Dimensional Inspection Business

N

Navin R

#1
Dimensional Inspection

Hello All,
I'm considering starting a business performing dimensional inspections, primarily with a CMM. At this point there is nothing physical, just an idea (small oak from an acorn, I hope).
I understand the equipment I need and how to operate it, but on the issue of certifications (ISO which?), I am clueless. I don't intend on preforming calibrations, I just want to provide inspection data. My target customers would be automotive suppliers and those who supply them (job shops, fixture builders, etc.), and possibly medical suppliers (absolutely no clue as to their requirements, but there are alot of them in my area). Let me add, that this is what I am doing already (contract CMM inspection), but now I want to be the boss. I believe that I won't have any problem making an ISO 9001:2000 compliant quality system, and would plan on becoming registered as $$ permits. Do I need or want to be ISO 17025 certified? After getting the equipment, I would be on a shoestring budget until business builds, so I would hate to waste time and money on cetifications that I wouldn't need. Do I need any certifications? My current employer is recently ISO 9001:2000, but it never seemed to matter when we weren't.
Thanks for any help or input!
 
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R

Ryan Wilde

#2
Navin,

If you want to do business as an ouside testing service with any automotive suppliers that are QS9000 registered, you will have to be Accredited to ISO 17025, or at a minimum, the equivalency caveat that AIAG has built in. The bottom line is that you will have to have a ISO 17025 system in place that will be scrutinized by someone.

As far as medical suppliers go, all I've dealt with want you to be ISO 9000 registered, although if you are accredited to ISO 17025 you are, by default, compliant with ISO 9001:1994, but not the new ISO 9000:2000 version.

Taken from the introduction of ISO 17025:
<i>The growth in use of quality systems generally has increased the need to ensure that laboratories which form part of larger organizations or offer other services can operate to a quality system that is seen as compliant with ISO 9001 or 9002 as well as with this International Standard. Care has been taken, therefore, to incorporate all those requirements of ISO 9001 and ISO 9002 that are relevant to the scope of testing and calibration services that are covered by the laboratory's quality system.

Testing and calibration laboratories that comply with this International Standard will therefore also operate in accordance with ISO 9001 or ISO 9002.

Certification against ISO 9001 and ISO 9002 does not of itself demonstrate the competence of the laboratory to produce technically valid data and results. </i>

So, your non-automotive customers may fight against being Accredited to ISO 17025 without ISO 9000 registration, and it is up to you to either educate them or give in and be registered to ISO 9000 and accredited to ISO 17025.

Ryan
 
M

metrologyguy

#3
I agree with Ryan, you should persue accreditation to ISO 17025, and I would further suggest going with A2LA.

As part of your start up research, I would do a search at www.a2la.org to see if there is a lot of compitition in your local area. If there is none, you will have a nice nitch in the market.

I would also recommend specializing on something you are good at inspecting and get known for it, e.g. forgings, stampings, complex parts, close tolerance work, big stuff or real small stuff.

Start learning uncertainty budgets for CMM's if you have not done so allready, this is usually a time consuming effort until you get the logic down.

On the business side of things you may need to line up a good CPA and start getting advise from local business owners about all the other stuff you will need to know. When I started my lab 15 years ago I knew it would take a lot of time and effort but it took a lot more than I thought it would.

If you do things well and all goes well it is a nice business.

Good luck!!
 
N

Navin R

#4
After reading the responses, I realize I will definitely need the ISO 17025 certification. I could probably find work without certification, but it wouldn't be much of an inspection facility.
What is a CMM uncertainty budgets? Are you refering to maintenance and repair, or the quantity of CMM work ($$)? Thanks
 
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