Michelle Bangert 2018-01-25 04:22:17
Continuous improvement is a priority for our Quality Leadership 100. Some companies make high quality look easy. One of our top companies has never been late for a customer delivery in 11 years of business. Another has a quality manager with 40 years of experience. Others always seem to be preparing for their next certification audit. It’s difficult to achieve such results without a strong staff, leadership and quality processes, but our top companies have been able to lead the way. The Quality Leadership 100 is a way to highlight these success stories. Although we’d like to show off all 100 companies, here we take a closer look at the top five. BNP Media’s Market Research Department conducts this annual survey for Quality. We survey a selection of subscribers on their quality initiatives and practices. Results are then tabulated and analyzed. As in years past, the companies are ranked based upon the following factors: continuous improvement and internal quality programs; contribution of quality to profitability and shareholder value; average number of hours that employees receive quality training; scrap and rework as a percentage of sales; warranty costs as a percentage of sales; and registration to various standards such as ISO 9001. 1 RS PRECISION Farmingdale, NY www.rsprecision.com In the company’s more than sixty-five years in business, RS Precision has transformed from a local tool and die shop to a high-tech facility able to meet a range of challenges. The company manufactures parts for the aerospace, medical and defense industries. And as you’d expect, they take quality seriously. The company’s mission “is to produce performance-critical precision parts that provide added value to our clients.” To do so, they use a range of processes: EDM, CNC, tooling, process engineering, video inspection and SPC. They are certified to AS9100 and ISO 9001: 2008. 2 AMETEK INC. Berwyn, PA www.ametek.com AMETEK knows a thing or two about operating a global company with high quality. The company’s 16,000 plus employees operate from more than 150 plants and locations around the world, producing electronic instruments and electromechanical devices for a range of industries. The company’s growth plan is based on operational excellence— its cornerstone strategy—along with strategic acquisitions, global and market expansion, and new products. The operational excellence strategy focuses on improving efficiencies, reducing costs, and carefully managing assets. Lean manufacturing, global sourcing, design for Six Sigma, and value analysis/value engineering all play a role. In addition, colleagues at all levels are encouraged to work together in teams. Each year, the team that best demonstrates AMETEK’s commitment to operational excellence is presented with the Dr. John H. Lux Total Quality Accomplishment Award. The award honors the late AMETEK Chairman, Dr. John H. Lux, who was elected CEO in 1966 and served as chairman and CEO for more than 27 years. Recent winners were involved in developing thermal management solutions for aerospace; ultraprecise 3D scanning and measurement devices; and high-end elemental analysis systems. 3 WINONA PVD COATINGS LLC Warsaw, IN www.winonapvd.com Winona PVD Coatings has never missed an on-time shipment to a customer. In other words, the company has never missed one wheel being late to a customer in 11 years of business. The company, our 2016 Quality Plant of the Year, makes PVD coatings for automotive wheels, or “jewelry for cars,” says CEO Steve Bonnell, who was just back from a visit to a major automotive customer when I talked to him. He noted that the company’s quality levels have made them a dependable supplier for a range of customers. “Winona recently reached our milestone of shipping three million defect-free wheels to the automotive industry, which we think is pretty spectacular,” Bonnell says. “We want to make sure to stay defect-free for our customers around the world.” Automotive customers demand that high quality, he says. The company will be expanding their quality team in 2018, and remains open to new quality initiatives and ideas, says Bonnell, who joined the company in October. “The commitment to quality has be shared by the leadership and the team. My experience suggests that if everyone doesn’t embrace it the same you won’t get the results you’re looking for.” And results have been good at Winona. The business continues to expand. The company has a footprint chalked out for a fifth line, and property available for a sixth and seventh line, ready to meet the demands of the market. As they balance production with demand, new lines should be up within the next two to three years at the very latest. 4 LDB PLASTICS INC. Shelby Township, MI www.ldbplastics.com LDB Plastics makes plastic injection molded products for the automotive industry and others. When asked if there was anything special about the quality department, Quality Manager Dennis Winay replied, “The only thing special is me.” President Renae A. Syrowik added, “Dennis has a lot of years behind him in the quality department.” “I have 40 years in quality and I’m still learning,” Winay said. “As far as new, we’re trying to keep up with continuous improvement. You never stop learning.” When I last spoke with the company, they were working on TS 16949 certification. This time around they were preparing for an ISO audit. In addition to standards, the company maintains high quality by focusing on customer satisfaction, delivering defect-free products on time, and continuous improvement. For companies looking to improve quality, Winay offers some advice: “The big thing is, train your people. Rely on them to direct you rather than you direct them. Don’t be afraid for them to tell you what’s wrong on the f loor.” He adds, “If you don’t tell me, I can’t fix it.” In addition to communication, he says planning is critical. “I don’t make a product good or bad myself, as a quality manager,” Winay said. “The only thing that makes it good is planning and execution.” The company recently spruced up the outside of the building, added some auxiliary equipment, and generally had a great year. As for the future, they’d like to add customers and continue to improve quality. Syrowik said, “We’re hoping 2018 is better than 2017.” 5 METALEX Libertyville, IL www.metlx.com Metalex makes perforated products, expanded metal, safety grating and various rail products. The company was founded in 1962 in Libertyville, IL. They moved into the current facility, on the site of a former horse farm, seventeen years later. Superior quality, service, and delivery are the focus areas for the company, which is ISO 9001:2008 registered. The company is able to perforate just about any type of formable metal. According to the website, “These include but are not limited to carbon steel, galvanized steel, aluminum, stainless steel, pre-painted metal, brass, copper, Inconel, Monel and titanium.” Perforated metal applications range from automotive and aircraft to appliances and architectural uses. They could also be used in filtration, noise control, lighting, electronics and HVAC.
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