Managing quality - You can do it! - Part 1

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Note: This series relates to the 1994 version of the standards and has not been updated to include the requirements of the 2000 revision of the standard. The 2000 revision changes the emphasis of the standards to a 'process' oriented approach and makes other changes. The message is still the same: ISO 9000 quality management is a simple process and can be carried out by most companies easily.

 

Part 1 - An introduction to ISO 9000

How to get yourself registered to ISO 9002 - the Quality Standard that everybody recognises. The series covers why you should get yourself registered, the requirements of the standard and detailed guidance on what you need to do to do to get the most valuable certificate that you can have. The series begins with an introduction to ISO 9002 and why you ought to start the process.

What is ISO 9002?

ISO 9002 is one of the international standards for Quality Management Systems that follow on from the earlier BS 5750 series of British Standards. The original BS 5750 series has now become a European Standard (EN) and also an International Standard (ISO); the full name of ISO 9002 is actually BS EN ISO 9002.

The ISO 9000 series of standards are standards for Quality Management Systems and cover the management of quality in the business. ISO 9000 is all about common sense in business systems and provides a framework for quality management of any type of product or service.

The ISO 9000 standards are not the same as product standards and ISO 9002 does not set any performance or product requirements. Performance and product requirements are set by the relevant product standard or by the customer. A product cannot conform to ISO 9002. A company can get ISO 9002 but not it's products.

The standard has several sections and these are:

BS EN ISO 9001: which includes manufacturing and also a design element. As general rule systems suppliers should have BS EN ISO 9001 to cover the system design.

BS EN ISO 9002: which includes manufacture but has no design element. As a general rule window fabricators should have BS EN ISO 9002.

BS EN ISO 9003: which covers final inspection and testing and servicing and is not really applicable to the window industry.

The sections of the standards are shown in Figure 1.1 below.

 Figure 1.1: The Structure of the ISO 9000 Standards

What does ISO 9002 tell you about a company?

The achievement of registration to ISO 9002 by any company tells the staff, customers and suppliers a lot about the company's attitude to quality but there is more to it than that. ISO 9002 also shows:

If you want to tell people this type of thing about your company then you should seriously consider preparing for and applying for ISO 9002 registration as soon as possible.

Why is ISO 9002 important?

Apart from the things it says about your company, the achievement of the standard can produce significant benefits to the company in all areas, from sales to production. Some of the benefits that can be found are:

There are more to be found, such as a better understanding of the quality practices in your company, greater consistency of the quality practices in your company but you have to work at all of these because nothing comes free in any business.

The use of ISO 9002 should never be seen as a "paperwork" exercise but as a real chance to improve everything about your business.

Why you should be "registered"?

You can implement many of the ideas of ISO 9002 internally without involving anybody else but the real benefits come when you get external registration and have your system certificated. Many different companies can carry out external registration and the best known are probably BSi, Lloyds, Yarsley and TRADA. Many companies offer registration services but you should look for one that is "accredited" and which is entitled to use the NACB "Crown and Tick" logo. This means that the registration body has itself been checked and approved for the quality if it's services. You should also look for a certification body that has been approved to offer certification in your area of business; this is called the "scope" of certification services. Certification from a company approved for certification of electrical goods is not going to carry much weight in the window sector.

External certification provides proof that you meet the requirements of the standard, that an independent body checks your system at regular intervals and the regular inspections keep you on the straight and narrow!

The start of the registration trail is to decide on your chosen registration body and to contact them for an information pack. The procedure for registration varies slightly with each body but will be clearly explained in the information pack.

Whichever certification body you choose to use there is a simple process towards registration and this is:

Say what you do.

Do what you say you do.

Prove it.

Improve it.

Figure 1.2: The Steps to Registration

How does ISO 9000 fit with 'Total Quality'?

Achievement of ISO 9000 should never be seen as an end in itself, it is the start of a journey towards 'Total Quality' where the goals are always moving towards improved quality. Total Quality should be the ultimate aim of any manufacturer; the components of Total Quality are shown in Figure 1.3 (below).

 Figure 1.3: The Components of Total Quality

 The components needed for Total Quality are:

All of the components need to be present - if any one is missing then "Total Quality" will never be achieved and any efforts to achieve this are bound to fail. Get all of the components in place before you even think about "Total Quality".

The "Managing quality" Series.

"Managing quality" is designed to give you direct and clear information on the requirements of ISO 9002. The series has been written specifically for window fabricators but most of the information is equally relevant to plastics processing of a general nature. The series is:

Part 1: Introduction (This section)

Part 2 - The requirements of ISO 9002

Part 3 - The procedures (Section 1)

Part 4 - The procedures (Section 2)

Part 5 - The procedures (Section 3)

Part 6 - The procedures (Section 4)

Part 7 - The procedures (Section 5)

 

Last edited: 11/03/10

Tangram Technology Ltd. 1998

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