Derby-based Tidyco, a supplier of hydraulic and pneumatic products to the UK rail industry for over 40 years, here talks with Paul Quinn and Liga Aldermane regarding the importance of implementing a Quality Management System.

Hi Paul, as Quality Control Manager can you explain why developing and running a QMS is so important?

Certainly, I believe it is extremely important for organisations to understand the value of implementing stringent quality control procedures as part of an overall strategic function. SMEs in particular can reap substantial benefits by appointing dedicated quality personnel.

Designing and activating a bespoke QMS demonstrates that a company has necessary infrastructures in place to fulfil exacting customer requirements. As you can imagine, supplying the rail industry with safety critical braking systems means that Tidyco has to be proven to comply fully with highly detailed quality requirements. Of course, the components that we supply play an intrinsic role in end user safety. Our products must be produced in a manner so as to ensure wellbeing of staff, fit for purpose product manufacture as well as efficient scope of supply.

My role is to centrally manage all aspects of quality control whilst providing full transparency throughout the supply chain. Quite simply, QMS instils structure and discipline to everyday working practices.

You are currently preparing for an external ISO : 9001 audit, what is involved?

Indeed, this is very much an in-depth project whereby I am currently collating, organising as well as reviewing all quality procedures, documentation and supporting reports. I am responsible for managing the effective implementation of all internal QMS systems within each department.

A typical working day finds me ensuring that the Tidyco QMS is accessible to all staff whilst preparing for an imminent external ISO audit.

Additionally, I am busy working towards ISO 9001 : 2015 which will come into play next year.

What are the benefits of being ISO : 9001 accredited?

ISO 9001 is a globally recognised quality accreditation and is pretty much expected, especially when supplying into the rolling stock as well as wider engineering industries. Being accredited demonstrates an organisations competency to fulfil quality requirements.

Furthermore, the process of complying with ISO regulations ensures complete product traceability. The very nature of scheduled external audits ensures continuous improvement.

Hi Liga, as shop floor manager can you explain why conducting intensive quality inspections are so important?

Sure, Tidyco supplies extremely complex hydraulic braking systems to the rolling stock industry. Understandably, our customers must adhere to incredibly stringent health and safety requirements. When considering passenger safety, it becomes apparent exactly how important it is to deploy robust, fail safe quality inspections.

Are you able to share the process of inspection routines?

Firstly, everything is measurable, visible and documented. Quality inspection is conducted at each stage of the kit manufacturing process with safety checks implemented during each phase of production.

Prior to dispatch, all products undergo a final quality inspection so as to ensure fit for purpose supply.

About the author

Barry Aldridge MCIM

Head of Marketing at Tidyco Limited and member of the Board of Directors for Midlands Rail Forum.

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