Quality Assurance and Quality Control...

Quality Assurance and Quality Control  In present day environment, ‘Quality’ is the focus area for the management of every organization for achieving the success. Quality plays a substantial role on the bottom line of the organization. Two terms related to quality that are frequently being used in the Total Quality Management (TQM) and different quality related standards such as ISO 9001 etc. are ‘Quality Assurance’ (QA) and ‘Quality Control’ (QC). Both QA and QC are the part of one circle under quality management techniques. QA concentrates on defect prevention while QC deals with the detection. This is shown in Fig 1. Fig 1 Circle of QA and QC  The terms of QA and QC are closely related to each other. Both the terms also have the same objectives.  In fact both QA and QC complement each other. They are so interlinked and inter-dependent that many persons find it difficult to distinguish them. QA is process oriented and focuses on defect prevention, while QC is product oriented and focuses on defect identification. There exists a lot of confusion in many organizations with respect to these two terms and the activities associated with them. The intended purpose of both QA and QC is to make the product defect free and ensure that it conforms to the requirements of product specifications. In fact both of these terms have got common objective. However the approach to achieve the objective is different. The route followed by both is also different for achievement of the objective. QA still has QC at its core to control the quality of service/product, but it goes beyond mere testing or inspection to also consider related activities or processes (such as training, document control and audits) that may be resulting in defects further down the line. Both QA and QC are essential for an...

Energy Management in a Steel Plant...

Energy Management in a Steel Plant Iron and steel industry is the largest consumer of energy among all industrial sectors. Energy conservation in steel industry is crucial for its competitiveness, sustainability and minimization of environmental impacts including green house gas emissions and better resource management. As per World Steel Association, energy costs represent around 20 % to 25 % of the total input of steel plants. Energy cost cutting and energy efficiency improvements are the most important topics of control for the steel plant management.  Energy management provides the following opportunities in a steel plant. It provides opportunities to decrease the energy intensity per ton of crude steel It provides opportunities to adopt best or good practices for utilization of energy sources more effectively It provides opportunities for using best or good practices for recovery of heat and gas energy wherever practical. It enables the plants to develop plans for reduction of plant’s energy intensity It makes plant to carry out prioritization of those investments which have biggest impact on the energy efficiency. Energy management efforts, which aim to reduce energy use, are a must as well as a key element for a steel plant’s energy management programme. Twin approach for energy management in a steel plant is desirable and necessary. Energy management programme can be system based through implementation of ISO 50001-2011 standard as well as it can be a technical approach based on real time information obtained from process monitoring and control systems and on production plans received from production planning systems. While the first approach is a management approach which streamlines all the systems connected with energy use and energy conservation, the second approach provides information on actual and planned energy indicators of production, distribution and consumption on real time basis...