HWI Becomes the First North American Refractory Company to Earn Certification to the New ISO 9001:2015 Standard
Over the last several years, HarbisonWalker International has taken a new approach to quality, seeking to provide a consistently high performing product to our customers. This new approach involved bringing in new systems, providing training and developing new capabilities, new equipment, as well as resources to support this effort. HWI is pleased that these efforts are paying off, most recently with the successful certification of our first plants to the new ISO 9001:2015 standard.
The new ISO 9001:2015 standard is the result of three years of revision work by experts from nearly 95 participating and observing countries to bring the ISO standard up to date with modern needs. “We are just bringing ISO 9001 firmly into the 21st century”, states Nigel Croft, Chair of the ISO subcommittee responsible for the revised standard. “The earlier versions of the ISO 9001 were quite prescriptive, with many requirements for the documented procedures and records. In the 2000 and 2008 editions, we focused more on managing processes, and less on documentation. We have now gone a step further, and ISO 9001:2015 is even less prescriptive than its predecessor, focusing instead on performance.”
Joe Schartner, HWI Director of Quality, couldn’t agree more. “HWI has been reinventing our approach to quality, from the first contact with the customer, through engineering, manufacturing, and delivery. The new ISO 2015 standard is completely in line with our approach, focusing on the ‘customer line of sight’. Also, our overall HarbisonWalker Business System (HBS), provides the tiered accountability structure that ensures quality is talked about at all levels of the organization. We couldn’t be more pleased with our progress.”
HWI’s Thomasville, GA monolithic/precast facility became the first of HWI’s North American locations to earn certification to the new ISO 9001:2015 standard. HWI’s South Shore, KY plant quickly followed, becoming the first refractory brick manufacturing plant in North America to achieve the same status. Both plants achieved this quality system recognition based on the recommendation of SRI Quality System Registrar, one of the top five U.S. owned and operated registrars.
“HWI transitioned to SRI as our quality system registrar beginning in early 2017. This partnership provides better alignment with some of our key HWI customers as SRI was founded in 1991 as Steel Related Industries Quality System Registrar, a part of the Steel Industry Supplier Audit Program (SISAP). SRI’s expertise and role in the early adoption of the ISO 9001 standard have made SRI a leader in standards and the world’s largest registrar to metals and materials companies,” states Douglas Hall, Senior Vice President.
As evidence of HWI’s commitment to quality, HWI has an aggressive certification schedule already developed to ensure that all remaining manufacturing locations across the globe achieve certification to the new ISO standard before the end of 2018. This includes HWI’s new monolithic plant located in South Point, OH. As stated in HWI’s Quality Policy developed by Carol Jackson, HWI CEO, “HWI is committed to a Quality Management System which drives continuous improvement and standardization in all processes which support our ability to consistently exceed customer expectations and specified requirements.”
About HarbisonWalker International
With more than 150 years of industry leadership, HarbisonWalker International (HWI) is the largest supplier of refractory products and services in the United States. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the company’s international network spans North America, Europe, and Asia, with 19 manufacturing plants, 30 global sourcing centers, and technology facilities in both the United States and China. Serving virtually every major industry that requires refractory solutions to enhance production and protect assets, HWI is consistently recognized for its talented experts, industry firsts, and intensely driven excellence.