International Standards for Print Quality Give Sensitive and High Profile Pieces the Attention They Deserve
Quality assurance provides peace of mind for our clients, especially those in critical industries like medical and pharmaceutical.
Consolidated Press offers Quality Assurance on each and every one of our projects. We pull pages from every run, and examine them for defects, splotches, wrinkles and more. Those pulled pages are set aside and stored for three months. Quality Assurance, or QA, focuses on sampling in process and final production to identify, isolate and report defects.
Quality Control, or QC, prevents defects in the first place. Using quality attribute based checklists, in process inspections are performed to identify and correct defects throughout the production process. QC is a proactive quality system element. Both the QA and QC elements of CP’s quality system are ISO 9001 based, with focus on actively developing and improving processes with a focus on eliminating defect root causes.
Consolidated Press has applied international standards of quality assurance to the printing industry to ensure our most sensitive clients and high profile pieces are consistently printed with the highest quality every time. This is how we do it:
CP hired an experienced and highly qualified Quality Assurance Specialist. Our QA specialist, Heidi, has been in the print industry for 32 years. She knows the print process thoroughly, and is devoted to building and controlling processes to prevent mistakes and defects at every step.
SOPs STOP problems before they start. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) have been written for all departments within CP, from estimating to billing. As these documents are created or updated, affected employees are trained. The quality assurance specialist maintains training records and assures that all documents are readily available for employee access and use.
Documentation is king. Documents that are necessary to assure the quality and consistency of CP products and services are maintained electronically and stored on the CP network. Documents are assigned a control/revision number and entered into a document log maintained by Heidi. As documents are updated, the control/revision number is refreshed and affected employees are trained on the new/revised document.
Each individual job is assigned a quality process level. CP developed print grade guidelines to establish acceptance criteria for products printed by CP and for material provided by subcontractors. Print grade 1 guidelines are used for the medical and pharmaceutical industries, annual reports and high-end marketing collateral. Print grade 2 guidelines are used for direct mail pieces, magazines and directories.
Grade 1 jobs get extra attention. Print grade 1 jobs go through an additional quality step and are tagged to receive formal sampling by the quality assurance specialist. The pulls taken from each operator are examined, defects are identified, with inspection results recorded/charted. Charting the defects is used to identify trends and to pinpoint opportunities for improvement.
ISO based quality assurance is a rare find in the printing industry but customers find it here every day.
At Consolidated Press, we help the pieces fall into place.