There are hundreds of powder coating companies across the country, each providing their customers with finishes of varying types. Not all powder coating operations are the same, however — the leading companies have taken steps to achieve ISO certification. ISO-certified powder coating companies have met exacting industry standards in an effort to produce quality finishes for their customers. These standards include regulations as well as quality control and management aspects, all resulting in a superior operation.
What is ISO Certification?
ISO stands for International Organization for Standardization, a global group that helps to set quality and safety standards for a wide variety of industries. ISO certification is designed to help companies meet all statutory and regulatory requirements related to a given product or service companies offer to their customers. This certification is a fundamental quality management system and includes seven management principles:
- Customer focus
- Engagement of People
- Process Approach
- Process Improvement
- Evidence-based Decision Making
- Relationship Management
Each of these components work together to achieve better service delivery and operational processes.
In the case of powder coating, ISO 9001:2008 certification is the standard by which companies are judged. PowderCoat Services, a California-based powder coating provider, has been certified under the ISO 9001 standard since 2003.
Benefits of ISO Certification
There are many reasons why companies seek ISO certification. First of all, adherence to international standards shows that a company cares about its products and services. Conformity to these standards can also reduce any potential barriers to international trade as well; many end-customers require their vendors to provide ISO-certified processes, products, and services. In short, ISO certification is a way of demonstrating quality assurance to a company’s customers. This quality assurance extends far past the product or service itself and can include environmental and production factors. Products manufactured and services provided under ISO standards let customers know that they are made safely and efficiently with low impact on the environment. This is especially the case for powder coating; one of the key considerations in the ISO certification processes and routine audits of powder coating facilities is how those facilities prevent environmental contamination.
Better companies in any market sector tend to seek ISO 9001 certification, as it has been shown to improve financial performance as well. This certification can drive growth and signal to customers that the company cares about its product and service delivery, resulting in increased sales.
Becoming an ISO Certified Powder Coater
The process of becoming an ISO Certified powder coating operation may take months to achieve, but as the benefits stated above demonstrate, the process is worth the investment of time and resources. Typically, a powder coating provider will seek the assistance of an ISO consulting firm. The best consulting operations tailor their approach to the needs and goals of each powder coating company they work with. Smaller operations may not need the same services and certification components as a larger operation.
ISO certification requires many steps, and once certification is granted, routine compliance audits are conducted. The best powder coating companies have achieved this certification and have implemented continuous improvement processes to make their service delivery of the highest in quality and efficiency for their clients.