A quality order defines a set of one or more tests that need to be performed for an item and a test quantity of its related order (such as a purchase, sales, or production order) or a test quantity of its inventory.
For each test, the quality order defines the quality specifications, an acceptable quality level (AQL), the applicable test instrument, the documents describing the test, and several other factors. A test can be quantitative (with specifications and test results expressed as values for a specified unit of measure) or qualitative (with specifications and test results expressed as user-defined outcomes that reflect pass or fail). You can add, change, or delete the tests within a quality order.
For the set of tests, the quality order defines the overall AQL, the sampling plan and associated test quantity, the need for destructive tests, and the sequence of tests.
You can manually create a quality order, or establish quality guidelines within each business process (such as a process related to purchase, sales, or production orders) for automatically creating a quality order. The quality guidelines define the set of tests, the overall AQL, and the sampling plan for the quality order, as well as the conditions for when to generate a quality order within the business process. Within the business process for purchase order receipts, for example, the conditions can apply to the site, item, and vendor so that a quality order will be selectively generated.
After reporting the test results for each test within a quality order, you initiate a validation process that assigns a pass or fail status (based on meeting the overall AQL) and closes the quality order. An Infolog can warn you that the quality order has failed or has not yet been closed when you perform the next step in the business process. In addition, you can optionally reopen the quality order and force the validation process to assign a pass status by accepting any error conditions.
You can optionally create a nonconformance when a quality order identifies defective material. The nonconformance provides the basis for further investigation. For more information, see About nonconformance.
A quality order builds on the information that is defined by several prerequisite steps. These steps include the definition of quantitative tests and the associated unit of measure, the definition of qualitative tests and the associated test variables and outcomes, the optional definition of test instruments and associated test areas, and the definition of test groups. Additional steps include the definition of sampling plans and the assignment of tests to a test group, along with the quality specifications, AQL, test sequence, and validity dates for each test within the test group. The automatic generation of quality orders requires an additional step to define the quality associations about the events and conditions within each business process that will trigger a quality order.