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Story 124 – 1987 – Quality Processes

Quality is not a result, but a process

The development of management systems at Wieland

Quality has a long tradition at Wieland. From the establishment of the "Testing and Research Institute" at the beginning of the 20th century to today's Integrated Management System, the company has always played a pioneering role in this important field.

At Wieland, quality has been in the company’s genes since its foundation in 1820. The creation of the "Testing and Research Institute" in 1902 was a ground breaking milestone. It pursued a holistic approach to quality which was far ahead of its time. It is therefore almost surprising that a systematic final product inspection was not introduced until 1948 and the first product certifications (of copper tubes for pressure equipment) were not introduced until 1977. Two years later, Wieland joined the German Quality Society (DGQ).

In 1987, Wieland took an important step on the way to not only detecting faults but also consistently avoiding them in the production process: Wieland was the first manufacturer of semi-finished products in the industry to have its quality management system certified according to the British standard BS 5750 Part 2 and ISO 9002. Because there were around 1.5 million inspection results per year, filling hundreds of file folders, a CAQ system (Computer Aided Quality) was introduced a year later to digitally manage the data. Subsequently, the continuous improvement process (CIP), a forerunner of today's Wieland value-added system WWS) and the company's own training system for quality management FIT (Fortschritt im Team) were launched.

With the initial accreditation of its own testing laboratory in 1996, Wieland achieved the highest level of testing in Germany, recognised by even the highest German testing authority, the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM). When the quality standard EN 9001:2000 appeared in 2000 - being strongly process-oriented and also considering factors such as customer satisfaction or corporate management - Wieland had already decentralised its once central quality department into the business units which were then certified independently. In addition, the environmental, occupational health and safety and energy standards were certified between 2003 and 2012. Further important milestones were the introduction of Total Quality Management (TQM) in 2008 and the holistic view of the company in the EN 9001:2008 standard as well as the start of the Integrated Management System (IMS) in 2012. Among other things, it brings together all ISO 9001-certified areas under one certificate and with a common documentation basis.

Certificates

In 1987, the renowned Lloyds Register Quality Assurance (LRQA) certified Wieland's quality management for the first time.

Certificate

Confirmed unique selling point: Wieland is the only manufacturer in its industry to have an accredited test laboratory whose analyses are therefore beyond any doubt.