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When Rockwell Automation Power Systems upgraded to ISO 9001: 2000, the independent ISO lead auditor noted a marked acceleration in the maturing of the quality system. This division of Rockwell Automation, headquartered in Greenville, SC, produces Dodge mechanical power transmission products and Reliance Electric motors and drives, as well as power systems technology that is used in industries worldwide.
Chip Williams, the company's director of quality, states that the QSi System from IBS America Inc. (Lexington, MA) deserves part of the credit in the process improvement because it unified quality practices across manufacturing facilities, increased administrative efficiency and provided the flexibility to meet a variety of compliance standards. Already ISO compliant, Williams realized the company needed one consistent quality system that could be automated and uniformly updated across the organization. The goal was to automate quality procedures, ensure information was recorded accurately and eliminate paper-based processes.
The existing quality system was a network directory where procedures and documents were stored. While it collected relevant procedures in one place, it was static. Each document had to be manually updated with each policy change and there was no ability for electronic approvals. The previous system included a database to track corrective actions, but it was a stand-alone system not linked to other quality processes.
Williams considered the QSi System to be a tool that could advance the efficiency of the system and provide a closed-loop quality process for the company.
With the QSi System, Rockwell Automation consolidated and linked all quality information in a single automated enterprise. The software provides a link from a particular customer request, to the respective action or solution and finally to any training or follow-up associated with that customer request.
Rockwell Automation achieved ROI for the QSi System in two years but the benefits were obvious sooner. The division increased efficiency and reduced the man hours required to manage the quality system. Auditors assessing the company's quality program are pleased with the system because of its organizational efficiency and accessibility of key records and documents. With the QSi System's flexibility, the company plans to expand implementation into other business processes to continue to meet or exceed compliance standards and customers expectations.
IBS America Inc.
• unified quality procedures across 15 international locations.
• It provided a roadmap for every quality procedure and action. Corrective actions can be linked to reports that detail the actions that occurred.
• Efficiency was increased and man hours reduced.