Congratulations to Meteor, FireCraft Safety, American Micro, and Pentair

Congratulations from our team at simpleQuE to the companies that have worked so hard to earn their certifications!  It was a long road, but worth all the meetings, training, internal audits, updating of procedures and documents, and conversations about quality and risk.  We’re proud to have played a part in their successful transition/implementation to these quality standards.

FireCraft Safety Products – ISO 9001:2015

Photo from left – Toni Gill, CFO; Tom Lochner, President; Tom McCoy, Director of Sales; and Don Milinkovich, simpleQuE Consultant

Meteor Sealing Systems LLC – IATF 16949:2016

Photo from left – Thorsten Conrad, Vice President – Meteor Sealing Systems LLC;  Masahiko Ito, Managing Director – Toyoda Gosei Meteor GmbH; Deanne Sparr, Vice President – SimpleQuE; Ryan Ayers, Quality Manager – Meteor Sealing Systems LLC

American Micro – AS9100:2016 and IATF 16949:2016

Photo from left –  Matt Gilbert, QE;  Evan Smartnik, QE;  Sheila Floyd, Purchasing Supervisor;  Michael Shelton, Process Engineer; Ryan Siebe, Production Manager;  Rob Berger, Production Supervisor;  John Woods, Engineering Manager;  Kevin Neal, Quality Manager;  Harold Williams, Production Supervisor;  Greg Stamper, Production Supervisor;  Rita Gragg, SQE

Pentair – ISO 9001:2015

Photo from left – Peggy Jones, Quality Manager; Gregg Swint;  Dave Christine;  Matt DeHart;  Kayla Smith; Ed Henricksen

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ASA AFRA Annual Conference 2018

The Aging Workforce and Transfer of Knowledge

At this year’s ASA/AFRA Conference, Mr. Boyd Parsons, GM Excellence of Air Canada Maintenance shared some tips on how ACM has addressed the labor shortage in the industry and efforts to attract and engage millennials.  Employee training is held to improve skills and satisfy regulatory and ISO/AS/ASA standards’ transfer of knowledge requirements. Organizations must take into account their aging workforce’s “tribal knowledge” and technological advances to effectively tailor their training programs. Companies could boost their training programs with increased industry awareness to high school students, college coop programs, apprenticeships, and internships in addition to on-the-job training knowledge transfer. A community of experience and evidence-based information sharing should prove to be effective to integrate a multi-generational workforce with advanced technology and traditional learning techniques.

Photo credits: Mr. Boyd Parsons, GM Excellence, Air Canada Maintenance

It’s Almost Here! – 2018 ASA/AFRA Conference

We are just a few days away from the 2018 Aviation Suppliers Assn. (ASA)/Aircraft Fleet Recycling Assn. (AFRA) Conference which begins Sunday, June 24th and ends Tuesday, June 26th. This conference is one of the largest for the aviation distributor industry and draws aviation professionals worldwide with a range of business development and management, quality assurance, legal/regulatory and general industry topics. We always look forward to attending this conference where we have the opportunity to interact with aviation professionals from around the world.

This year’s conference will be held at OMNI Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia and feature keynote speakers Robert Taylor, SVP Technical – Apollo Aviation, Jim Lundeen, Head of Supplier Support – Airbus Americas, and Adam Pilarski Ph.D., SVP – AVITAS. In addition to these keynote speakers, SimpleQuE President, Jim Lee, will be presenting three workshops, two for third party auditors (on Saturday prior to the conference). Topics include:

  • June 23 – Auditor Training:
    Third party aerospace and ISO auditors will learn how to understand and audit operational risks (clause 8.1.1) in the aerospace standards (AS9100D and AS9110C) versus risk management (clause 6.1) in the ISO 9001 and AS9120B standards.
  • June 23 – Auditor Training:
    This training teaches third party aerospace and ISO auditors how to audit quality objectives, which pulls in context, policy and strategic direction.
  • June 25 – Strategic Direction, Quality Policy and Quality Objectives: A Three-Course Meal of Quality Planning:
    This workshop covers the interrelationship between a company’s context, strategic direction, quality policy and quality objectives. It applies to companies trying to get certified to ISO or AS, or are trying to make their quality systems more practical.

