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Tips for Industrial Metal-Cutting Companies Transitioning to ISO 9001:2015

January 1, 2017 / , , , , ,


It’s a new year, which means companies are getting a jump start on major projects and working toward new goals. For many manufacturers, this includes transitioning from the ISO 9001:2008 quality management standard to the updated ISO 9001:2015 standard. Although the revised version of the standard was published back in September 2015, companies have until September 2018 to complete the transition. The following is a quick summary for industrial metal-cutting companies that are considering recertification.

Revision Details

While many would say that ISO’s most recent revision is “significant,” as explained here in an article from the Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME), the changes are more evolutionary then revolutionary. “These new guidelines are less prescriptive than previous versions – an effort to adapt to the working conditions of the 21st century,” the AME article states. “ISO 9001:2015 is the result of the intensive study from experts in about 95 countries throughout a three-year period. It’s a tool to help improve efficiency while maintaining the ability to adapt to today’s quickly changing work environments.”

Some of the key updates in ISO 9001:2015 include the introduction of new terminology, restructuring of some information, and increased leadership requirements. Another key change is that the new update incudes ten clauses, whereas the previous version included only eight. According to Luc Marivoet, a quality expert at Paulwels Consultant, the first three clauses in ISO 9001:2015 are largely the same as those in ISO 9001:2008, but there are considerable differences between ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 9001:2015 from the fourth clause onwards. More specifically, the last seven clauses are now arranged according to the PDCA cycle (Plan, Do, Check, Act). You can read more about the clause changes here.

Overall, most experts agree that the newly updated standard is more relevant and has been written for the benefit of organizations, not auditors. ISO says that the revised standard was designed to bring companies the following benefits:

Steps to Update

As noted above, companies have a three-year transition period from the date of publication (September 2015) to move to the 2015 version. This means that, after the end of September 2018, a certificate to ISO 9001:2008 will no longer be valid.

Why go through the recertification process? That question is discussed in more detail here, but in general, it is widely accepted that ISO 9001 certification provides companies with several benefits, including improved quality and cost savings. In fact, the eBook, Five Performance-Boosting Best Practices for your Industrial Metal-Cutting Organization, lists ISO 9001 certification as a key strategy for industrial metal-cutting companies that want to improve their performance.

There is no question that transitioning to the new standard will take considerable time and resources. ISO offers the following tips for companies that are transitioning to ISO 9001:2015:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the new document. While some things have indeed changed, many remain the same. A correlation matrix, available from ISO/TC 176/SC 2, will help you identify if parts of the standard have been moved to other sections.
  2. Identify any organizational gaps which need to be addressed to meet the new requirements.
  3. Develop an implementation plan.
  4. Provide appropriate training and awareness for all parties that have an impact on the effectiveness of the organization.
  5. Update your existing quality management system to meet the revised requirements.
  6. If you are certified to the standard, talk to your certification body about transitioning to the new version.

Additional Resources

To further assist industrial metal-cutting companies that are seeking ISO 9001:2015 certification, the LENOX Institute of Technology has gathered a few helpful resources:

How might recertification benefit your industrial metal-cutting organization?