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Quality Manual Written With Help from MEP

Published: Monday, April 5, 2004 - 22:00

When Allen Witherspoon, general manager of GASCO Manufacturing, needed to write a quality manual to satisfy the requirements of one of his top customers, he had no idea where to start.

"I knew I couldn’t simply sit down and do it," says Witherspoon. "I didn’t have the time or the knowledge and I wasn’t sure where to begin."

Witherspoon turned to the New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership. "We’re not a complex company, but I gave the MEP project manager a tour of the entire GASCO facility to see exactly how we operate," explains Witherspoon.

The MEP project manager assessed GASCO’s entire process--sales, receiving raw materials, manufacturing and warehousing--before beginning work on the manual. "As a result of the new quality control manual, the company’s processes are now formally defined and documented, and we satisfied our customer’s requirements," says Witherspoon. "We have also hired a new employee to inspect received raw material and the final product. This new hire was a direct result of the now detailed and defined inspection activities documented in our new quality control manual."

Founded in 1969, GASCO Manufacturing Corp. currently has 12 employees producing gaskets for the oil and gas industry. Located only five miles from the Texas border, GASCO is centrally located in the heart of the nation’s oil and gas industry.

"Things are changing in the oil and gas industries," says Witherspoon. "Eventually we’ll probably have to register to ISO standards. That’s another reason I wanted to have the quality control manual written now."

"I’m always pleased when a company is satisfied with the work of our project managers," says Carol Sanchez, director of the New Mexico MEP. "In a state like New Mexico, with so many diverse companies doing so many different things, it’s always a challenge for us to meet the needs of our clients."

The New Mexico MEP is an affiliate of the National Institute for Standards and Technology under the U.S. Department of Commerce. The national MEP is a network of manufacturing extension centers that provide business and technical assistance to small manufacturers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

For more information about the Manufacturing Extension Partnership division of NIST, click here.



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For 40 years Quality Digest has been the go-to source for all things quality. Our newsletter, Quality Digest, shares expert commentary and relevant industry resources to assist our readers in their quest for continuous improvement. Our website includes every column and article from the newsletter since May 2009 as well as back issues of Quality Digest magazine to August 1995. We are committed to promoting a view wherein quality is not a niche, but an integral part of every phase of manufacturing and services.