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firbikrhd1
08-18-2010, 03:28 PM
Today while browsing my new issue of HSM I noted that one of the frequent advertisers is running a sale on various machines. In the ads for several machines is written "Made in ISO 9001 Factory". Given the many opinions regarding quality of imported equipment it got me wondering, is this any real indication or guarantee of quality when it is made in one of the factories carrying this certification?

A search of the web will yield what the certification means in general for factories meeting the criteria, but does this translate into any real world quality difference?

digger_doug
08-18-2010, 04:08 PM
Absolutely none.

As a person dragged thru it (sideways in the thick of it)
when it first appeared, I can tell you this:

You write your own quality guidlines, then follow them...

Yup, that's the jist of it.

Make sure that you follow them, to the letter, and document
that you are, in fact following them, to the letter.

Mcgyver
08-18-2010, 04:45 PM
ISO is of value to a commercial customer or even someone looking at an acquisition; it means you've got organizational stuff together to the point where at least I can follow your process from a book rather than standing on the factory floor, and that workers are used to going by the book (if i want to make changes)

If their product design, materials etc is good, ISO at least gives you some hope that you're not getting a big negative variation, a lemon....but it in no way has any bearing on how good the product is. The worst product in the world can easily be from a plant that's ISO, it just means that they have proper procedures to ensure the consistent production of that worst product

then again if its China, I don't believe ISO status because some chinese company claims it. Heck if i tell you it's my JV factory, come on and visit, they'll put my name on the building beside theirs just for your benefit. The business culture is such they will tell you anything you want to hear, the truth doesn't factor into it.

Stuart Br
08-18-2010, 05:30 PM
I couldn't agree more with Digger. Its about procedures, nothing more.
I too went through the significant hassle of getting a company though it in the early '90s. Then i went on to find that competitors and suppliers who had it, were just as bad as those who didn't. I tried raise a QA non-conformance issue on a large UK PLC distributor, they had shipped me a 32MB memory board for a large UNIX server in a jiffy bag. This was at the time about 32K GBP for a PCB that was A3 sized. No ESD Protection and no rigid protection. Could I raise a non conformance, could I hell. At that time I realised the real value of ISO 9001. You had to have the ticket to meet the requirements for certain contracts, but underneath it meant nothing about real quality. You can produce crap and deliver a crap service as long as you document what you are doing and it confirms to your procedures.

The Artful Bodger
08-18-2010, 05:39 PM
You could make a concrete life jacket and have its production comply with ISO 9001.

Greg Q
08-18-2010, 06:00 PM
My Intestines can get an ISO9001 rating;same process day in/day out. And the end product is...

Todd Tolhurst
08-18-2010, 06:04 PM
Greg, that is the best explanation I have ever heard for ISO 9000. I do believe that I will steal it.

Liger Zero
08-18-2010, 06:15 PM
ISO is great if you have a process in place already and you want to document.

Too often a company tries to slap together a "process" then they "document" it and they lock themselves on a course to oblivion. One of the most important parts is to remember to develop a process modify your processes.... Argh.

It's like polishing a turd on your lathe. An exercise in frustration, you end up with **** everywhere and your 4-jaw chuck smells bad. There are other things you can spend your time and money on.

goose
08-18-2010, 06:16 PM
ISO certification: The skill, experience and pride of a workman is reduced to a flow chart.

ADGO_Racing
08-18-2010, 06:57 PM
If you make a $hity widget before ISO, you will only make a well documented $hity widget using ISO.

Simple as that...:D

firbikrhd1
08-18-2010, 08:23 PM
Wow, not one positive comment regarding ISO 9001! Looks like the aforementioned advertiser is just using it as a marketing ploy to the uninformed. Now that I know that I have a little less respect for the company using it as advertisement because it seems they are willing use some professional sounding but worthless standard to deceive customers into thinking they are getting a superior product.
Thanks for the info.

