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What is "ISO 9001" ???

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  • What is "ISO 9001" ???

    What is "ISO 9001" ???

    I see this and similar ratings on many machine tool ads.

    So I went to the ISO web page and found this...
    "This is the requirement standard you use to assess your ability to meet customer and applicable regulatory requirements and thereby address customer satisfaction."

    Or am I reading the wrong spec?

    This does not make any sense.
    If the Customer specifies crap tolerances, and the manufacturer meets the customers "crap" tolerances. Than it is ok to put the "ISO9001" rating in your adds?

    I was expecting to find specific manufacturing tolerances.

    I guess what I'm asking is... as a customer, what does the ISO ratings mean to me.

    Tom M.

  • #2
    ISO 9001 applies to organizations which include the engineering and design of products AND manufacture. ISO 9002 applies to organizations which are service oriented.

    For instance, if you are designing and manufacturing product, ISO 9001 is appropriate. If you run a metrology house which comes in and performs periodic cal of a clients systems, that would be covered by ISO 9002.

    That said, with ISO 9001, you need to state what you do and do it. And yes, if you produce crap and are ISO 9001 compliant, you will produce consistent crap.

    You will not find tolerances. You will find close attention to your measuring tools, calibration stickers and perhaps a sampling of the appropriateness of your tools to the job you're doing (i.e. a wooden rule being used to check the O.D. of tight tolerance machined parts is not going to fly).

    Solicitation of customer feedback and using that in a constant "improvement" cycle is also pretty much a part of ISO 900x.

    The same principles are applied in many trades today and that's why your auto mechanic, dentist, hair stylist, etc. all make follow-up calls to see how well they did. Can be very annoying when it's only part of a paper pushing machine.

    Almost missed YOUR question. As a customer, ISO 900x means that your supplier is going through a number of steps which CAN contribute to a better product, but at least should force a more consistent one.

    If I'm dealing with a shop, I'd much rather examine samples of their work and talk to references using similar parts to what I'm having fabricated. I'm guessing that many larger shops are probably forced to include ISO systems. I'm at the design end and work under ISO 9001.



    • #3
      Here’s what ISO9001 means at my company, but I hope we’re the exception. A core group of ISO specialists is formed, and they write down processes and procedures that have nothing to do with how things are actually done. Everyone is trained to tell interviewers that they do their work according to these procedures. The evaluators come, everyone plays the part, and the plant is certified. There are big celebrations and the subject is dropped until the next evaluation.


      • #4
        I posted a question a while back regarding ISO, the feedback was honest and educational. Regarding ISO we just got the flag, I suppose we should be happy, but there are still way too many issues that need to be dealt with. If there is good communication with your customers and pride in your workmanship, ie ability to hit tolerances specified by your customers on a continual basis then there is no need in the world for you to seek ISO registration. I really feel it gives otherwise unemployable people way too much power and influence in your company. Just a rant sorry, I had to get that off my chest.



        • #5
          The only standards with any real meaning for machinists is NIST and NVLAP - Standards traceable back to actual "Grand Master Reference Standards" such as stabilized HeNe lasers, Krypton Lasers, The International Kilogram, the metre (39.375" = 1000 mm) and so forth...

          ISO900x is a great way to make some turds in europe rich. ISO9001 is a non-standard standard in which the applicant sets the rules for the way they will carry on business in the global community. ISO should have just laid down the law on how things were done and set standards to be followed. The way it is now is a waste of resources.

          We should be following ASTM standards instead of "winging it" with ISO900x.

          Rant off.


          • #6
            Thrud's analysis is much more insightful than mine. I don't know why I was being so generous.

            But Thrud, there's no reason why you can't run ASTM standards under an ISO900x umbrella layer. Sort of like running linux under windows

            We've been ISO9001 for around 4 years and were sold a bill of goods by our marketing people that we would be out of business without it. One of the biggest loads of crap I've ever seen.



            • #7
              The company I work for is just completing their ISO certification - we just had a pre-inspection where we did pretty well.

              While everything that has been said CAN be true, if you work for an honest company who wants to be better it can help by establishing procedures that are written and must be followed. The whole thing (as stated) is quality issue in a loop between production and customer feedback.

              In many industries, it is a very valuable marketing tool in that it speaks to the quality of the product. Certainly it can be cheated as explained - so what? - look at Enron! There are cheaters in every aspect of life. If you choose to run your business in an honest manner then ISO can help you to produce a better and more consistant product, as well as advertise that fact to the people to which that usually matters - the customer.

              And as I was saying to my wife the other night - first we hire a consultant to help us, then we have to pay the ISO company that actually does the certification. The whole process takes about a year and as mentioned someone is getting paid some pretty big bucks for all this. I'd like to know what our small company paid but it is not my business and I won't ask - but I am darn curious what it is costing the compay.

              Now having said that - I have a great boss who knows how to run his company - they have been around over 20 years now - must be doing something right! So it is important to us to become ISO rated against our competition.

              In our industry (vertical market computer controlers) ISO matters.

