Two-Year Process Earns Chemetall Recognition from Ford Motor Co.

Chemetall North America earned the highly-coveted Q1 Supplier Status Certification from Ford Motor Co.


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After a strenuous two-year evaluation, Chemetall North America earned the highly-coveted Q1 Supplier Status Certification from Ford Motor Co. in 2014, recognition that the chemical supplier meets a global standard for quality.

Ron Felber, Chemetall’s president and CEO, said it is the result of the work of a team headed by Loree Lavergne, Chemetall’s manager of quality systems, and Heather Whitehead, Chemetall’s quality systems administrator.

“It is truly an honor to have our hard work and project dedication recognized,” Felber said. “At every step of the way, the Chemetall community—site reps, laboratory personnel, manufacturing, trafficking, and quality control—have demonstrated excellence in its execution.”

The process began in October 2011 with the opening of the $25 million state of the art manufacturing plant built by Chemetall in Blackman Township, Michigan. Within a month, Chemetall had earned ISO 14001 and ISO 9001/TS 16949, certifications that were pre-requisites for achieving the next goal, Ford Q1 Supplier Status Certification.

Ford requires a supplier’s facility to achieve excellence in four main areas: competent systems, constant improvement, enduring performance and satisfied customers.

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Matrix Documentation

“We started with the documentation,” Lavergne says. “Responding to what is known as an MMOG/LE report surveying our existing quality systems, immediately followed by the Q1 Ford Site Assessment Evaluation Matrix, which is a checklist to guide us in providing objective evidence that we meet all of Ford’s site expectations.”

For two years, Chemetall proved that membership in this elite group of Ford suppliers was deserved, as multiple audits and stringent assessments were performed by the Ford team evaluating all components of the manufacturing process, including management procedures, employee readiness and training, quality control, process monitoring, system capability, system consistency, testing, engineering, preventive maintenance, manufacturing flow, 6 Sigma Metrics, problem solving and methods of corrective action.

Chemetall worked with the Manufacturing Process Checklist developed by Ford’s quality process team, as well as assessments developed by the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG), whose 15-point plan ensures manufacturing compliance. Ford required that two Chemetall employees receive eight hours of training each to competently use Ford’s elaborate supplier portal, through which Ford alerts suppliers of upcoming orders, as well as specific instructions on expectations around delivery and what is known as ASN, or Advance Shipping Notice.

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A Chemetall employee checks on formulation instructions for an order.

 

Quality Management

In addition to the monitoring of the Chemetall plant by Ford, the reverse also occurred as John Psiakis, Chemetall’s North American Automotive Manager spent many hours on site at the Ford plants to manage the incoming quality.

“This enormous effort held a great deal of value not just for Chemetall and Ford, but for me personally,” Psiakis says. “We have long ties to the automotive industry, with an emphasis on pretreatment and lubricant technology for the OEM automotive market, as well as ancillary-tiered suppliers.”

Other Chemetall applications for the automotive industry include acid pickling, anodizing, cleaners, coolants, final seals, general maintenance, lubricants, mass finishing, paint detackification, paint strippers, iron, manganese and zinc phosphate coatings, non-phosphate coatings, process equipment and engineering, rust preventives, and wastewater and water treatment.

These diversified product lines have long been succinctly summed up by Chemetall’s slogan, “Cut It, Coat It, Clean It, Control It, Treat It.”

The happy ending to this story was the announcement in February 2014 that Chemetall had earned the Ford Motor Company Q1 Supplier Status Certification.

 “It is truly an honor to have our hard work and project dedication recognized,” Felber says. “At every step of the way, the Chemetall community—site reps, laboratory personnel, manufacturing, trafficking, and quality control—have demonstrated excellence in their execution.”

Ford Motor Co. awarded Chemetall the Q1 Supplier Status Certificate with plaques to hang in the facility, as well as a specially-designed flag which will fly at the Blackman Township manufacturing facility.

 

For more information about Chemetall products and service, call 800-526-4473 or visit chemetallna.com

 

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