What is quality engineering? Definition and examples
Quality engineering focuses on making sure that goods and services are designed, developed, and made to meet or exceed consumers’ expectations and requirements. It includes all the activities related to the analysis of a good’s design and development. Quality engineers also make sure that the manufacturer makes the goods according to specifications.
A quality engineer not only focuses on the product’s quality and the production process but also the reduction of waste.
Quality engineers design and monitor the quality of processes. They work in a variety of industries and play a vital role in correcting or fixing defects.
Wikipedia has the following definition of quality engineering:
“The discipline of engineering concerned with the principles and practice of product and service quality assurance and control.”
“In the software development, it is the management, development, operation, and maintenance of IT systems and enterprise architectures with a high-quality standard.”
Quality engineering vs. quality assurance
Quality assurance is the overall process of making sure that a manufacturer makes things properly. The manufacturer needs a quality system to make that happen.
Quality engineering, on the other hand, defines that system. It also maintains and improves it.
Quality assurance focuses on maintaining quality in the production process, while quality engineers ‘engineer’ it. In other words, quality engineers devise the system.
Some quality engineers not only devise the system but also monitor it. In other words, they do both quality engineering and quality assurance work. In the software industry, for example, people commonly call them quality assurance engineers.
Quality engineering and the ‘voice of the customer’
In today’s competitive marketplace, companies are forever developing new and improved products. Sometimes, they succeed in gaining market share, and sometimes they fail. In this context, the word ‘marketplace’ means the same as ‘market’ in the abstract sense of the word.
With the huge range of products on the market today, manufacturers must provide top-quality products that consumers want. They must also provide them at competitive prices.
Companies can make sure they take into account the ‘voice of the customer’ through the effective use of quality engineering methods and tools.
Regarding the voice of the people, Quality-One International says:
“Through the effective use of Quality Engineering methods and tools during the product conception, development and implementation processes, organizations can ensure that the Voice of the Customer (VOC) is heard and integrated into the product design, that quality is designed and built into the product, and waste is identified and eliminated in the manufacturing processes.”
“Properly implemented Quality Engineering tools and techniques can have a huge impact on product cost and quality, and on the organization’s bottom line.”
Interesting related article: “What is Engineering?”