Todd Tolhurst
08-18-2010, 08:28 PM
Don't be too hard on them. They probably spent a bundle getting certified back in the 90's when it was a hot buzzword, and they're still trying to get some value out of it.

RobbieKnobbie
08-18-2010, 09:03 PM
I've been through ISO 9001 audits a few times... they never really cared how much scrap we produced, just that we documented it.

On the production side, all they seemed to check was if the operators knew where to find the process documentation - and that any papers on the floor were current.

I never saw any point in it until I moved to the employer I'm at now... No documentation, no set procedures, nothing. The boss decided what he wants today, and how we're going to do it. Totally random and often contradictory. Quality and consistency are spotty at best and the company is unlikely to survive the recession. That's the value of ISO Certs... to weed out the disorganized companies from those that have their sh!t together.

mcskipper
08-18-2010, 09:41 PM
The Co. can make trash and as long as the paperwork says they make trash all is good with ISO.

I had to deal with it for years and the only thing I could figure out is that it is a way a big Co. can knock out a small Co on a bid.

Dr Stan
08-18-2010, 09:49 PM
Absolutely none.

As a person dragged thru it (sideways in the thick of it)
when it first appeared, I can tell you this:

You write your own quality guidlines, then follow them...

Yup, that's the jist of it.

Make sure that you follow them, to the letter, and document
that you are, in fact following them, to the letter.

Doug and others,

You're on target. Its more of an accounting/documentation process than anything and does not mean you are producing quality products or services.

BTW, my first degree was in quality and I'm well versed in Deming. I think he'd be turning over in his grave if he knew how ISO 9001 is being used.

Stan

Liger Zero
08-18-2010, 09:53 PM
Wow, not one positive comment regarding ISO 9001!

As I grow my company I will pursue ISO 9000-series certification. The processes I develop are developed for ease of implementation and repeatability.

It can be a very good thing, this ISO thing.... sadly the companies I've been at used it as a weapon to punish workers. One example was company that told new workers that ISO wouldn't allow them to train or promote workers internally, they'd "get in trouble with ISO if they did." Another company had rigid set procedures that COULD NOT BE CHANGED. If the picture showed the operator holding the part in her left hand you had better hold the part in your left hand too... otherwise you'd be written up.


It's like anything else really... done right it can be a source of pride and it can really help your company get that edge on the shop across town. Done poorly it's corporate suicide.

loose nut
08-19-2010, 10:01 AM
The ISO system is there to make sure that the paper work and procedures are keep up to date and by that assumption that they are followed. ISO inspectors don't actually look at the work being done. It is a bunch of paper pushers checking up on other paper pushers.

You can make crap but as long as the paper work is OK that's all they care about.

digger_doug
08-19-2010, 10:18 AM
This phrase was given to me to sum it all up:

"Say what you, and do what you say"

SGW
08-19-2010, 11:36 AM
I had to write ISO procedures for a company for a couple of years. It kept me from writing anything useful, like actual user documentation for our products that would help our customers.

Mcgyver
08-19-2010, 11:48 AM
I never saw any point in it until I moved to the employer I'm at now... No documentation, no set procedures, nothing. The boss decided what he wants today, and how we're going to do it. Totally random and often contradictory. Quality and consistency are spotty at best and the company is unlikely to survive the recession. That's the value of ISO Certs... to weed out the disorganized companies from those that have their sh!t together.

Exactly, the value is not zero, its just zero to a consumer. Depends what type of customer you are....one guy buying a lathe its zero, but if you're the engineer buying 2 million sub assemblies a month from the other side of the planet it means something. As I said though, even if you are that engineer, that some Chinese company claims ISO means nothing, you have to prove it to yourself before you should believe it

Why they'd put it in an ad is I suppose the same reason someone might refer to billet in an ad; there's no real value in something billet or coming out of an iso factory but the ignorant customer might perceived some

mayfieldtm
08-19-2010, 12:24 PM
As a Process Manager I Like having ISO in the shop.
No more guessing what tolerances are. Managers used to flip flop constantly and then crap their pants when customers return parts.
ISO comes into play on liability issues. If someone get hurt by a product, it can be traced to a particular Process or Material or ???


