MOTION CONTROL: AST® Bearings has received ISO 9001:2008 re-certification after an extensive analysis of its quality systems by Perry Johnson Registrars, Inc. While AST was previously certified compliant to ISO 9001:2000, re-certification with this latest revision represents yet a further commitment to quality and reliability that customers can expect from the company and its many product offerings.
Released in November of 2008, ISO 9001:2008 is the fourth and very latest release of the standard set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Unless companies comply with the more rigorous 2008 revisions by November 2010, their existing ISO 9001:2000 certifications will no longer be valid.
ISO 9001:2008 provides a number of requirements that must be fulfilled to achieve customer satisfaction through products and services which meet customer expectations. This includes a requirement for planned and continual improvement of the Quality Management System. Specifically for AST, key components of their quality policy require:
- Verified customer satisfaction
- Continuous improvement
- Understanding and conforming to customer requirements
- Maintaining a compliant ISO 9001:2008 Quality Assurance System
AST has distinguished itself in the marketplace as a value-added supplier. More than merely supplying high quality bearings and related parts at competitive prices, AST provides many products and services not found with other suppliers. Most of these specialized products and services have come directly at the request of AST’s customers. Whether custom repacking lubricants, creating custom built sub-assemblies, providing expert failure analyses, or professional bearing engineering and design services, AST has always strived to provide “value beyond the part.”
Consistent with the latest ISO 9001:2008 standard, AST actually verifies its customer satisfaction. For the past three years, it sent out standardized surveys to its customers to determine its current performance in the following five key areas: Sales/Customer Service, Engineering, Quality, Shipping Delivery, and Overall while soliciting feedback on outstanding performance and areas to improve upon.
Of particular note regarding AST’s recent ISO 9001:2008 certification, it also included their Design and Development processes. Most bearing suppliers don’t even have in-house bearing design and engineering services. Whether trouble-shooting an existing problem or help with creating new product specs, customers of AST should have greater peace of mind knowing that their processes have been scrutinized and passed inspection by the renowned auditing firm of Perry Johnson Registrars, Inc.
-Edited by Kelsey Anderson