Quality Controls: Self-Evaluation Can Be Tough, Do It Anyway – Here’s Why
I’ve worked in various settings where quality controls were used. I’ve also developed diagnostic tests that would be used in quality control testing protocols. As a result, I have an appreciation for the whole process and why it’s important. I also have witnessed varying levels of success with quality controls.
Every facility producing food or feed should have some set of quality control procedures – every single one. These should be gradually introduced into production settings, and with the buy in of everyone involved, including not only plant employees, but also, upper-level management. Any major imbalance here will almost certainly result in failure, requiring that everyone start over, except possibly now with ill will involved.
Every final product has a set of standards – specifications that your buyers and end users expect. Many times, these expectations carry the weight of the law behind them in order to counteract fraud. Therefore, it’s imperative that you meet these standards, and the goal of your quality control program is to either make sure this is happening, or to catch it when it’s not – before your customers catch it for you.
And yet, I’ve seen plenty of times when members of an organization simply don’t want to hear it. I’ve also seen conflicting opinions on the importance of quality controls within the same organization, so much so that operators and quality technicians, without clear direction, throw up their hands and ignore it all.
One way to think about quality programs is that they are a method of self-reflection. Sometimes, this isn’t pleasant, and may even be frightening. You may learn how out of control things are, or how small changes could greatly improve your operation. Either way, quality control gives you the power to know. What you do with this knowledge is up to you, and may ultimately be a business decision, but at least you now have control over knowing what happens.
At Insta-Pro Intl, we understand all of this, and want to help you with it. You may have heard of our PIA NIR machine – a tool to rapidly predict moisture, oil, protein, and fiber in raw soybeans, extruded full-fat soy, and ExPress® soy meal. Among other things, the PIA will help you answer the question “how much oil am I extracting?” in my plant.
Speak with us as we help you with self-evaluation in your plant.