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The ever-changing world of continual improvement

The ever-changing world of continual improvement

Even as a business that has been around for almost 150 years with a manufacturing process that has had little change since Charles Goodyear first vulcanised rubber in 1839, Martin’s Rubber still looks to continually improve its processes to ensure our products and services meet and exceed customer expectation. In an ever changing marketplace we have seen customer expectations evolve over the last few years and after a period of migration to eastern manufacturing facilities, inconsistency in quality and supply as well as a move for more localised sourcing has resulted in customers starting to look for suppliers closer to home.   The pressure is now on to prove that our processes are consistent and in control and the product supplied from one delivery is of equal standard to that of the last. Martin’s Rubber has had ISO 9001 since 1996 and now looks to meet the needs of our customers by developing these systems to incorporate the tighter expectations of the AS9100 Aerospace standard.  Over the last 3 years we have developed and employed systems for the Production Part Approval Process (PPAP) including fully details First Article Inspection Reports (FAIR), Control Plans and Process Failure Mode Effects Analysis (PFMEA). Improved Key Performance Indicators (KPI) provide us with a clearer picture of our strengths and weaknesses as a business and allow us to focus on key areas to improve consistency and ultimately customer satisfaction.  Working in project groups we have acted upon the information recorded to reduce losses through scrap and rework as well as improve delivery performance, however this is not a static process; with every improvement we review and revise our targets to ensure we do not become complacent. With every new customer comes a new challenge and a new set of expectations for us to achieve, through the appropriate use of the quality management tools at our disposal we will not only aim to meet these expectations but also strive to exceed them as we know from a customer perspective we are only as good as our last delivery.

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