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Quality Control and Quality Assurance

Quality Control

Quality control has to be applied to items at all stages of their manufacture from design right through to packaging so as to ensure the same standard for all of them. Standards that guarantee that the product will do what it is designed  to do, be safe, will continue to function for a set time, and will be equal in appearance to others that are produced.

Quality Assurance

A process that is that is applied from the starting points of a product being made. The design, selection of the material, the expectations of tools, machinery and equipment, accuracy, components and performance are all elements that bring about the required quality that is predetermined.

British Standards

British Standards are a set of specifications written by the British Standards Institute so that all items to which they are applied are to a commonly agreed standard. The items are stamped with the so called "Kite Mark" and the appropriate British Standard number. They award this certificate after testing the item.

There are further standards that are either international or national that the manufacturer needs to consider if products are to be exported or if they wish to advertise that their products or services meet these levels of quality.


Tolerances will depend on the situation. For example if a bird table is a little too large or small it may be acceptable as long as its integrity is unaffected, but the axle of a car must be within tighter margins of accuracy for other parts to fit and perform as they are expected. Each product has a tolerance factor due to converting a theoretical idea into something that is made. The ideal solution is made with absolute precision but this is practically unobtainable. Some materials can be cut, joined, shaped or formed more accurately than others.


Things are said to be aesthetically pleasing if they look nice or provoke a sensation or emotion. There is a balance in a Designer’s actions that must take account of both what a product must do (Function), and how it will look (Form). In some cases one may have lesser importance than the other. It does suggest however that functional objects should also be given due consideration regarding their appearance. For example toasters do not need to have brightly coloured covers to make them work but the surface design will help to make them more acceptable in the environment that they are placed.

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