Look for highlights from the conference next week on our social media platforms and in the coming weeks we’ll have our conference recap here on the blog where we will be sharing Jim Lee’s workshop presentations which will be available for download. Stay tuned!

Lauren Manufacturing Achieves Quality and Environmental Management System Certifications

Congratulations!  Lauren Manufacturing (New Philadelphia, Ohio), a Lauren International company, received ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 (environmental) certifications from Eagle Certification Group.  Since 1965 the company has grown from a seal and gasket manufacturer to a sophisticated business supply partner for leading OEMs, engineers and builders and to industries around the globe including automotive, agriculture, window and door, HVAC, renewable energy, lighting and more.  With facilities in Ohio and Michigan, total quality management is the foundation of their entire organization. To ensure quality materials are used for every customer application, they mix and test their own materials on site. They also design and build process equipment in-house to ensure products are manufactured to exact specifications.  Lauren’s adherence to lean manufacturing principles prevents defects and maximizes value for their customers from product design to delivery.

In addition, the company is committed to environmental management requirements and complies with regulations by local, state and federal agencies.  With EMS risks and opportunities identified, Lauren’s leadership planned objectives to address them. Each objective has a responsible person or team assigned with action item plans for achieving the EMS intended results.  These objectives and targets were communicated across the organization and are monitored and evaluated for status/progress updates to ensure continual improvement of the EMS and enhance environmental performance.

To assist with the transition to the new ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 standards, simpleQuE consultants began working with Lauren in early 2017, providing a gap analysis and support in preparation for their external audit in November 2017.  Originally, the company which is currently ISO/TS 16949 (automotive) certified, had thought they would also transition to the new IATF 16949 standard.  However, due to the complexities and numerous requirements of the new standard, it was determined that Lauren Manufacturing could meet their automotive customer’s requirements with MAQMSR and CQI-19 audits and compliance.  SimpleQuE consultants continue to work with Lauren to meet those objectives and to ensure that their reputation is built upon trust, service, innovation and quality.

Congratulations on Successful Certification!

AeroDyne WorldWide – AS9120B
Allied Motion – ISO 14001:2015
American Micro Industries, Inc. – IATF 16949:2016 and AS9100D
Arrowhead Industries Corp. – IATF 16949:2016
Asahi Forge of America Corp. – ISO 9001:2015
Batesville Products, Inc. – ISO 9001:2015
BHC (Brulin Holding Company) – ISO 9001:2015
FireCraft Safety Products– ISO 9001:2015
Harvard Steel Sales/Harvard Coil Processing – ISO 9001:2015
Hilton Software – AS9100D
Hocker Tool and Die, Inc. – ISO 9001:2015
Jasper Rubber Products, Inc. – IATF 16949:2016
Knight Ergonomics and Assembly Systems, Inc. – ISO 9001:2015
KSM Metal Fabrication – AS9100D
Materion Corp. (6 sites)   –  AS9100D
Meteor Sealing Systems, LLC – IATF 16949:2016
Robin Industries Development Center (RDC) – IATF 16949:2016
Shamrock Technologies, Inc. – ISO 9001:2015
Silfex, Inc. – ISO 9001:2015
Superior Battery Manufacturing Co. – IATF 16949:2016

Congratulations to the entire Die Craft Team!

Founded in 1970, Die Craft Machining and Engineering is a certified ISO 9001:2015 and ITAR Compliant corporation offering precision CNC machining fabrication, assembly and industrial repair services to support general industry in the greater Cincinnati area.  A broad range of machinery, combined with their talented workforce, allows them to service a variety of clients in Aerospace, Chemical, Defense, General Contracting, Food Processing, Paper, Rail Transportation, Steel and Utilities Industries steel, paper and pulp, chemical and construction.

