In the metal fabrication and finishing industry — as with the broader manufacturing industry — there’s plenty of talk about standards.
Some manufacturers claim to say they adhere to the strictest standards of quality or safety, while others say hold themselves to the highest standard of innovation.
But how can buyers actually measure these standards? And how do you know which manufacturers are actually living up to their promises?
In our business, one key way companies can demonstrate the standards they hold themselves to is through ISO certification. Let’s take a look at what this certification entails, why it’s important, and what it means for buyers.
What is ISO Certification?
ISO certification is the international standard set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), an independent, non-governmental organization. With members from 164 countries and 784 technical committees, ISO is internationally recognized for developing standards that seek to ensure the safety, quality, and efficiency of services, products, and systems.
While there are several different types of ISO certifications that apply to industries ranging from medical equipment to energy, they are each designed to ensure that a management system, manufacturing process, service, or documentation procedure meets or exceeds all requirements for standardization and quality assurance.
ISO Certification and Metal Fabrication
As a company that provides custom metal fabrication and finishing services, the relevant ISO certification for Highland Machine is the ISO 9000 family, which addresses various aspects of quality management. Specifically, ISO 9001:2015 is the most current certification which establishes the criteria for a quality management system.
As the ISO website states, “This standard is based on a number of quality management principles including a strong customer focus, the motivation and implication of top management, the process approach and continual improvement.”
Companies with ISO 9001:2015 certification must invite independent certification bodies to audit their quality systems annually and verify that they conform to ISO standards. For example, Highland Machine received our ISO 9001:2015 certification from TÜV Rheinland, an organization that provides testing, certification, and inspection services.
What Does ISO Certification Mean for Buyers?
For buyers, choosing a new vendor can be a stressful process; make the wrong choice and you could end up with a company that can’t make good on their promises. Not only does that cause a headache for everyone, but it can also mean delayed timelines and lost revenue.
ISO certification makes the process a little less stressful by offering assurance that if the company you’re doing business is certified, someone has verified that they’re truly positioned to deliver consistent quality.
Certification also shows a level of professionalism and initiative on the part of the certified party. There is no legal requirement to get certified; companies that do so are the ones willing to go the extra mile to verify that their products and services are regularly being improved.
Think about it this way: if you’re considering two vendors who look similar on paper but only one is ISO certified, which would you choose?
Our commitment to quality
For 75 years, Highland Machine has remained committed to maintaining high-quality processes, procedures, and customer service. Now, with our ISO certification, we have successfully completed a rigorous quality program to ensure we have systems and procedures in place to back up our quality guarantee.
Ready to see the Highland Machine difference?