QUALITY IS NOT JUST THE PHYSICAL VERIFICATION OF MANUFACTURED PARTS, BUT IN FACT INCLUDES A LOT MORE
Today we talk to Laura Polo, Quality Manager at Virospack
Laura has a degree in Chemical Engineering and has headed up the Department for the past 6 years. She started in the Technical Department where she spent 4 years gaining experience and knowledge on the development of each part and component of Virospack’s catalogue, as well as its manufacturing and decoration processes, plus its quality requirements.
With a team of 18 people that continues to grow, her responsibility not only includes quality control but also the tests laboratory and qualified staff dedicated to quality assurance+management.
Laura how is your day-to-day and that of the Quality Department?
Firstly, I would like to make it clear that Quality is not just the physical verification of manufactured parts, as is so often erroneously thought, but in fact includes a lot more…
The Quality Department is part of Virospack’s integrated management system. Quality = Quality Control + Quality Assurance and Management.
– Quality Assurance manages the tools to ensure that quality control is effective. It is responsible for “ensuring quality”, planning the controls to be performed and their frequency, the methodologies to follow, etc.
– Quality Management is the administrative part whose mission is to respond to customers, monitor incidents and meet the KPI’s that allow us to control and ensure that the required quality level is maintained at all times.
– Quality Control + laboratory is the most visible part of the department and that most closely related to production, as it is direct verification of the product during the manufacturing process and before final shipment to the customer.
These three areas therefore form the basis of the performance of the daily tasks focused on production control, monitoring, analysis, etc., constantly striving for customer satisfaction and the continuous improvement of our processes.
Exporting more than 95% of production to all continents, our quality control department is fully familiar with the demands of the international cosmetics industry. We follow the most stringent international standards and also carry out specific controls for each customer. We make sure that the brand always receives the relevant technical specifications and the analysis certificates that confirm compliance with them.
What is a tests laboratory?
Specific physical and chemical tests are carried out in the tests laboratory to ensure the full compatibility of the cosmetic formulas with our droppers, the strength of the packaging, correct functionality… We offer a fully equipped tests laboratory for all our customers. A service to perform compatibility and functionality tests on the packaging and to determine the optimal components for each product and its decoration.
How do you think Virospack stands out from other companies in the sector or even from its competitors in terms of quality? What does it offer that other do not?
We are a company with more than 60 years experience in the sector. This has allowed us to develop a very close relationship with some of our main customers and evolve with them at the same pace as the cosmetics sector in recent years. This means we are also certain that we meet their most demanding requirements and expectations and maintain a cooperative relationship with them. This is undoubtedly a mutually beneficial relationship that sets us apart from other companies.
Another one of our characteristics is the global mindset of the company focused on quality and control of the entire process that allows us to manufacture in-house. This helps us to detect any deviation very quickly and resolve it as soon as possible.
Virospack’s senior management has always strived for quality as a basic prerequisite for our products, and this is conveyed to the whole team. When you truly believe in something… this is shown by the result! And having a team philosophy is one of our strengths.
What is your department’s relationship with your customers like?
Our customer relations mainly depend on each of them and their needs, as we strive to adapt and meet their requirements in every area.
There are customers who seek a closer relationship and a more in-depth understanding of the process and the company, while others, however, that work following business models more focused on quantitative indicators without entering so much in the day-to-day and in-depth knowledge of the supplier.
Our main points of contact are:
– Initial product requirement agreements. Types of sampling, quality levels, classification of defects…
– Sending of Conformity or Analysis certificates
– Joint monitoring of indicators, continuous improvement actions…
– Customer advice, guidance and support in case of any unexpected situation that may arise after shipment of goods
Since taking up this management position, how do you think quality control has changed in Virospack? Cite any example of any technique or improvement that you now offer that you did not have before.
The quality department has been immersed in recent years, just like the whole company, in continuous change towards process automation and optimisation in order to be more agile and efficient in our day-to-day.
Improvements in training processes for new hires, exploitation of our know-how and more experienced staff, tools, with new technologies…
For us constant growth is a continuous challenge (annual of more than 30% over the last 5 years) without losing sight of our quality standards.
We know that the company continues to grow and invest in latest generation technology and machinery and the production line, but what about in quality control too? Are you planning to make any investment or introduce any novelty shortly?
Quality is increasingly focused on thorough and specific control during the production process to be able to guarantee quality right from the start.
We are currently immersed in highly ambitious projects for artificial vision systems in different production processes. Having such a wide variety of processes (glass transformation, plastic injection, different types of decoration, assembly,…) requires tools that are highly developed and adapted to our product and criteria.
This helps us to ensure an even more rigorous level of quality and to work on improving processes to achieve this level of quality. Being self-demanding is part of our philosophy.
How quickly can improvements through the introduction of quality control be identified?
Quality works closely with the Technical and R&D Department. This means that lessons learned in either of the two departments have an immediate effect on the other, so quality know-how impacts new designs and developments while the technical department’s perspective has an impact on the day-to-day improvements of our production processes to improve quality.
Any improvement or change implemented is always accompanied by follow-up and control from the corresponding manager and official approval.
Being a company where we manufacture every component of the product that we sell, ensures that we are able to provide a rapid response in case of any unforeseen event, and always anticipate any possible impact that this may have on the next production process.