The third periodical ISO/TS 16949 audit, carried out by external certification body Det Norske Veritas, took place at Qatalum on the 2nd to 4th of March 2014. In comparison to previous ISO/TS 16949 audits, the scope of this audit, further to covering foundry alloys production, included extrusion ingots and liquid aluminium production as well.
Preparation for the audit scope extension started in the Extrusion Ingots Casthouse and Reduction in September 2013. The collective focus and systematic teamwork of involved employees from both groups led to positive audit results at the end.
The audit confirmed that Qatalum's ISO/TS 16949 quality management system implemented in the production of primary aluminium and Casthouse products (extrusion ingots and foundry alloys), is in compliance with ISO/TS 16949:2009 standards, which is a prerequisite for supplying products to the automotive industry.
The audit however, did identified minor nonconformities, two in the potlines, two in extrusion Ingot production, one in raw materials and one in purchasing. All 6 identified nonconformities will have to be effectively closed by the 3rd of May 2014.
During the audits closing meeting, the auditors expressed a positive opinion about the Qatalum ISO/TS 16949 quality management system's development since initial certification of Foundry Alloy production in February 2012. Based on this experience from the Casthouse which has been working with an ISO/TS 16949 standard since 2011, Qatalum can expect similarly positive effects by using ISO/TS 16949 standard in the other areas added to the ISO/TS 16949 certification scope.
Hans Petter Lange, Qatalum's Reduction Manager says, "ISO/TS 16949 will be supporting and even strengthening our effort for having a structured way of continuously improving our performance. These hectic few months has given us a good platform, but now the work starts by getting all the identified actions implemented and sustained."
Quality Manager, Martin Hudec thanked all who took part in preparation for the audit. Martin added, "There has been a lot of work done, especially in Reduction and the Extrusion Ingot Casthouse. Let's keep the momentum and continue initiated actions to further improve the Qatalum Quality Management System's effectiveness." The major impact resulting from compliance with ISO/TS 16949 standard requirements is meeting and surpassing customer expectations and also effectively standardising Qatalum's internal processes leading to world class performance.
The next audit will take place in November 2014 and will include aligning of the system after 3 years continuous production demonstrating consistent improvement at Qatalum.
Tom Petter Johansen, Qatalum's CEO summed up the achievement by stating that the overall positive feedback from the Norske Veritas team encourages Qatalum to achieve even further certification of its premium products. Tom Petter added, "This achievement is in line with our ambitions to position Qatalum as one of the world's most efficient smelters in the foreseeable future."