I have been working with Brabow Engineering to improve their existing quality management system before their recent recertification audit. Brabow Engineering are a family firm based in Gloucester which was established in 1965 and provide precision engineering services to clients across the world. The company has recently sent marine jet engine parts to Sweden, water filtration components to Dubai and (rather closer to home!), aircraft refueller parts to Nailsworth.
Brabow carry out CNC and Manual milling on a larger scale than I’ve seen before, almost every machine has an overhead crane to move the large casts around and get them in the correct position for the various different types of milling, drilling and boring operations required to meet the customer’s drawings.
The company has held certification to ISO 9001:2015 since 2010 but every certification body audit has resulted in findings so the Directors were concerned about the effectiveness of the quality management system.
Working with the Quality Director, I began the project with a gap analysis of the existing documentation and management system. Key findings were that the objectives had not been monitored regularly, documentation was overly complicated and difficult to find and the internal audit schedule had not been completed.
With the December deadline for recertification looming, we focussed on re-writing the objectives to relate to key stages of the production process:
- Arrival of casts and parts from foundries, customers and suppliers
- Scrap during production
- On time delivery of finished products / components to customers
I then collated all the relevant data for the current financial year so we could review it properly at the Management Review Meeting. Collating the data involved talking to various people across the business, including the Product Quality Inspector in the Inspection Room to locate the scrap data he had been collecting as well as the Sales Director to interrogate the MRP system to extract the delivery data.
Another key activity was to reorganise the folder architecture to hold the quality management system documentation and records. I’ve developed a basic structure for documentation which I alter to suit each client and after some discussion, we ended up with the following levels:
- Level 1 Policies
- Level 2 Management Information including sub folders for the following topics:
- Management Information Spreadsheet (SWOT analysis, Interested Parties Analysis and Risk Register)
- Annual QA Plan
- Level 3 topic specific folders I.e. Machines, Calibration, Fork Lift, Internal Audits, External Audits, Training etc
- Level 4 blank forms and templates
- Level 5 Archive (Do not touch!)
We also carried out two internal audits, one covering the operational clauses (7 Support and 8 Operation) and the other covering the Management Clauses (4 Context, 5 Leadership, 6 Planning, 9 Performance Evaluation and 10 Improvement) as well as a full Management Review.
After a busy few months, we had a successful recertification audit from British Assessment Bureau with no findings, the Quality Director declared himself “very happy” with the result.
I’m looking forward to working with Brabow during 2020 by providing support to carry out internal audits, assist with the monitoring of objectives, closing out actions and management reviews.
Direct HKW Risk Management Project
6 days from Oct 19 to Dec 19 (including 1 day to support the recertification audit).