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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon B. Clarke View Post
    Probably all trying to be like their leader AKA owner. Try setting a good example and most will follow.
    that comment was meant a bit tongue in cheek, but seriously, in this industry a good QC is by far the hardest position to fill. time in time again, i'll walk by and there will be a shelf full of untouched first articles, and the QC guy is watching you tube videos. It gets very aggravating, to say the least.

    The Drambuie I was sipping last night probably tasted identical to the Drambuie you were sipping last night. That's the power of a good QC department.

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    In addition to a very wide range of duties, there's a wide range of benefits of having good QC folks on board.

    At the lowest level, one hopes for the ability to stay awake and enough knowledge and motivation to properly accept good parts and reject bad ones. It's a reactive position. Part is put in front of you. You decide if it's good or bad. Depending on where you live, $20 and hour plus benefits could well be the going rate for some one who can sort of read prints and GD&T, properly use measuring instruments, and remain reasonably productive throughout the day. Too much higher and companies start "hiring" vision systems, probes, and the like to do the QC inspecting. Management views you as overhead.

    At the highest level, enough understanding of both manufacturing process and various QC and statistical methods to significantly increase yields. That's a proactive position and worth significantly more than $20 an hour. Also requires a some human relationship skills, since you'll be sorting out problems as early as possible in the process and suggesting and implementing solutions. Management views you as a key asset.

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    A good QC person will think of how to avoid the same mistake / problem happening again. A bad one will merely note there is a fault.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon B. Clarke View Post
    A good QC person will think of how to avoid the same mistake / problem happening again. A bad one will merely note there is a fault.
    The QC person is going to tell the programmer how to do his job? I would pay to see that.

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    The QC inspector got called up to the managers office......several executives were waiting there.......wasnt going well,so the manager got a micrometer from his draw,set it at a size,and handed to the old QC guy........."what is the reading" he asked......the QC guy pulled a fourfold boxwood ruler from his pocket,measured the gap,and said ...."bout inch and a quarter"

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    Quote Originally Posted by converterking View Post
    The QC person is going to tell the programmer how to do his job? I would pay to see that.
    Tell? No, suggest. If the designer or programer is typical then no one can tell them anything. Most tend to forget that it is not the QC guy that has made the fault but he is often the one that gets the blame for incompetence by others. Try working QC for a week and you will find out how things work IRL

    Maybe that is why I got the big bucks as QC manager and was on friendy terms with production managers. When a fault is made find the real reason/cause. It is also known as CORRECTIVE ACTION.

    The majority of faults are not made by machinists or inspectors.

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    I didn't work at a Lego factory, I worked at a nuclear manufacturer. One of the jobs I held was repairing and calibrating laboratory and inspection equipment. QC would fill out government required inspection reports and engineering would implement required improvements.

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    Quote Originally Posted by converterking View Post
    I didn't work at a Lego factory, I worked at a nuclear manufacturer. One of the jobs I held was repairing and calibrating laboratory and inspection equipment. QC would fill out government required inspection reports and engineering would implement required improvements.
    Since you mention LEGO maybe your post is directed to me. I know several that do work at LEGO but I never have. I did work with QA for 6 years at a power plant and was also quality engineer for a company that made the heat exchangers when Denmark bought F-16s.

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    As a QC inspector with only 2 years inspection experience I can tell you, you are probably underpaid. My first job as a Machine shop inspector was $19.24 an hour with no more than a Associates degree in Machining Technology.

    I currently work at an aerospace machine shop making 25+. Although, I feel we really earn our money at the new place I work. The machinists set up the machine hit the green button then give it to us, no inspection on their part. Very rarely are parts right the first time, sometimes not even the second time. So we are gate guards, any issues we let get by the blame falls directly on us and only on us. It's a bit stressful when a measurement is borderline or difficult to measure. There is a huge variety of parts and I am CMM programming parts with 70+ dimensions regularly. I wish I could go back to the first place, I'd gladly take the pay cut.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aniiran View Post
    As a QC inspector with only 2 years inspection experience I can tell you, you are probably underpaid. My first job as a Machine shop inspector was $19.24 an hour with no more than a Associates degree in Machining Technology.

    I currently work at an aerospace machine shop making 25+. Although, I feel we really earn our money at the new place I work. The machinists set up the machine hit the green button then give it to us, no inspection on their part. Very rarely are parts right the first time, sometimes not even the second time. So we are gate guards, any issues we let get by the blame falls directly on us and only on us. It's a bit stressful when a measurement is borderline or difficult to measure. There is a huge variety of parts and I am CMM programming parts with 70+ dimensions regularly. I wish I could go back to the first place, I'd gladly take the pay cut.
    That's an old post and I've first noticed it now.

