The reputation of your brand is profoundly reliant on your quality parameters and levels. If you sell faulty products to your clients or suppliers, you are likely to lose your prestigious customers and incur heavy losses and even face consequent litigation charges.
As such, you need to manage high levels of quality during the production phase. While there are a plethora of ways to test whether a group of products has reached the level of quality, establishing an acceptable quality level or AQL standard is one of the top ways to do so. In addition, as long as you work with a reputable factory audit company, it is easy to maintain high levels of quality.
Here’s all you need to understand about AQL standards as well as how to use these standards to enhance the quality of your production:
What Are AQL Standards and How These Standards Are Used?
The acceptable quality level (AQL) can easily be defined as the most critical tolerable quality level for any product. It is normally expressed as a proportion or percentage of the total number of errors within a specific number of products.
Ideally, a quality control audit will use random sampling so as to choose a specific number of items or products to test from a lot. If the quantity of faulty items falls below the worst tolerable quality level, then that product or item has entered the acceptable quality level (AQL). In addition, if a product does not match the AQL standard, then you will be asked to estimate its production parameters in order to identify the particular areas that lead to defects.
For instance, if the acceptable quality level for product inspections is set to 2%, then no more than 2% of total items or products are permitted to be defective. In addition, out of 1000 items or products, only 20 can be defective. If 21 defective items or products are found, the complete batch will be rejected then and there.
Acceptable quality level standards can deviate from industry to industry. For instance, medical products lead to be limited to strict quality standards, as these mistakes can pose fatal health risks. In addition, satisfactory quality level standards are divided into a total of 3 categories, including:
- Minor defects
Minor imperfections tend to be subtle or unimportant problems and may not even affect the functionality of the item in the proposal. Some consumers may not notice these defects in their items or products. Those who do may not replace them or file complaints.
Manufacturers set great tolerance levels for minor defects. Nevertheless, if the number of minor defects transcends the established AQL standard, the item or product will be considered to have probably failed the inspection.
- Major defects
Major defects tend to differ from the buyer’s product designations. In addition, since they can affect the appearance, functionality, and performance of the product, it is pretty easy for customers to notice all these defects. There is a high expectation that they will file a complaint, return the product, and/or request a complete refund. In most cases, manufacturers set the AQL standard for the minor defects very low.
- Critical defects
These defects can raise the chances that a product will make harm the user or render the product not usable. They also propose a great risk to the business as they can easily lead to product recalls, liability issues, and lawsuits. In addition, most of the importers and customers exercise a zero-tolerance policy for these item defects. Also, any product that has a critical defect will not pass inspection.