Original Date: 03/16/1998
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Quality Management System
Quality influences a company’s ability to attain world-class status. Today’s companies face a myriad of quality standards and systems which are imposed by their customers and changing market conditions. Quality standards such as the international standard (ISO 9000); the automotive standard (QS 9000); the new aerospace standard (SAE ARD 9000); and Boeing’s D1-9000 standard were developed to assist suppliers in implementing basic quality systems. However, the sheer number of standards may impose too many checkpoints on a company’s quality management system. The challenge is to devise an effective method for addressing all the requirements. In Strite’s case, the company must also meet the FDA’s Good Manufacturing Process certification requirements.
In 1998, Strite was implementing ISO 9002 certification. Although the company is renowned for its close tolerance machining capabilities, Strite views the certification process as a welcome addition to its operations, and as a means to attract and keep customers during these highly competitive times. The company is already very effective in monitoring and controlling its product characteristics, process variables, and equipment characteristics. With ISO 9002 certification, Strite will enhance its existing methods, and enable the company to properly document and carry out its operations under controlled conditions. Strite’s employees are also aware of the important role that process control plays in reducing variation, and actively support a stricter, more detailed requirement for documentation than required by ISO 9002.
In response to the automotive industry’s requirements, Strite implemented a very effective Statistical Process Control (SPC) program. The company measures process capability ratios (Cpk) at several key points in its manufacturing processes to track its efforts for improving process capability. Strite’s statistical techniques are an effective means of improving process capability, and reducing variations in key product characteristics that affect customer satisfaction. Although the SPC program was initially used only for high volume production, the company discovered its usefulness for low volume runs as well. Strite is achieving Cpk ratios of 1.67, which is quite remarkable considering the close tolerances to which the company operates.
Strite recognizes the competitive value of a properly implemented and maintained quality management system. By using ISO 9000 as the basis of its quality management system and establishing buy-ins at all levels of the company, Strite is well positioned to respond to the most demanding of customers’ requirements.
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