What Is The Difference Between Evaluation And Inspection?

Engineering services often work with companies and other organizations to design, evaluate, and otherwise check out projects and plans. One service you often see is evaluation of products — the engineering services test the products and provide feedback to the company that created the product. But these companies may also say that they don't do inspections. What is the difference between these two?

What Does Each Do?

Evaluating plans or a product would involve testing and writing up the results, or going through the plans and looking for flaws. Or, if you have been having problems with a product, an evaluation might include an assessment of the problem and ways to get around it or fix it. Think of an evaluation as quality control and editing, only with items and blueprints instead of words. Inspecting could involve looking for code violations or conformity, or making sure the results meet certain standards. Technically an inspection is a type of evaluation, but in this case, it is more regulatory based.

Which Do You Need?

If you need a formal inspection to see if something meets a state or federal code, or need a similar service, an inspection is necessary. If you want something tested or a problem analyzed, then an evaluation would be better. Look at it this way — inspections are like the final test. These are the ones that pass or fail the product or plan. Even if you can go back and modify them, the inspection is the thing you want to pass. The evaluation is like the practice test that tells you how everything is going. You want to pass this test, too, but if your product does not pass (it doesn't work, the plans have a flaw, etc.), you just keep working on it and see where things went wrong.

Why Not Do the Work Yourself?

You'd never be able to inspect your own project as that would violate conflict-of-interest rules as well as many state and federal requirements. You can do some evaluation yourself, of course, by having your in-house engineers take a look at the plans and products. But evaluating your own work is like editing your own writing — you know what you've been aiming for and may fill in some information in your head, thus not realizing it's missing from the plans or instructions for using the product. A third-party engineering service that evaluates something with no prior experience with the item can spot more flaws.

When you've drawn up what you hope are your final plans or finished what you hope is the best model of your product, get an engineering service to evaluate before you release the product or proceed with the plans. The extra eyes and knowledge will help you make everything run much better. Contact a company like East Coast Engineering Inc to learn more.