Your browser is out of date.

You are currently using Internet Explorer 7/8/9, which is not supported by our site. For the best experience, please use one of the latest browsers.

Resources Blog ISO 9001 Certification: Ensuring Quality in Plastic Injection Moldings

Ensuring Quality in Plastic Injection Moldings

One of the fastest ways to erode your company’s reputation is to produce inconsistent or poor-quality products. When looking to outsource the manufacturing of key parts or components, the success of your business depends on finding a partner who knows what they’re doing and can deliver a product that meets the expectations of you and your customers, as well as any applicable regulatory bodies. No pressure, right?

Start with the QMS

A good place to start is to vet any potential partners regarding their Quality Management System, or QMS. What documentation, systems, and processes are in place to ensure your partner will accurately produce the parts you need in a timely fashion? It’s not just about the quality of the final product, though. A good QMS addresses planning, reliability, and commitment to continuous improvement across all areas of an organization.

 

ISO 9001 Compliance

ISO 9001: The Gold Standard for Quality Management

One of the most well-known and heavily adopted QMS (across all types of organizations, not just those producing plastic injection moldings) is ISO Standard 9001, or ISO 9001. The governing body responsible for ISO 9001, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), includes 167 non-governmental standards bodies within its membership and has published nearly 25,000 standards covering topics from information security (ISO 27001) to event planning (ISO 2012) to food safety (ISO 22000).


First established in 1987, ISO 9001 establishes a set of internationally recognized guidelines that ensure an organization is well-run and has appropriate controls in place to ensure efficiency, ethics, continuity, and ongoing improvement. The current standard is organized around seven key quality principles:

 

Principles of ISO 9001

Source: https://asq.org/quality-resources/iso-9001#:~:text=ISO%209001%20was%20first%20published,was%20released%20in%20September%202015

 

Also central to ISO 9001 is the concept of a PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act) Cycle to assist in organizations’ continuous improvement efforts. The following image from mindtools.com provides a succinct view of how the PDCA Cycle assists in identifying and solving any problems that may arise:

 

PDCA Cycle

Source: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newPPM_89.htm#:~:text=The%20PDCA%2FPDSA%20cycle%20is,updating%20procedures%20and%20working%20practices

 

Mold Making Technology Magazine provides an excellent overview of how ISO 9001 can be applied to plastic injection moldings in this 2000 article. The article outlines a four-layered approach to incorporating ISO 9001 in plastics production:

  • Layer 1 contains the requirement clauses of ISO 9001 verbatim.
  • Layer 2 contains common plastics industry requirements that apply to tooling & equipment, process, materials, and services.
  • Layer 3 contains those requirements that are specific to tooling & equipment, process, materials, and services.
  • Layer 4 provides metrics - the measurement tools to be used with tooling & equipment, process, materials, and services - to be used to measure results relative to the requirements.

The Certification Process

Organizations wishing to achieve ISO 9001 certification must undergo review to ensure compliance with the quality principles outlined above. This is generally a three- to six-month process that involves an independent registrar, or ISO certification company. Note that ISO itself does not provide certification, but instead independent organizations assess an organization’s adherence to ISO’s standards. In addition, ISO employs an independent panel of experts to review the standard itself every 5 years, most recently in 2021.

The Bottom Line

The QMS employed by your manufacturing partner can have a huge effect on the success of your product, and ultimately the standing of your business in the marketplace. As you look to produce your plastic parts efficiently and reliably, seek out an organization that has exhibited its commitment to quality through ISO 9001 certification. ISO has published a useful guide to ISO 9001 for those involved in the selection of suppliers that you can download as a PDF here.

Quality – in our products and in our relationships with clients, partners, and employees – is central to the Chainlogix mission. We are proud to have achieved ISO 9001:2015 certification and look forward to supporting you on your next project.