Improved Methodologies Assure Product Quality and Market Competitiveness
H & W Tool Company is a custom manufacturer of tools and dies for the Aerospace and Medical Industries. The company, which is located in New Jersey, Virginia and Ohio, provides services nationwide with a focus on the East Coast. Established in 1964 by Henry Winstead and his partner, the company, which has 46 employees across all locations, has been creating quality products for its clients ever since. H & W currently holds ISO 9001:2008, ISO
13485 certifications and is also Nadcap certified in Non-conventional machining (EDM).
Although H & W adheres to ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 13485 certification requirements, the company was faced with more stringent quality controls in order to meet and satisfy its clients’ demands, specifically the medical device and aerospace clients. H & W was being forced to go above and beyond its current certification requirements in order to remain competitive. H & W held management review meetings and internal audits, which indicated the need for personnel with increased Quality Management System maintenance skills i.e. more stringent and efficient standards. In order to meet H & W’s objective, the company would need employee training.
Having successfully worked with New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, Inc. (NJMEP) on NADCAP-EDM Certification Training, they turned to them once again.
In order to achieve H & W’s objectives of implementing stringent compliance standards that were efficient and allow cross-checking at the same time, NJMEP recommended training in Process Validation and GMP Awareness. Process Validation is defined as the collection and evaluation of data from design to production. This data establishes scientific evidence that a process is capable of consistently delivering quality products. The GMP, or Good Manufacturing Practices, Training would reduce the risk and liability that can result from poor handling during operation. Together, these programs would assure stringent compliance standards are implemented.
NJMEP also recommended H & W apply for a Skills4Jersey customized training grant to reduce the costs associated with the training. As a small manufacturer, the training cost could otherwise be prohibitive. The application was prepared, submitted and, once approved training began. Over the course of eight months, H & W employees were trained in Engineering Principles and Quality Control Technology.
When asked about how the training benefitted the company, Tricia Winstead, Quality Manager for H & W explained, “The training was invaluable to our staff. We learned detailed and proven methodologies to improve product quality; we implemented best practices; and created state of the art procedures and requirements which we documented, recorded, stored, and furnished according to specifications. This was very helpful to our overall management system.”
In addition, when completing the third-party NIST survey that is completed 6-9 months after the completion of a project Ms. Winstead reported:
Increased sales – $500,000
Retained sales that otherwise were at risk – $3 Million
Cost savings as a result of the training and grant award – $20,000
Hired 4 new employees as a result of the increased sales.
Invested $15,000 in new processes and/or products
Ms. Winstead added, “NJMEP has remained a constant go-to resource for H & W Tool. Its training providers are excellent. They’ve kept us guided through the training process, provided us with expertise and kept us on track to meet our goals and objectives. We will continue to reach out to NJMEP for their knowledge and expertise.”