General Bearing Corporation has a long and rich tradition of implementing new and successful business models. The company is a major manufacturer of ball and roller bearings with facilities primarily in China. The company management system is the basis for successfully achieving quality and excellence. In 1998, General Bearing earned QS 9000 and ISO 9001 Certifications, which heightened our reputation in the industry. We are continuously looking for ways to provide quality products and services that meet or exceed our customer needs. Over the past year, a new initiative to expand our transportation and automotive capabilities was started. The International Automotive Task Force (IATF) in conjunction with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) wrote ISO/TS 16949. This specification supports existing American QS-9000 and international automotive quality systems standards within the global automotive industry.TS 16949 focuses on the quality system requirements for the design/development, production, installation and servicing of automotive related products. In addition, there are specific customer oriented requirements. Acquiring TS 16949, a mandatory prerequisite for conducting business with automotive and transportation customers, became our goal for 2004. This business goal was an important undertaking; our efforts were focused on the implementation and success of the management system. TS 16949, in addition to incorporating QS-9000 standards, implements standards to determine the planning for:
• Specific requirements for production part approval process.
• Corrective actions.
• Supplier management and design methods.
• Identifying and meeting specific customer requirements.
GBC approached the management system upgrade with a sound understanding understanding of what was needed to be in place for successful execution. A GBC multifunctional team, consisting of 14 trained individuals, developed the keystones for the system:
• Policies, procedures and business process maps.
• A comprehensive and clearly defined set of customer requirements.
• A team of Internal Quality Auditors (IQA) trained in process based assessment methods.
While working on ISO/TS 16949 compliance,a number of tangible improvements were attained. Our operation reorganized information and updated control plans. Supplier management effectiveness was enhanced by developing a supplier quality manual. A detailed list of all our transportation customers was created. The Production Department embarked on projects aimed at system and productivity improvements, such as Lean Manufacturing 5S. Quality Assurance restructured procedures to meet our business goals, customers, and system standards.General Bearing Corporation became certified to ISO/TS 16949 in September 2004, after a series of thorough assessments and verifications performed by the Registrar, DNV. This accomplishment is a major event in the business history of our organization. It is proof of our commitment to our customers.