When I started at United Equipment Accessories in our Artos (wire/harness cutting) department it didn’t take long before I was up to speed on the processes required to ensure the wires or harnesses that I was cutting for production were up to specification based on the information I was provided. On the other hand, this was only one department out of many here at UEA and I knew little, at this time, about all the other departments and how they interacted. That’s why when we became ISO certified in 2005, I was eager to volunteer myself as an ISO internal auditor. To see firsthand what happens before orders get into production, how they flow through our company from concept to delivery and all points between was exactly the opportunity I was looking for.
ISO is short for the International Organization for Standardization which has put in place standards that companies selling a type of product must comply with to meet this certification. ISO standards require that UEA employees are properly trained and qualified to do the job they have been asked to do, have the proper tools, safety equipment and clear concise prints and work instructions to make quality parts. We are also required to do internal audits of all departments every year, which allows us to make continual improvements to our processes and our Quality Management System.
Earlier this year I had a chance to do one of the first internal audits on the production side of our new hydraulics department. The audit scope included the machining (CNC and operator/s), assembly instructions, inventory, proper equipment (with calibration records if necessary) and properly trained personnel assembling our hydraulic swivels. I was pleased to find that all the ISO work we had done to get the rest of the UEA facility up to ISO specifications was already being implemented in our hydraulics department as well. I attribute this to our company wide understanding of the importance of our ISO certification and the importance of our customers’ satisfaction with our products.
Continual improvement is a big deal to UEA and our ISO system. It helps guarantee that we make quality products which fit our customers’ exact needs, and helps us keep costs down by finding new ways to tackle issues or meet customer expectations. UEA is continually improving everything we do thanks to the standards that have been setup for us by ISO and we plan to keep doing so for the foreseeable future. It’s dedication to standards like these that keep our company and our new hydraulics department running like a well oiled machine.
Engineering Design Tech.