Drive to improve quality is rooted in lessons learned from mistakes in early years
MINNEAPOLIS — (BUSINESS WIRE) — February 1, 2011 — Stratasys, Inc. (NASDAQ: SSYS), maker of additive manufacturing machines for prototyping and producing plastic parts, today announced it has received ISO 9001: 2008 certification.
A quality control technician examines a part produced by a Stratasys 3D printer. (Photo: Mitch Kezar)
ISO 9001: 2008 provides a structure for a quality management system that strives for customer satisfaction, consistent quality, and efficiency. “Our new quality management system gives us a foundation to grow capabilities and sales in direct digital manufacturing,” says Stratasys Chief Operating Officer Tom Stenoien. “And receiving this certification sends the message that we’re serious about supporting production market segments, such as the aerospace, defense and medical industries, by implementing a formal quality management system that is supported by an internationally recognized standard.”
Stratasys says its drive to improve quality is rooted in lessons learned in its early years. “Earlier in our history we had a system that was released to the market prematurely,” says Stenoien. “The product didn’t perform as well as it should have. We disappointed customers, and we spent a lot of money rectifying the problem. It was a tough lesson to learn, but after the experience, we became determined to never let it happen again. The experience set us on a course of continuous improvement that continues today.”
Studies have found that ISO 9001: 2008-certified firms outperform their control group. They have also found the initial investment is exceeded by the benefit of increased international trade and domestic market share. In addition, there are internal benefits such as improved customer satisfaction, interdepartmental communications, work processes, and customer-and-supplier partnerships.
Enterprise Minnesota, a non-profit business consulting organization that helps manufacturing companies in Minnesota implement business solutions, was the primary consultant for the ISO 9001: 2008 efforts.
The ISO 9000 family of standards relates to quality management systems and are designed to help organizations ensure they meet the needs of customers and other stakeholders. The standards are published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and available through national standards bodies. ISO 9000 deals with the fundamentals of quality management, including eight management principles on which the family of standards is based.
Stratasys, Inc., Minneapolis, is a maker of additive manufacturing machines for prototyping and producing plastic parts. The company markets under the brands Fortus 3D Production Systems and Dimension 3D Printers. The company also operates RedEye On Demand, a digital manufacturing service for prototypes and production parts. According to Wohlers Report 2010, Stratasys supplied more additive manufacturing systems in 2009 than any other manufacturer, making it the unit market leader for the eighth consecutive year. Stratasys patented and owns the process known as FDM.® The process creates functional prototypes and manufactured goods directly from any 3D CAD program, using high-performance industrial thermoplastics. The company holds more than 285 granted or pending additive manufacturing patents globally. Stratasys products are used in the aerospace, defense, automotive, medical, business & industrial equipment, education, architecture, and consumer-product industries. Online at: www.stratasys.com
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