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- the examination of raw materials, work in progress and finished goods to check that these items comply with predetermined QUALITY standards. The principal purpose of inspection is the identification of rejects, thereby ensuring that the standards set are maintained by weeding out unacceptable items (DEFECTIVE WORK). Inspection can involve examination of all items, or just a sample of items where the cost of examination is high.
- the inspection of buildings, plant, machinery and equipment which is also necessary to identify MAINTENANCE problems which might cause machine failure and disruption to production, or inconsistent machine performance which would affect product quality. See QUALITY CONTROL, QUALITY COSTS.