Metal Surfaces, Inc. (MSI) employs 130 people, with annual sales of approximately $9 million. MSI provides a wide range of plating services including automated reel-to-reel continuous plating processes. The company is a leader in its field providing finishing services for the aerospace, electronics, medical, automotive and various commercial industries. The company’s quality management system was third party registered to ISO 9002:1994 and the Aerospace Standard AS9000.


Challenge

To meet current and future customer requirements, MSI needed to update their aerospace quality management system from the 1994 based standard to AS9100 based on the 2000 standard. Additionally, MSI had built an automated plating line specifically to serve the automotive connector industry. In order to position themselves in the automotive market it was essential for MSI to meet the additional quality management requirements of ISO/TS16949.

Solution

Implementation Highlights

The project began in February 2003. Implementation of the new aerospace systems was scheduled to be completed by March 2004, coinciding with the expiration of the existing certification. Comprehensive training was presented to 40 employees representing all levels within the organization. The key milestones developed during the training sessions were incorporated by CMTC® into a project plan enabling a smooth transition to the new standard. A new Quality Manual was documented and the existing control procedures were revised and implemented. Analysis of the company production data was formalized into ongoing performance reviews to identify and prioritize the opportunities for improvement. Certification to AS9100 was achieved in March 2003 as planned. Immediately following the aerospace certification audit, work began on the ISO/TS16949 automotive quality system requirements. A supplement to the Quality Manual was developed to cover the additional controls. CMTC facilitated the application of the stringent automotive requirements to the continuous plating line. Certification to ISO/TS16949 was achieved in September 2003 as planned.

Improvement Description

MSI is now registered to the most current quality management standards required by their aerospace and automotive customers. Registration to ISO/TS16949 provided MSI with the ability to penetrate the automotive market from a position of strength and recognition. In addition to achieving third party registration, MSI took the opportunity to embrace the “process approach” to management. Using the measurable objectives set, the company is now able to review the performance of the internal processes critical to meeting customer requirements. Corrective action and improvement projects are prioritized and launched based on internal impact, as well as customer satisfaction. MSI estimates that their competitiveness has increased by 5%, resulting in an increase in sales, the creation of 15 new jobs and the retention of 40.

Financial and Investment Impact

In addition to retaining $500,000 in sales in 2 years (2003/2004), over the same 2 year period MSI has increased its automotive sales by $300,000. A capital investment of $300,000 was made to further develop the automotive processes.

"Timely certification to AS9100 and ISO/TS16949 has increased our competitiveness and increased our sales by 10%."

Mr. Sam Bell
Director of Quality