    1. You're underpaid.

    2. I can't imagine a aerospace company being run as you describe. Is the company certified to any quality level?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    Much like how much do machinists get paid.
    $10-$50 per hour. Depends on what you do and how much you can do.
    Some inspectors use calipers and go-nogo gauges, others program million dollar cmms on very expensive complex parts that take 4-10 hours to check and know the inside of quality systems and documentation, trace-ability, etc. like the back of their hand.
    ASQ certification is a plus if you want a career in this field.

    Basic inspection is the same as or maybe below machine operator (part loader / button pusher).
    There are so many levels above in this world.
    I always start newbies out in inspection before they get to make parts so bottom of the totem pole.
    (you don't get to make parts until you understand how to check them well)

    If feeling underpaid or underappreciated look for a better ship to sail on.
    I think it's an appropriate post and needing more details if you want a good answer
    Bob
    (I do sense a bit of whining that I not happy with my paycheck .... welcome to the club on that)
    This is a good suggestion. I have not seen it done yet. In the case of new people a experienced machinist with more than one set of dial calipers in their box taught the new guys how to run and check parts which included teaching how to use mics, indicators, etc.ect.

    Could be QC would help a lot with that and then the employee learns where to find things QC will check out to the shop for use.

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    True story:

    At one place where I was QC manager I needed 2 more inspectors. The production manager "gave" me 2 of his best men. His reasoning? "I want someone I know who knows what they are doing and inspecting".

    Needless to say - they were excellent and I ended up paying them more than they earned as machinists.

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    Depends on your knowledge, skills, years of experience, region, and previous pay history. I believe California/Minnesota/Michigan are all in the $20-$45/hour range depending on the other factors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kai Kendall View Post
    Depends on your knowledge, skills, years of experience, region, and previous pay history. I believe California/Minnesota/Michigan are all in the $20-$45/hour range depending on the other factors.
    It never ceases to surprise me the differences between top and bottom wages. Probably the main reason why there often seems to be big difference in how good people are in the USA.

    Apart from perhaps getting an extra check on an expensive part (or before starting a mass production) why an inspector is even necessary sounds "old time". If a machinist isn't able to measure and inspect what he makes as he goes along then IMO he isn't a machinist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon B. Clarke View Post
    It never ceases to surprise me the differences between top and bottom wages. Probably the main reason why there often seems to be big difference in how good people are in the USA.

    Apart from perhaps getting an extra check on an expensive part (or before starting a mass production) why an inspector is even necessary sounds "old time". If a machinist isn't able to measure and inspect what he makes as he goes along then IMO he isn't a machinist.
    Most employers in the US don't want a real machinist anymore. They would rather have 1 Machinist who does all the programing of any kind of CNC machine and a lot of "Operators." People who will load and unload a machine, do basic in process inspections, and maybe make minor offsets. They will run as close to theoretical max feed and speed as they can to increase through put and by only having one truly qualified machinist on staff they save a lot of money on overhead.


    From my experience, the truly shitty part about being in the QC/QA field at a place like that is, if you inspect the part and it'd good, you're a hero. If you inspect the part and it's bad, you did something wrong and your inspection method is called into question. I recently left a place like that and thank god I did, but from the people I know and have worked with this theme is all to common in the states, where quantity>quality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake E CEI View Post
    Most employers in the US don't want a real machinist anymore. They would rather have 1 Machinist who does all the programing of any kind of CNC machine and a lot of "Operators." People who will load and unload a machine, do basic in process inspections, and maybe make minor offsets. They will run as close to theoretical max feed and speed as they can to increase through put and by only having one truly qualified machinist on staff they save a lot of money on overhead.


    From my experience, the truly shitty part about being in the QC/QA field at a place like that is, if you inspect the part and it'd good, you're a hero. If you inspect the part and it's bad, you did something wrong and your inspection method is called into question. I recently left a place like that and thank god I did, but from the people I know and have worked with this theme is all to common in the states, where quantity>quality.
    Sad but probably true. In situations like that I often wonder how "savings" are calculated. Probably the same that outsourced jobs only later to find that they didn't save what they thought. I've nothing against outsourcing as such but it requires a helluva more thought than it usually gets.

    I wish I had a dollar every time I witnessed years ago (as QC manager) when an operator made good parts got praised and when he made bad parts the inspector got yelled at.

    One machinist said to me, perfectly seriously, "Of course you find faults. That's all you look for".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon B. Clarke View Post
    It never ceases to surprise me the differences between top and bottom wages. Probably the main reason why there often seems to be big difference in how good people are in the USA.

