Maria: For me, quality is first and foremost an attitude of awareness that one can adopt both as a company and personally. That’s why in my work – internally as well as with suppliers – awareness raising is very important to me; supplemented by the understanding why it is essential to do certain things as they have been defined.
Maria: Quality and safety are known to be an “inseparable pair”, because the basis for a safe product is quality. This means that safety is based on reproducible quality. This is why quality has a very high priority, especially in our industry, where many safety-relevant components are operated. For us, however, quality means much more than just complying with regulations and thus offering safe products and solutions; we also take pleasure in constantly improving ourselves. To achieve this, regular communication with our customers is essential.
Maria: Norms and standards for quality management are the basics for quality. They define basic rules, which processes and working methods should be implemented to achieve a stable level of quality. Of course, they also help to minimize risks and identify and take opportunities. This also ensures, for example, that adjustments in the production process are retraceable.
Maria: The three certificates for an integrated management system according to ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 have long formed the basis of the certification landscape in the industry. With the introduction of IRIS (International Railway Industry Standard) more than 10 years ago, a new standard – and thus also the first industry-specific standard for quality management – was created in the railway industry. In the first years, the focus was very much on the supply chain of the vehicle manufacturers. Signalling technology was not considered at the beginning. Over the years, however, further development took place, so that we were certified according to IRIS Rev. 02 for the first time in 2013.
The quality and safety standards are and have certainly always been very high in the railway industry. In IRIS certification, the requirements are defined in a uniform way, which is of course useful.
Maria: All customers, who are actively involved in the development of IRIS and now ISO/TS 22163, use this standard as a “tool” in their cooperation with us. Therefore, it is important for us to have this certification. The advantage here is that – due to the uniform requirements in ISO/TS 22163 – the expectations of the management system are clear for both sides. With the IRIS certification, customers can see which quality and safety standards are implemented in our company and according to which criteria our products are developed, manufactured and tested. This ensures a certain transparency. In addition, ISO/TS 22163 is also a good and important basis for us as a company to constantly develop further.
Maria: With our suppliers, we rely on long-term cooperation and very comprehensive supplier development. Awareness raising is also an important part of this. I would like to emphasize explicitly that every single employee of our suppliers is also aware of the safety responsibility of Frauscher products. We create this awareness through training measures at suppliers, audits, when handling complaints or at our suppliers’ day, which we hold regularly.
Every supplier knows that quality is the most important criterion for us when evaluating suppliers. We have had very good experience with this approach in recent years. The complaint rate and costs are at a very low level. Therefore, the work that you put into supplier development pays off.
Maria: Of course, I am still happy when we receive a new IRIS certification. After all, this is the “reward” and confirmation of the joint work we do with the departments over months. However, I am just as pleased when we receive positive evaluations or feedback during customer visits and audits as well as when we recognize in the course of supplier audits that our suggestions are well received and that the suppliers develop further with us. This confirms that we are on the right track.
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