Active-PCB manufactures printed circuit boards and electro-mechanical assemblies for aerospace, defence, industrial, laboratory and motor sport applications. From prototyping to new product introduction and small/medium batch production, the company operates to high quality specifications.
After a particularly harsh certification audit, the directors asked QFactorial to take on the dual challenge of re-shaping and re-writing their quality management system to meet upgraded standards ISO 9001: 2015 and AS 9100 Rev D. The challenge was accepted despite the very short project timescale driven by key customer demand.
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The company had already realised that the existing QMS would not easily upgrade to the revised standards due to legacy issues. An early attempt to adopt a template-based approach was already proving difficult, generating far too many documents and forcing the system into a pre-ordained format. Despite the tight timeline, we were able to work with the client to create and implement a new quality manual and incorporate the new controls required by ISO 9001:2015 and AS 9100 Rev D. We tested the system with internal audits and chaired the first management review meeting to confirm readiness for external audit. We were present throughout the external audit as the client’s advocate in what turned out to be a high-pressure scenario. Afterwards, we continued in a supporting role, performing monthly consultant audits and chairing quarterly management reviews to help maintain and improve the system during the first year.
When two standards collide, the highest specification prevails. It was certainly the case on this project where the onerous requirements of AS 9100 Rev D made the 2-month transition even more difficult to achieve. Only when the chips are down, and the heat is on, is the mettle truly tested.
ISO 9001 and AS 9100 certifications were achieved, enabling key client approvals to be maintained. The resulting QMS now reflects how the business operates. Its structure is decoupled from the clauses of the standards and therefore protected from the inevitable re-shuffling when the standards are next revised.
"It was a pleasure working with Kevin Brown of QFactorial and we are happy to recommend his services. Kevin worked in a professional manner that helped guide our company through the transitions required to achieve an effective outcome. His approach to all aspects of our quality management system has contributed to a positive result, which assisted us in achieving and retaining IS0 9001: 2015 and AS 9100 Rev D."
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