    Apart from perhaps getting an extra check on an expensive part (or before starting a mass production) why an inspector is even necessary sounds "old time". If a machinist isn't able to measure and inspect what he makes as he goes along then IMO he isn't a machinist.
    .
    .
    as a cnc operator i realize the inspection department is to catch cnc machines not in calibration and overlooked mistakes.
    .
    i can measure a part as .0001" per 40" flat and perpendicular but if my machine is out of perfect alignment i do not see the error. same as if i have a micrometer out of calibration it will tell me part is perfect but it is not. often its a temperature thing. or if tool comp is off for what ever reason or a damage drill is drilling oversized holes.
    .
    greatest value in inspection department is to report the problem. once a operator is aware of the problem he can attempt to correct the problem. for example is part is out of perpendicular .0005 per 40" clockwise i can make the part CCW .0005" per 40" that i see but it would actually be perfect at inspection. error compensation needs inspection department feedback.
    .
    or another common example 10" bore when made is within .0001" round but after out of fixture a few days its .0010" out of round and mating part will not go in. if tolerance is +.002/-.000 than a warning to aim for the bigger end of tolerance helps more parts pass and be able to assemble. often tolerance required are tighter or different than what the drawing says
    .
    damaged drill, drilling over sized holes. usually it is caught by cnc operator but it helps if inspection sees it to let us know. get the tool replaced. a 2nd set of eyes checking parts can catch mistakes or errors missed the first time
    .
    i could list a dozen more examples easily.

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    also there are times i as a cnc operator think there might be a problem with a part. i cannot always change things if i have no proof there is a problem. inspection report often is the proof there is a problem
    .
    some problems are random that is not 100% seen all the time. if 100 inspection reports show a problem 30% of the time it can prove its not a one time thing but a reoccurring problem. hard to explain but i have seen it before.
    .
    feedback between inspection and production is important tool at correcting problems faster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF_TomB View Post
    .
    .
    as a cnc operator i realize the inspection department is to catch cnc machines not in calibration and overlooked mistakes.
    .
    i can measure a part as .0001" per 40" flat and perpendicular but if my machine is out of perfect alignment i do not see the error. same as if i have a micrometer out of calibration it will tell me part is perfect but it is not. often its a temperature thing. or if tool comp is off for what ever reason or a damage drill is drilling oversized holes.
    .
    greatest value in inspection department is to report the problem. once a operator is aware of the problem he can attempt to correct the problem. for example is part is out of perpendicular .0005 per 40" clockwise i can make the part CCW .0005" per 40" that i see but it would actually be perfect at inspection. error compensation needs inspection department feedback.
    .
    or another common example 10" bore when made is within .0001" round but after out of fixture a few days its .0010" out of round and mating part will not go in. if tolerance is +.002/-.000 than a warning to aim for the bigger end of tolerance helps more parts pass and be able to assemble. often tolerance required are tighter or different than what the drawing says
    .
    damaged drill, drilling over sized holes. usually it is caught by cnc operator but it helps if inspection sees it to let us know. get the tool replaced. a 2nd set of eyes checking parts can catch mistakes or errors missed the first time
    .
    i could list a dozen more examples easily.
    There are several countries where I can't imagine a machine shop being run as you describe. If what you write is even almost correct it's no wonder US companies aren't doing as well as they once did.

    True that 2 pairs of eyes can be good but relying on an inspector that is probably being paid less than the guy machining to ensure all is good is naive at best.

    Re possibly inaccurate machines, possible inaccurate measuring equipment and to top it all having to make parts better than to drawing is just ludicrous in this day and age. I thought the USA would learn something from Japan after they learned from you. Good parts start and are made on the drawing board, not on the shop floor.

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    In the USA If you go into QC you will be the bearer of bad news, not believed in by many, and often in the hot seat.
    Yet it does not pay so well and is seen as a overhead cost by upper management.
    Very often even the existence of a QC department is brought on by customer requirements or regulations, not a want to do it.

    So yes the pay is often bottom of the barrel and advanced skills are not rewarded.
    There are exceptions but to be real it is more often viewed as a low skilled job. There was a "quality revolution" a bit back but it sort of died.
    All you do is measure parts, even a button pusher loads, unloads, changes tools and measures.
    Contrast this with say Japan.

    Hence hard to say on pay since the range is large.
    Techs right around entry level pay and sort of stuck. The few up top and holding together the quality system paid with engineers as you need this dog and pony show and one or two who can run such show for the customers.
    I wish it was different but that is the brass tacks of QC jobs in the US.
    Bob

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