There are many factors to consider when managing inspection activities whether for a single package or several packages within project. There are:
- Prepare a Cost Time Report (CTR) for each package to calculate the budget in terms of man days and inspection disciplines (mechanical, electrical, structural, fixed or static equipment, rotating equipment, NDE methods). You can use equipment criticality to assign a factor for calculating man days. For example, for an equipment with criticality “1” , assign a factor of “1.6”; now if the equipment takes 6 months to be manufactured; considering 5 working days per week, you would need 6 X 22 (days in a month) X 1.6 (package criticality factor) = 211 man days of inspection. For criticality “2” you can use a factor of “1” and so on. Criticality “3” normally needs a final inspection only and criticality “4” is inspected at the point of receipt or site.
- Prepare a master Inspection register where each package is assigned an excel page named after the package and has bench mark phases (start date, test date, release date, KOM, date, PIM date, document review date); name and location of supplier, name and location of major sub supplier, name of lead and back up inspector. Add any other information that is frequently used.
- Prepare an Inspection schedule with dates for witness and hold points. Use the fabrication schedule for finding the tentative dates.
- Prepare an list of required inspection specialty and number of inspectors (part time/full time). Try having a small inspection team rather than using ad hoc inspectors. If you are using Ad hoc inspectors, consider allocating extra time for document review and history check.
- Short list, interview and select lead and back up inspectors. While interviewing, give them a real scenario and ask them how they will deal with the situation. Prior to the interview, explain the project and package and only ask them practical type of questions. Ensure they have the right attitude. Long term inspectors are more loyal and efficient than ad hoc inspectors. While selecting inspectors, consider proximity to the supplier’s premises. Never employ inspector who are retired from the same supplier; they are more loyal to them than you.
- For each assignment, prepare an inspection pack that as a minimum would consist of: Notification of Inspection (NOI), Purchase Order, Inspection and Test Plan, approved and relevant QC Procedures, reporting template, NCR and punch list forms, and any special instruction.
- Ensure the inspector would give you the result of inspection via text/email/call the inspection coordinator before leaving supplier’s premises especially if there is problem such as potential NCR, a Site Observation Report (SOR); supplier working to wrong revision of material, inspector gone for packing visit but it is all packed, out of tolerance during dimensional check, failed test, etc. In such situations, package quality engineer shall liaise with supplier and agree on subsequent action.
- Review inspection report for completeness. Inspection report shall be treated as standalone document, this means, it shall be precise, cover all areas of inspection intended, identify area of concern if any and have the test reports and examination records attached. Resolve issues with the supplier’s quality representative otherwise escalate it to the package level discussing it during weekly telecom with supplier’s project manager. Always insist on NCR to be issued by the supplier. This would eliminate the burden of closure from the client’s package quality engineer.
- Create a folder for each package for retaining all the inspection reports. Turn around the report between the package team members and any other individuals as instructed. Inspection report is not normally shared with the supplier. All inspection releases shall be countersigned and issued by the client’s package quality engineer before issuing it to the supplier.
- Prepare an inspection schedule or inspection look ahead for each package and share it with the lead inspector, supplier, buyer and engineer. This would ensure that all relevant personnel know about future tentative inspection dates.
- Prepare an inspection register preferably in an excel format so that it can be filtered by the inspector, supplier, date, etc. The inspection register can be updated chronologically as and when inspection visits for various packages done.
- Prepare a Quality Status Report (QSR) that can work as a quality dashboard for the project; update it on weekly basis.