop that ensures error prevention, opine R Nagarajan and D Shanmuganandam.

Quality control (QC) is the watchword in a competitive industry like textiles as it affects the user needs as well as profitability. It generally is a procedure (or) set of procedures intended to ensure that a manufactured product or a performed service adheres to a defined set of quality criteria or meets the requirements of the customer. Though all the textile mills are having a quality control department, nevertheless, in many cases the activities of the QC department need to be enhanced with a systematic approach in meeting the quality requirements of a product and built-in customer service which in other words is known as Quality Assurance (QA).

QA is the systematic measurement in comparison with a standard, monitoring of processes and an associated feedback loop that ensures error prevention. Two principles are considered as paramount in QA: ´Fit for purpose´, i.e. the product should be suitable for the intended purpose and ´Right first time´, i.e. mistakes should be eliminated. QC aims to identify and correct the defects in the finished products and hence is a reactive process. However, QA aims to prevent defects with a focus on the process used to make a product. It is a proactive quality process which is very much essential in today´s high competitive industry.

Of late, the importance of ´QA´ has been picking-up in the textile mills. Many mills, particularly those which are largely in the export business/having a group of mills, have the QA department in the place of conventional QC department. In the coming years, no doubt, ´QA´ will be a buzzword in the textile mills.

Customer service
Customer service is the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase. From the point of view of an overall sales process engineering effort, customer service plays an important role in an organisation´s ability to generate income. From that perspective, customer service should be included as a part of an overall approach to systematic improvement. A customer service experience can change the entire perception a customer has of the organisation.

Hence, the customer service must be an integral part of the QA. Priority for customer service requires a strong organisational commitment, which is largely witnessed by the present day managements .

Some of the key objectives/benefits of an effective QA department with regard to the customer service are given below:
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  • Attend and solve the customer complaints quickly.
  • ?Apply scientific method for analysing the customer complaints.
  • ?Eliminate repeated complaints.
  • ?Provide technical support to the customers.
  • ?Maintain good relationship and keep long term business with the customers.
  • ?Create customer loyalty.

Between mills, the QA activities vary depending up on a number of factors such as type of manufacturing activity, location of the units, type of products/markets, type of customers, etc.

This paper highlights the various activities being followed by the QA department of a composite textile mill. This information, no doubt, would be helpful for mills to design the activities of their QA departments, with necessary modifications/inclusions wherever required.

QA activities of composite textile mill
This mill has spinning, weaving, dyeing and made-ups units located at different places.

Organisation structure: Each unit has a Quality Assurance in-charge with the required supporting staff including lab assistants, investigators, etc.

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