This article provides information about vendor inspection services which are provided by third party inspection companies.
This article is a supplementary article for the Vendor Inspection article, so it is recommend that you first read the vendor inspection article, and then come here for supplementary information:
Vendor quality inspection services
This is referring to all activities that are done by a third party inspector regarding the quality part of work. The other tasks can be vendor quantity inspection, vendor packing inspection, vendor marking inspection and vendor loading inspection.
The third party inspector is normally assigned by the purchaser, and the scope of work also determined by the purchaser. The purchaser identifies which third party inspector in which inspection stage must attend to the vendor shop for witnessing a test or inspection.
These inspection points and other points, which only need to be reviewed are summarized in the vendor inspection and test plan article.
Vendor Inspection Notification or Invitation
Sometimes the value of an order is great, and the purchaser assigns a resident third party inspector to a vendor shop. In this case, we do not have any vendor inspection notification or invitation. The vendor supplies an office for facility to the third party inspector, and the inspector makes several visits per day to the shop and supervises and witnesses all tests.
But when the order is not so great and a resident inspector is not necessary, then it is agreed between the buyer and the vendor for an inspection notification.
Based on the international practice, the third party vendor inspection company would be notified a minimum of 5 working days in advance.
In the specified day, the third party inspector is attended in the vendor shop to witness the identified inspection or test.
Vendor Inspection Release Form or Note
When the third party inspector has attended to the all identified inspections and tests and the results are satisfactory and all required quality control documents have been reviewed and endorsed, then the third party inspection agency would issue the vendor an inspection release note.
The release note form contains the equipment identification in detail, such as the proforma invoice number, purchase order number, packing list number, contract number, letter of credit number, etc. and states which specified equipment is released for shipment.
Then vendor can arrange with its shipping company for shipment of the equipment. But if the loading inspection is determined in the vendor inspection and test plan, the vendor needs to notify the third party inspection agency for witnessing the loading.
Vendor Inspection Services - Vendor Inspection Responsibilities
The responsibility of the vendor inspection depends on the inspection and test plan, which identifies the scope of work. The responsibility of the Third Party Inspection Company is very different when the purchaser orders only for Preshipment inspection or detail shop inspection.
I have seen lots of purchasers which, by paying for 1 man-day inspection fee, expect to transfer all responsibility to the inspection agency, but this is not correct. The inspection is not eliminating the vendor responsibility to deliver equipment based on what was specified in the purchase order.
So if you have received non-conforming equipment to your site and the equipment was already inspected and you have the inspection certificate in your hand, before any judgment, check the scope, which you already specified for your third party inspection agency.
Then check and see if that non-conformity can be identified with that scope of work? If yes, you may discuss this with your inspection agency and resolve the problem.
Vendor Inspection Services - Vendor Site Inspection Document
When the equipment is manufactured in the vendor shop, it then would be transported to the construction field. Some equipment would easily be installed in the site by construction site engineers. Some examples are pressure vessels or heat exchangers because for this equipment there is no need for the vendor to attend to the site and supervise installation.
But we have lots of equipment for which the installation is a sophisticated process and needs to be installed using a specific procedure and it is necessary that the vendor supervisor attend to the site. An example of this is water tube boilers, gas turbines,etc.
There are lots of quality control documents that need to be processed, which is normally called a vendor site inspection document or vendor site quality control document.
Vendor Inspection Services - Vendor Surveillance Inspection
This is different terminology, which is used for shop inspection or vendor inspection.
Vendor Inspection Services - Site Inspection vs. Vendor Inspection
The site inspection refers to the activities which are done in the construction field, such inspections for process piping, storage tank, boiler assembly, heater assembly, etc., but the vendor inspection refers to the inspection activity that is done in the vendor shop. For more detail review the Industrial Inspection System article.
Vendor Inspection Services in China
There are lots of good mechanical and electrical equipment vendors in China, and when we carried out the vendor audit we noticed the vendors had a very qualified quality control team, but we also faced with very bad experiences with some others.
Anyway, China is a quickly growing industrial country, and sometimes the quality might be ignored when the vendors are receiving lots of orders and prefer to accept all of them and commit to deliver all of them on time.
This is known to everyone: the Chinese vendors are more competitive than European and American vendors.
So when you have an order in China, I recommend that you carry out the following assessment:
Keep in mind that the above points are not just for Chinese vendors, and you need to consider the above points for all vendors. Then you will have more assurance that you are receiving quality equipment.
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