A Quality Management System is critical to the manufacturing process, and it permeates all facets of our operation here at Abuma Manufacturing Limited, from precision metal fabrication to build-to-print, and from quoting the cost of a project to sending a completed shipment of stainless steel components. Our QMS standard is ISO 9001:2008, a system that incorporates both of the following:
- Quality Assurance, which is process-oriented, and governs all aspects of the system, including administration, documentation, material procurement, manufacturing processes, and product evaluation procedures (performed independently of the production process).
- Quality Control, which is product-oriented, and uses specific technical measurements to ensure the product meets the customer’s specified quality standards.
Tools for Achieving High Standards
Key tools we use to help us achieve the highest possible standards include:
- Enterprise Resource Planning Software. This tool forms the backbone of our quality control system, and we use it to track every step in a project, from quote construction and material procurement to manufacturing processes and quality control. Its key functions – traceability, documentation, validation and accountability – allow us to provide our clients with the best possible products and service.
- The Quality Assurance Manager. A professional engineer, this individual is the ‘brain’ who verifies that a project is indeed manufacturable, and confirms our ability to deliver on its scope of work. This practical review process also identifies any rare discrepancy in design specifications that would need resolution, and, occasionally, reveals an opportunity to reduce manufacturing cost or shorten lead times.
- The Project Manager. This ‘right hand’ oversees large or complex projects, working closely with the Quality Assurance Manager to meet all project deliverables. Following specific guidelines, the project manager maps out the work flow using Gant chart organization schedules, and supervises internal work order documentation, and purchasing of Bill of Material items. He or she also coordinates any required outside services, systems integration or assembly operations, functional testing, packaging, shipping logistics, and submission of the final Quality Control documentation package.
- Automated Storage Retrieval. Material control is another key element in maintaining project quality. At Abuma Manufacturing Ltd., we use high-density storage retrieval systems to provide material separation (thereby eliminating cross-contamination and damage), and traceability control. Our systems can house up to 575,000 pounds of flat sheet material, and up to 95,000 pounds of long bar.