Tom M.

digger_doug
08-19-2010, 12:44 PM
As a Process Manager I Like having ISO in the shop.
No more guessing what tolerances are. Managers used to flip flop constantly and then crap their pants when customers return parts.
ISO comes into play on liability issues. If someone get hurt by a product, it can be traced to a particular Process or Material or ???


Tom M.

Those are on the drawing. always should have been there irregardless
of iso.

ckelloug
08-19-2010, 01:55 PM
From the work I've done in ISO certified companies, it pretty much assures that what was supposed to have been done is written down and provides some assurance that the production was done in a manner something like the process that it was supposed to have been done with.

If you make 96,000 bad parts, it means that the signature of the person who will ultimately be blamed for the screw-up is probably on a document somewhere as is the signature of whoever made the change. ISO 9001 won't keep you from making the bad parts but it will tell you who to hold accountable in the aftermath and in an ideal world the processes will have been written well enough that if followed, you would get the part the way it was on the print.

--Cameron

mayfieldtm
08-19-2010, 03:00 PM
Those are on the drawing. always should have been there irregardless
of iso.

"Should Have" is always the excuse.

Many customers either over specify the Tolerances or more often than not, have none at all.

Tom M.

Falcon67
08-19-2010, 03:51 PM
My Intestines can get an ISO9001 rating;same process day in/day out. And the end product is...

Only under ISO9001:2000. You didn't do the design on your intestines, so if you were certified under the earlier standards you'd have to settle for 9002 or 9003. Since your intestines are mostly involved with "final inspection and test", your procedures could be written on toilet paper.

If a quality standard is applied in the spirit as intended, yes it can be a good thing. Following MIL-STD-45662A or using it as a guide would certainly improve your metrology program. Implementing a peer review system with QA, Engineering and Manufacturing for BOM, print or procedure changes along with a procedural process for document revision could easily force improvements in your documentation system. The part may still suck, but you could easily follow the trail back to the origin of suck. And if it didn't suck before but sucks now, you'd know when the sucking began and maybe why.

Yes, if you have a piss-poor system in place, documenting it will not get you much of anything as far as improvements.

legendboy
08-21-2010, 01:37 AM
iso is basically a BUNCH of paperwork the manufacturer has to fill out

thats it (if they want)

mike4
08-22-2010, 01:07 AM
QUOTE=ckelloug]From the work I've done in ISO certified companies, it pretty much assures that what was supposed to have been done is written down and provides some assurance that the production was done in a manner something like the process that it was supposed to have been done with.

If you make 96,000 bad parts, it means that the signature of the person who will ultimately be blamed for the screw-up is probably on a document somewhere as is the signature of whoever made the change. ISO 9001 won't keep you from making the bad parts but it will tell you who to hold accountable in the aftermath and in an ideal world the processes will have been written well enough that if followed, you would get the part the way it was on the print.

--Cameron[/QUOTE]
The most use is to be able to follow a paper trail and blame someone , today everyone just wants to blame someone else for their own shortcomings .
We all should be accountable for our actions ,not be well practiced in shoving the blame on someone else .

These quality systems could improve the end products if properly used , most do as many posts here outline ,just document proceedures and not bother to care if the product is up to an acceptable and useful standard .

Most products made for mass markets are no longer produced to last only look good to sell .

Too_Many_Tools
08-22-2010, 03:05 AM
As a Process Manager I Like having ISO in the shop.
No more guessing what tolerances are. Managers used to flip flop constantly and then crap their pants when customers return parts.
ISO comes into play on liability issues. If someone get hurt by a product, it can be traced to a particular Process or Material or ???


Tom M.

Correct.

It is all about liability...and who will pay when the lawsuits start.

It is the paper trail that the courts will follow...if your procedure doesn't produce what you say it will, you are screwed.

TMT