In the Industry 4.0 era, competition is primarily about product quality, in addition to flexibility and production cost. The quality of the final product mainly impacts on the company brand, while the quality of semi-finished products also impacts on the efficiency of the entire production process.
The sooner a quality problem is identified in the production flow, the less impact it will have on the process itself. For this reason, companies need to have a quality control and management system that can be applied to all processes, or at least most of them, as soon as the purchased materials enter into these processes.
The data collected should not only enable there to be a quick response to quality-related problems, but should also allow for advanced analysis to take place, in order to highlight correlations and indications that may improve future product quality. It must therefore also integrate information acquired by advanced machines or quality sensors.