Changes to the machining industry will be coming soon, in the form of an update to the ISO 9001 standards. ISO 9001: 2015 has been voted forward and will be finalized for implementation in upcoming months. The standards are updated every three to five years, to keep them inline with the needs of the industry and the changing ways in which business is done around the world.
The updates to ISO 9001: 2015 are primarily focused on quality management standards, and the ability of the system to conform to the needs of a variety of diverse industries. Risk-based thinking and applicability are the buzzwords in this ISO update. The draft has been written to maintain the processes that have already been established by past versions, but three new core standards are being applied.
Applicability and Management of Processes
Meeting customer expectations for quality and service is, of course, the primary purpose of applying the ISO standards to any business. The ISO 9001: 2015 applies systematic definitions of management and processes to ensure consistent quality. The new standard emphasizes the strategic direction of the company itself. It seeks to encourage machining companies and others in the industries served to form their long-term goals in compliance with the standards.
Plan, Do, Check, Act
Planning is, of course, important to the machining process. The new ISO 9001: 2015 standard seeks to implement a “Plan, do, check, act” methodology, which is a procedural concept that incorporates “risk-based thinking” ideology. By considering the best course of action before implementing a new process or procedure, companies can work through the decision-making process more deliberately and efficiently. The plan, do, check, act methodology helps companies assess whether their processes are merging efficiently to move them toward their goals.
Risk Based Thinking
Aimed at avoiding undesirable outcomes, risk-based thinking encourages managers to consider the larger picture when implementing new processes. By considering the risks and all possible outcomes of each choice, a company can avoid failures by embracing the procedures that are best suited to help achieve goals.
For machining companies that are already certified in the ISO 9001 standards, there will be a transition period of three years before systems will need to be compliant to the new standards. The transition period will give companies an opportunity to become familiar with the updated standard, and to decide how to implement the updates into their own practices and systems. High quality is a goal across the industry, and one that the ISO 9001: 2015 standards seek to uphold.