In order to understand the difference between Quality Control and Product Testing, the first step is to define each term.  For the purposes of this article, this is how MJS Designs defines the terms.

In the case of Quality Control, we take our definition directly from the International Organization for Standards or ISO.

ISO 9001:2008 is the standard that provides a set of standardized requirements for a quality management system, regardless of what the user organization does, its size, or whether it is in the private, or public sector.

In short, any ISO Certified environment is committed to conformity and consistency. This assures the way the organization “goes about” producing various products is absolutely consistent.  Quality Control based on ISO standards can include things such as how a company documents each step of the manufacturing process, or how they disposes of excess materials. It can also include things such as operational routines and client communication procedures.

While Quality Control, Quality Assurance and Quality Guarantees all have similar but different definitions, they do not cover the functionality or performance of product.  That is exactly where Testing comes in.

Testing, weather it is electronic circuit testing, testing your blood sugar level or testing a grade school child in math, reading or vocabulary, the definition of testing is the same across all platforms.

Testing is simply a process of measuring.

At MJS Designs, Test Solutions are the techniques and tools we use to test pin states, voltage, and analyze things such as sub-blocks in a circuit board. Testing is how products are de-bugged, to reduce field failures, before it is in the hands of the consumer.

Electronic Test Solutions include methods such as:

  • Flying Probe Test – used for testing basic production, prototypes, and boards that present accessibility problems.
  • Boundary Scan – a method for testing interconnects (wire lines) on printed circuit boards or sub-blocks inside an integrated circuit. Boundary scan is also widely used as a debugging method.
  • Functional Tests – used to test performance, output and data creation.

We see recalls in the news and in industry publications on a regular basis, confirming proper testing isn’t implemented with the aggression it should be.

The combination of Quality Control and Testing is the strongest formula to take a product to market and reduce or completely eliminate field failures.

When making a determination if Quality Control is enough for your product or if you need to invest in Testing, each company must consider if they are pro-active in the product performance or re-active in the product’s lack of performance.