              You guys have opened my eyes here some - interesting - I would not have thought of it in the terms you have spelled out. Not sure what to do with that info but now I got it.


              • #8
                My biggest gripes are ISO 900X and the various forms of lean manufacturing that are all the rage right now.
                I think this was all planned by the paper companies who felt that those were great ideas requiring mountains of paperwork.
                I don't need any more file cabinets full of manuals and forms than I already have. I already have a QC room full of measuring tools that only see daylight every two years when they get re-certified.
                Because we aren't ISO'd, the paper pushing weenies cause us needless headaches.
                The new PA at one of our longtime customers, who is ISO'd and going lean told me because we didn't fill out their little QC survey, we were no longer on their approved vendor list. We said fine and we will scrap the parts scheduled for delivery in the next couple of days. She went to her bosses who reamed her butt for messing with one of their best vendors who has a 100% parts acceptance rating going back years and years.

                The biggest problem is that with this lean manufacturing, the big companies want the little guys to become bankers and warehouses. We have to pay our suppliers within 30 days and these customers are demanding bigger discounts and 60 day terms. The way some of these contracts pencil out, it would be 8 months before we recover our costs. What a deal.
                All I want to do is continue to produce the best quality parts like we've done for years and not get tied up with this unneccessary BS paperwork and manufacturing techniques.



                • #9
                  is ti ISO or SISO (S**T in S**T out)
                  I've been through two 9001 certs and it goes exactly as 10 fingers discribes. baffle them with BS.

                  Oh by the way ISO does not have any standards they just hold you to what you said you would do. and if you tell them you measure rocket engines with a tape measure they want to see the tape measure in use.
                  Rule #1 be 10% smarter then what you\'re working on.
                  Rule #2 see Rule #1


                  • #10
                    I worked in an I[diot] S[upervised] O[peration] 9001 company and the biggest thing I noticed was that our instructions were always incorrect, out-of-date, or not needed at all, but we were forced to follow them, no matter what circumstances arose. The company lost a huge amount of production time simply because someone couldn't find the damn instruction sheet which told them how to tape a box!

                    Antoher company I worked for used to have a vendor that was ISO 9001 certified. Every item we got from them was automatically set aside for rework.



                    • #11
                      Years ago it was the quality of your product and your name was on the line with everything you did. If you are Starrett, then that means something. Now, you need to really get at the heart of what ISO means on a practical results basis. Instead of having purchasing agents knowing the suppliers, a company can dispense with most PAs by knowing suppliers are ISO quality certified... - and the suppliers really don't matter as much - ie, the verification burden just got shifted to the supplier..... Competions is theoretically increased. OK.....

                      It also means that the biggest single problem with imports, which was always consistant quality - and ISO directly address that, is now addressed...... It is easier for an organization to purchase off shore and an organization escapes censure for most errors by moving the QA burden outside the company. So the net effect is to skew purchasing offshore. Your ISO burden adds to cost and this reduces your competitivenes. This is the real intent, I think...

                      If you will also recall, several years ago the "Malcom Baldridge" award was given to outstanding "Quality Achieving" companies. Frequently, they went broke after receiving their "reward". Was it worth it? Ask Walmart how many Malcom Baldridge Award receipients they buy from.

                      I suppose I am being very cynical... But I think it is accurate. I always see the dark side in such things.... The Hand of Satan oft begins in a good intention.

                      -- jr


                      • #12
                        [QUOTE]Originally posted by Tuckerfan:
                        [B]I worked in an I[diot] S[upervised] O[peration] 9001 company
                        ISO is an European invention that allows your compitition access to your production methods so they can get your job into their factory (preferably in a third world country) where they can do it cheaper than you because they are not shuffleing the paperwork that you have to shuffle to comply with ISO. I asked the last ISO inspector that questioned me if he would prefer the published methods to be translated into spanish for him.


                        • #13
                          Wow it seems like everyone likes ISO as much as I do. At Wyman-Gordon we have had ISO for years and for the men on the floor doing the work it is nothing but a PITA. Our quaility is no better than it ever but our production is down because of all the bull****. As far as machine shops go ours is clean, the floors are washed once a week, we constantly clean the outside of our machines up to six feet and our tooling is organized in cabinets. However every time an evaluation is scheduled we spend hours cleaning the shop and not producing product. ISO is just a means for someone to come into your shop and tell you how to run it. And you pay for the privilage.

                          Paul G.
                          Paul G.


                          • #14
                            Please pardon the ignorance of this old amatuer, but w'ot the heck do the initials ISO stand for and who or what brought them into being?


                            • #15
                              Thanks for all the feedback guys.

                              So the next time I shop for a machine, and see the ISO thing, I'll know that I'm paying more but, not necessarily getting more. And, should stick to relying on Dealer Reputation and Past Experience with the Brand or Shop, etc.

                              Actually, It is a shame. A rating system could be quite beneficial if only the system was implemented correctly and fairly.

                              Now... Somehow... We need to let the Manufactures know that ISO is worthless as Tits on a Boar Pig.

                              Tom M.