I wrote in last weeks Blog that Ebsco was certifying to the as9100, aerospace quality standard. as 9100 adds requirements to Ebsco’s process. The certification cost more than ISO 9001. It means a great investment by Ebsco to make springs. ISO 9001 is accepted by all of Ebsco’s current customers. It is the same standard most of our customers are following. Most of our competitors are ISO 9001 certified. So why go to the extra expense?
WHY IS QUALITY SO IMPORTANT TO EBSCO?
We don’t always know the final application our springs will be required to perform.
Some we do:
- Pressure relief valves in refineries. These valves are designed to release pressure in lines when they reach dangerous levels. The spring is set at specific load and when that is reached the spring compresses allowing the high pressure to release before causing an explosion. Often, these spring will never work over their lives. They sit there inside their valves, never to be needed. The key is when they are needed, They MUST work. Without our springs releasing the pressure bad things happen at the refinery.
- Gun control unit, F-16 fighter. The F-16 fighter is one of the most widely used combat aircraft in the world. It is the backbone of US and NATO air forces. Our springs are part of the gun control unit. Failure would mean that pilots loose the use of one of their primary weapons. A weapon they use for their own protection and to protect troops on the ground. Failure could mean lives lost.
- Safety monitoring equipment on deep-sea drilling platforms. Safety switches sense vibrations and other signs of equipment failure. This is critical in Deep Sea Drilling Rigs. The springs are used as sensors and triggers to close contacts and shut down failing equipment. Without these safety devices faulty equipment can create catastrophic problems on the platforms and start fires. A fire on a deep-sea drilling platform is the worst case scenario.
- Hydraulic valves on heavy construction equipment. The construction industry runs on hydraulic power. Hydraulic power allows machinery to lift more and dig deeper than ever thought possible. When lifting and moving heavy loads, machinery can’t fail. Ebsco springs control the flow of fluid through these valves. A faulty spring will cause a hydraulic line to close, robbing the power from that portion of the equipment. You don’t want things to stop working with several tons swinging over the job site.
- Crude oil pipeline valves. Ebsco springs are part of the mechanism in valves that are required to stop the flow in pipeline valves. A spring failure would cause the valve not to close. In an emergency situation these valves would stop the oil pouring out of a damaged pipeline onto the surrounding land. A spring failure could cause a giant ecological disaster.
I’m not even mentioning the economics of one of our spring failing. The cost of a multi-million dollar construction machine or an aircraft out of service due to a failed spring.
Why is quality so important to Ebsco?
BECAUSE LIVES DEPEND ON IT!
That’s why quality is so important to Ebsco