ISO 9001 for quality management systems is the most widely used international standard in the world. Developed to give organizations a reliable, uniform framework for their quality management systems, it’s a signal to businesses around the world that their suppliers and partners prioritize quality. For essential products—like servo motor cables—that can put profits, equipment, and staff safety on the line if they are improperly constructed, ISO 9001 certification gives businesses security and confidence.
Recent changes to ISO 9001 has caused businesses to readdress how their quality management systems inform their manufacturing processes, customer service, and leadership. With the end of the three-year transition period into ISO 9001:2015 coming to a close this September, the previous standard, ISO 9001:2008, will no longer be valid.
What ISO 9001 Means for Servo Motor Cable Assemblies: Today and Into the Future
Quality Management and Servo Motor Cables
ISO 9001 fulfills a challenging role; creating an essential structure for a quality management system that can function across different industries, business types, and countries. To accomplish this, ISO 9001 must be clear enough for an organization to maintain quality and consistency, but flexible enough to suit a variety of circumstances. For servo motor cables and manufacturing for other essential machine components, this means establishing objectives, policies, communication and controls for quality managements, all within a system that is clear to all staff and customers.
“Cables are fundamental communication and power pathways within a machine or system; with faulty communication or power, the machine or system will not function or may not function as expected,” explained Urszula Kos, Quality Coordinator for Electro-Matic Ventures Inc. “ISO 9001:2015 structures our quality system so that we can produce consistently reliable servo motor cable assemblies.”
ISO 9001 Around the World
Now more than ever, business is global. This presents a number of challenges in manufacturing, as businesses in other countries are subject to different standards, laws, and regulations, both from their governments and governing bodies in their industry. Practical applications, such as differences in electricity output, safety standards or environmental regulations, also complicate international trade.
With 162 member nations and thousands of businesses certified, ISO 9001 serves as an international signal of quality. Businesses in any industry, anywhere in the world can see this certification and understand the steps a manufacturer takes to ensure the production of a quality product. With global trade increasing daily and few such international standards existing, ISO certification has become an increasingly important metric used to verify a manufacturer’s processes.
When it comes to servo motor cable assemblies, ISO certification tells customers around the world that they’re getting a reliable product. With third-party cables and components available in a variety of different places, sometimes from questionable sources, ISO certification—or lack thereof—can help businesses make informed decisions.
“Because ISO 9001:2015 is a global standard and we are regularly audited for conformance to it, international customers can be assured we are living up to the same standards as any ISO 9001:2015 company anywhere in the world,” said Kos. “It is like an internationally-understood language of quality.”
ISO 9001 Across Industries and Departments
Traditionally, ISO 9001 has been used mostly by manufacturers, but this is changing. New industries are using and relying on ISO 9001 for quality assurance, which has required a shift in regulations. Not only is ISO 9001 being used in new industries, like healthcare, transportation and alternative energy, but it is also being used a framework for different applications, like environmental management and safety compliance. The use of the High-Level Management System in the New ISO 9001:2015 standards allows for an easier transition to other industries and applications.
This move echoes a transition servo motor cable assemblies have already seen. Standard and customized servo motor cables are connecting new types of equipment in new industries, like solar farms and wind turbines in alternative energy applications and jaw control mechanics in amusement park rides. As these and other technologies develop, the need for high-quality, reliable servo motor cables will continue to rise, including cables of standard sizes and configurations, as well as custom cables with new configurations not yet widely used.
ISO Into the Future: ISO 9001:2008 to ISO 9001:2015
Soon, ISO 9001:2008 certifications will no longer be valid. Businesses that refuse to innovate and change their quality control processes and systems will be left behind, while new start-ups and forward-thinking industry leaders will look to get an early start on changes yet to come.
“Electro-Matic has been ISO 9001 certified since 1998. During that time, we been impacted by four iterations, each with its own challenges,” said Kos. “Because we have continually improved our quality system and strive to look to the future, our transition to ISO 9001:2015 was smooth; we only had to formalize processes that we were already doing.”
Manufacturers who are not adherent to the new ISO standards risk not only losing customers to a lacking quality control system, but also falling behind. ISO and quality control around the world will only become more important and more advanced as technologies develop, and the new system helps businesses manage quality in an organized way without imposing specific constraints.
If a customer is not looking for ISO certification, they are risking inconsistent product quality,” said Kos. “ISO 9001:2015 certification is an assurance that the supplier understands their customer’s requirements and can reliably meet them.”