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IMPLEMENTATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM HELPS PERFORMANCE SPRINGS ON ITS JOURNEY TO BECOME A WORLD-CLASS MANUFACTURER

Performance Springs is a successful manufacturer of springs for the automotive industry, however achieving the ISO 14001 environmental standard has opened up additional opportunities and helped to gain new clients for the company

PROJECT

Performance Springs Limited – ISO 14001 implementation

BACKGROUND

Performance Springs is a niche supplier focused on high quality, precision compression springs that can be manufactured for a variety of applications and from a range of different materials. The company was formed in 1996 and today employs around 50 staff. It has its own in-house design service as well as testing facilities. Performance Springs’ product range includes compression springs for engine valves, fuel injection, clutches, brake systems, transmission and steering systems, hydraulic pumps and motors, and hydraulic valves. Automotive markets include prestige and specialist passenger cars, motorcycles, motorsport, light and heavy trucks, off highway and construction, and defence vehicles. Original equipment and tier 1 customers include a selection of the world’s most prestigious names involved in vehicle manufacturing based in the UK. Performance Springs gained ISO 9001 quality management system approval in 1996, and ISO 9001:2008 approval in 2004. In 2007 the company achieved ISO 9001-based automotive sector-specific TS 16949 approval.

PROJECT AIM

For Performance Springs to be able to meet automotive customer tender requirements by successful third party UKAS-accredited registration to the ISO 14001:2004 quality management system.

NEED FOR IMPROVEMENT

Performance Springs has a world-class vision and aspirations for international growth. ISO 14001 was an important requirement for the following reasons:

• Existing customer pressure
• To open the door to new customers in order to achieve growth
• ISO 14001 is an internationally-recognised standard
• Exports account for 40-50% of business, and this percentage is increasing
• ISO 14001 is a prerequisite for new business from OEMs and tier 1 suppliers
• Assists with improved safety
• Improves employee awareness
• Improves environmental credentials
• Enhanced public perception with external stakeholders
• Improves legal compliance and awareness
• Logical extension to TS 16949
• Helps to reduce energy costs

APPROACH

Benefitting from funding assistance from the Northwest Automotive Alliance (NAA) Business Excellence (BE) programme, the project was delivered by Colin Smith, Smith Consultants Ltd, and involved the following elements:

• Top level commitment and policy deployment plan
• Review and gap analysis
• Project plan
• Update of policies
• Integration with existing ISO 9001/TS 16949 systems
• Training
• Implementation
• Initial and final BSI Assessments

OUTCOMES

There have been many positive outcomes from the implementation of ISO 14001. At the top level, Performance Springs is on a journey to a white factory vision, and the company is now much further down that road. Quality and environmental procedures are now completely integrated, and the company now feels confident in all of its legal compliance obligations. ISO 14001 has already been an important factor in securing new work.

Steve Williams, Managing Director of Performance Springs, says

“The funding assistance from the NAA BE programme was an important incentive in carrying out this project, and having the ISO 14001 and TS 16949 standards now means that the doors are open to new customers – which is cheaper than having extra sales people. Now that the procedures have been implemented it’s much easier to manage quality and environmental issues on a day-to-day basis.”

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