If you’re acquainted with the manufacturing industry – or really any professional industry – you’re probably at least marginally familiar with ISO certification. That familiarity may only extend to knowing that ISO refers to the International Organization for Standardization, however. When a company says that it’s ISO 9001 certified, what does that really mean? In short, it means quality.

The ISO 9000 family focuses on quality management, and the ISO 9001:2015 is a common one. As defined by the ISO:

“ISO 9001:2015 sets out the criteria for a quality management system and is the only standard in the family that can be certified to (although this is not a requirement). It can be used by any organization, large or small, regardless of its field of activity. In fact, there are over one million companies and organizations in over 170 countries certified to ISO 9001.”

To become ISO 9001 certified, a company must demonstrate several qualities including strong customer focus, involved and motivated upper management, continual improvement, and other factors. The standard is a way to keep companies accountable for consistently strong service, and for customers to know that they’re working with an organization they can trust.

In the field of additive manufacturing and rapid prototyping, it can be a bit of a guessing game to find a company that can deliver quality products in a timely manner. It’s still such a relatively new field, for which standards are still being developed, and it can be very difficult to know, when choosing a company for rapid prototyping services, what kind of quality you’re going to get. That’s why it benefits rapid prototyping companies to pursue the ISO 9001 certification, because it reassures customers that they’re going to get quality service and products.

Plenty of benefits come with an ISO 9001 certification, in fact. Many government jobs require the certification, and it also gives an overall marketing edge over non-certified companies. It holds employees at all levels to a high standard and highlights areas that need improvement within the company, as well as providing management with a proven and efficient management system. It also lowers costs. Those positives, in turn, benefit customers, who are assured of on-time delivery and helpful, friendly employees, as well as quality products resulting in fewer returns.

Chinese rapid prototyping company 3ERP just received its ISO 9001 certification in September of this year. The three Es in the company’s name stand for Excellent, Efficient and Economic, and it prides itself on customer service and quality. 3ERP offers a number of rapid prototyping and low volume manufacturing services, including:

  • 3D printing
  • CNC machining
  • Vacuum casting
  • Pressure die casting
  • Rapid tooling and injection molding
  • Sheet metal prototyping
  • Plastic and aluminum extrusion

Speed is another priority for 3ERP, which assures that it can have a customer’s design completed in a matter of hours. The company promises a solution for any need, no matter how complex the design, and has plenty of equipment in its two facilities to ensure that it provides those solutions in a timely manner. Its 3D printing services, for example, offer global delivery of parts in two to five days. 3ERP will 3D print anywhere from one to more than 50 parts for customers, cutting costs in half when compared to other, more traditional prototyping methods.

3ERP serves a number of industries, including prototyping for medical devices, automotive, aerospace, and consumer and commercial sectors. Its recent ISO 9001 certification reflects the company’s commitment to quality in all things, including its facilities and equipment, its employees and customer service, and its products. 3ERP counts a number of prominent companies among its customers, and continues to assure those customers – as well as potential future customers – that their needs come first, and will be met with the highest quality service possible.

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