What Does Manufacturing Inspection Mean?

As business owners, we understand the need to scrutinize every penny spent. And if you’ve been told you should hire someone to inspect the products your company makes, you might wonder why. You also might wonder what manufacturing inspection even entails. Can you get by without this?

The answer partly depends on your industry. Many industries have inspection regulations designed to protect the company welding the products and the purchasers.

The Definition of Manufacturing Inspection

At the end of the day, manufacturing inspections are quality control. When an inspector comes to your facility, they are checking your processes and production for conformance to the contract document and required codes and standards. Then, depending on your industry, they’ll check your outcomes to confirm that they meet the acceptance criteria of the contract document as defined by engineering to ensure that the product manufactured is capable of withstanding the load to be applied. 

Why You Should Perform Manufacturing Inspections

There are many reasons why it’s worth it to hire someone to come in and do a manufacturing inspection. For one in all probability, it’s required by the code/standard/specification you’re manufacturing too. Additionally, you can expect to see reduced production expenses caused by product failure and rework after you implement an Inspection program as a part of your Quality Program. It can also help prevent your company from having to send out the much-dreaded recall (there’s some bad publicity for you). 


The exact details of a safety inspection depend on the industry you manufacture your products for, and the specific job involved AWS/ANSI Z49.1 is a commonly used safety specification and is available for free download here. Typically, inspectors will cite nonconformances observed at your facility that violate the applicable safety standards or they may do a risk mapping session with you. 

Management and Quality

Management and quality inspections help businesses meet any specific regulatory requirements necessary by law or by as required by the contract document.. This phase of the examination often requires monitoring before, during and after the manufacturing process.

Before – Inspection will typically meet with production and review the contract documents and proposed manufacturing processes, manufacturing procedures, personnel certifications, and inspection criteria. Should any of these areas not meet minimum standards, the Inspector can work with the production team to develop conforming procedures and certifications so that production can begin and meet the requirements of the contract document.

During – Inspection will witness production of the project to ensure that the conforming production procedures are being complied with during the manufacturing process. This stage also helps identify components that may require rework/repair at the time that they are being produced. 

After – Final inspection is conducted after production is completed, and this is when the inspector is verifying every aspect of the requirements as defined by the contract document and supporting codes, specifications, or standards. Additional inspection methods are required at this time.

What Inspectors Look for When Doing Manufacturing Inspections

There are many things your inspector will be looking for. These include:

  • Discontinuities in the production pieces

  • Making sure your product meets the required specifications and procedures

  • Conforming materials used to build the product

  • Evaluating discontinuities to determine if they are defects and if so, determine the requirements for additional inspection on the lot/batch

If a problem is discovered during the inspection process, your inspector can help you find solutions to correct it. In the meantime, depending on the issue, you could have to recall your product. Or at least all the products from the batch where the problem is discovered. Then, you will likely need to have a reinspection at some point. This is why it is best to have a well-functioning quality program with trained and certified inspectors who track the manufacturing process of your product every step of the way. It’s best to catch a problem early rather than get to the point where you must issue a recall.

How ETMS Can Make Life Easier for You

ETMS Inspectors are multi-industry subject matter experts with education, experience, and certifications in multiple disciplines of inspection in the manufacturing and industrial construction environment. 

ETMS provides inspections before, during, and after production activity and takes a collaborative role to identify areas of improvement in order to streamline processes to deliver finished projects with higher quality and efficiency at a lower cost avoiding costly rework or repair. 

Don’t settle for subpar welding quality! Make sure your welding inspections are thorough and accurate to ensure the highest quality welds. Invest in the expertise of a qualified welding inspector and take action to prioritize the quality of your welds today.

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