Die Craft’s partnership with simpleQuE began in 2013 with a gap analysis to determine the actions necessary to implement ISO 9001. It was followed with consulting, training and guidance to support their efforts for successful ISO 9001:2008 certification.  SimpleQuE continued in the following years performing their internal audits.  In 2016 Die Craft began the transition to ISO 9001:2015 with a gap assessment by simpleQuE consultant, Don Milinkovich.  The quality team at Die Craft worked on the action plan and in October 2017 Don performed a validation audit to evaluate the quality management system against requirements for the new standard.  Success!  Die Craft passed their audit with Eagle Certifications Group to and transitioned to ISO 9001:2015.

What makes Die Craft stand out from the rest?  A philosophy that is centered on a partnering culture, delivering the complete approach for an unparalleled commitment to their customers’ success.  Die Craft can reverse engineer old parts as well as develop new solutions.  Analyzing every part that comes in the door for improvements is a regular part of the service they provide. Whether it’s customized services/products or engineering support, Die Craft’s long-term focus, through industry and knowledge-based planning, allows them to deliver cost effective solutions, reduce manufacturing lead times and improve quality.

IATF 16949 Transition Strategy and Requirements Update


The International Automotive Task Force just released Revision 5 of the IATF 16949 Transition Strategy and Requirements. This revision of the Transition Strategy document incorporates a new FAQ no. 20 that clarifies questions for those situations where a previously certified IATF 16949 organization has to start over with an initial certification audit to IATF 16949.

Download the IATF 16949 Transition Strategy and Requirements document

When Should You Hire a Quality Management System Consultant?

business, architecture, construction, teamwork and people concept - happy group of architects with tablet pc computer discussing blueprint at office

Whether your company is in the manufacturing or service industry, if you were considering implementing a new accounting or software system, which was completely outside of your staff’s expertise, wouldn’t you consider contracting with someone considered an expert in that particular area?

The same principle applies when it comes to ISO, AS or IATF certification. Hiring a consultant to prepare your company for certification can be well worth the investment, whether you’re going through certification for the first time or transitioning to a new quality standard (for instance, changing from ISO 9001:2008 to ISO 9001:2015).

Often, business owners, and sometimes even quality managers, don’t have the time or adequate knowledge of the standard to do a gap analysis and prepare an action plan themselves. An experienced consultant has gone through the implementation process in a variety of industries, and will be able to quickly understand your company’s processes and how to most effectively recognize gaps in the requirements. Going with an experienced consultant who has a significant track record in planning, developing and implementing systems greatly increases the likelihood of a successful certification.

It’s certainly possible for a company to implement a system on its own. However, doing so can prove to be detrimental to other areas of the business as resources are often stretched too thin. The employees responsible for implementing the system could fall behind on other obligations, and these setbacks can quickly outweigh any money saved by not hiring a consultant from the start.

An often overlooked benefit to hiring a consultant is objectivity. An outside consultant can bring a fresh and unbiased perspective to your company and systems. You’ll often find that a consultant provides simple and sustainable solutions that may have been overlooked by your own team.

Additionally, by hiring a consultant you’ll ensure you’re putting the right person in charge of the project. Implementing ISO, AS or IATF standards requires a strong leader who can oversee a coordinated effort. Most consultants are natural leaders able to energize all parties involved and keep the project moving forward at a good pace. Depending on the complexity of your processes, a consultant can help you focus on only what is required for certification, often finishing the project in less time than it would take using your company’s own resources.

In seeking a consultant you’ll want to make sure they have the skills relevant to your organization and industry.  SimpleQuE  consultants have educational backgrounds and work experience that make them experts in their fields.  In addition, many are current or former 3rd party auditors and ready to serve in an advisory role or for implementation, project management, training or internal auditing. SimpleQuE can assist in first-time systems development for certification; upgrading certification to a new standard; simplifying a cumbersome quality system and documentation; defining processes and process mapping; documentation and systems implementation; internal audits and gap analysis for improving your quality or environmental management system.

No matter the size of your company or the industry, having ISO or other certification will distinguish you from the competition. Hiring a consultant can help you achieve certification with ease, after all, it’s what simpleQuE is known for – Simple Quality Excellence.

SimpleQuE has consultants throughout the Eastern U.S. that can guide you through the certification process in ISO 9001, ISO 14001, IATF 16949, and the AS9100 series of standards.