Marco Rubber & Plastics Addresses Product Quality with Honed Processes
Due to globalization, the quality of services and products has become an essential component of worldwide business processes. With competition for customers potentially coming from nearly every continent, you need to know that every vendor and supplier you partner with has the same commitment to quality that you do.
At Marco Rubber & Plastics, we take that responsibility seriously. We remain steadfast in our commitment to product quality for our customers because we know that the dependability and reliability of your products are essential for your success and growth.
You need to know that every order, part, and parcel adheres to the standards you have in place. To meet and exceed those standards, Marco Rubber & Plastics has created a quality management system (QMS) to coordinate internal processes to meet both customer and regulatory requirements and dial in on continuous improvement efforts.
A QMS, in its simplest form, is a set of policies, processes, and procedures that guides manufacturers, vendors, and other businesses in how they meet and fulfill orders for their products. The direction and control of vital business activities are dictated by the system. What do you do if a finished part doesn’t meet the requirements? What kind of testing protocol is used? How do you ensure orders are filled correctly? These are all questions addressed by a QMS, which focuses on improving effectiveness and efficiency.
With our own system in place, Marco Rubber & Plastics is able to follow through on our commitment to quality and better serve our customers. Errors are reduced and prevented, consistent results are achieved, and all processes are controlled and defined. Our QMS helps us maintain consistent documentation, measurement, reporting, and internal auditing systems that eliminate some challenges in meeting standards and regulations.
Commitment to Quality Begins with Recognized Standards
Part quality is critical for our customers. Internationally-established standards serve as guideposts to help shape quality management system efforts to make sure those quality standards are reached and maintained. For example, the International Organization for Standardization has developed the go-to set of international standards applying to the management of quality systems, including ISO 9001:2015 — the most current standard for a quality management system. ISO 9001:2015 gives a formalized method for documenting processes, procedures, and responsibilities that helps inform policies and achieve quality objectives.
There are many industry-specific standards as well. For instance, the AS9120 Standard details the requirement for a QMS specific to distributors who provide aircraft components, parts, and assemblies. The MIL-I-45208 standard is similar but applies to requirements for inspections and tests necessary to ensure conformance to requirements for organizations wishing to contract with the U.S. government.
By aligning the elements of our quality management system with such established standards, Marco Rubber & Plastics is able to provide assurance that your parts will arrive as specified. Compliance with such standards is a must for most companies looking to work with suppliers.
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How Marco Rubber & Plastics Proves its Commitment to Quality
With access to more than one billion sealing solutions throughout our expansive production network, Marco Rubber & Plastics offers a comprehensive line of products, the ability to provide custom products for many industries and materials, and makes a host of value-added services available. The scope of what we offer through our New Hampshire headquarters is governed by a QMS that uses a number of tools to ensure you get the product you need.
Our facilities are certified to the quality standard ISO 9001:2015, and our QMS incorporates the principles of that, AS9210, and MIL-I-45208 while also tapping into various specific industry and customer requirements.
Using these standards as a blueprint, Marco Rubber & Plastics has established a reputation for and expectation of companywide excellence above and beyond basic standardized quality systems. Our QMS is maintained and continually improved through quality policy and objectives, internal and external audit results, analysis of data, and corrective and preventive action with periodic management reviews.
Essential Tools in Our QMS
Our goal with every customer is to fully understand their needs and let them drive their own expectations when it comes to documentation and validation of part quality. At the beginning of every customer engagement, they are feeding us the requirements — both in the produced part and in the validation process. Marco Rubber & Plastics then meets and exceeds those requirements and supplies documentation to prove it.
There are many critical tools implemented to make sure expectations stay aligned throughout the process and Marco Rubber & Plastics is capable of conducting the testing and validation to ensure quality. Here’s a quick look at four essential elements of our quality management system.
Internal Quality Control
Internal Quality Control (or Checks, or IQCs) act as a baseline for production parts. Folios are created for each part that contain critical information — dimensions, material makeup, durometer, color, weight, etc. — that provide a profile that can be used to validate an order at any step. Without IQCs it’s difficult to state with confidence that the test results for a particular batch of samples are precise, accurate, and fit for purpose.
Production Part Approval Process
A Production Part Approval Process (PPAP) document is required by some customers from manufacturers to add commonly ordered parts to a collective database to ease re-ordering. PPAPs are broken down into five levels, with each requiring more documentation.
- Level 1 – Part Submission Warrant (PSW) only submitted to the customer
- Level 2 – PSW with product samples and limited supporting data
- Level 3 – PSW with product samples and complete supporting data
- Level 4 – PSW and other requirements as defined by the customer
- Level 5 – PSW with product samples and complete supporting data available for review at the supplier’s manufacturing location
First Article Inspection
When a new product is needed, custom tooling has to be developed, or custom molded solutions are required, the process sometimes begins with a First Article Inspection (FAI). These ensure the part is up to the required standards before being put into production and include a variety of information for review such as inspection reports, spec sheets, samples to review, and the results of testing needed to validate the part or product is up to par. Inspections can cover sample parts, mold cavities, the material used, and more.
Marco Rubber & Plastics handles two types of FAI. One is an internal form developed to report information regarding the part such as the part number, batch, cure date, part dimensions, revisions and tolerances for each dimension, and more. The second type involves AS9102 Rev. B forms, which are typically required by military subcontractors or aerospace companies; these are more extensive and necessitate detailed information about the whole process, certified materials, and more with linked documentation.
Our facilities in Florida and New Hampshire are audited every year to maintain certification with the ISO 9001:2015 standard.
Customer audits typically occur every three years and Marco Rubber & Plastics hosts around five such audits per year. Customers drive these inspections and seek proof of internal processes and peace of mind that quality issues are addressed in a thorough fashion. Much like third-party certification audits, customer audits examine how we verify receipts, pull samples, confirm custom specifications, store data, and if we have qualified procedures in place for corrective actions, IQCs, FAIs, testing and inspection reports.
Food-grade Materials Face Additional Demands: The demands of food-grade o-rings include meeting a host of specific industry standards, and application variables. Learn more here.
Our Commitment to Quality Delivers Results
Marco Rubber & Plastics has more than 40 years of experience in supplying sealing solutions, critical components, and custom products. With decades of expertise in supplying various high compliance industries — such as Military, Aerospace, Medical, and Food & Beverage — we’ve honed our quality management system to ensure customers get the exact parts they need.
At Marco Rubber & Plastics we believe that pursuing quality is the responsibility of every department, of every employee — from design and engineering to production, testing, purchasing, and fulfillment. It’s a never-ending task as well. With this dedication and proven processes in place, we’re proud of the customer service record we’ve amassed:
- More than 14,000 repeat customers
- 99.9% Item acceptance rate
- 90% on-time, in full order delivery
- Dozens of successfully completed customer and ISO audits
Our QMS allows for variable quality levels to balance cost for primary commodity products versus investment in additional cross verifications and 100% video microscope inspection for high-risk critical components. We understand it’s important to address quality every day. No one wants to deal with quality issues that lead to the added costs of additional shipping, wasted materials, or production shutdowns. Connect with us to learn more about our commitment to quality and how it can support your goals.