Blog by Richard Schulman; VP Quality at Columbia Tech

Quality is one of the key principles upon which Columbia Tech was founded. The company is structured to provide an environment for defect prevention and continuous improvement.

A complex system such as contract manufacturing, includes numerous business and production processes involving both people and equipment. These processes must interact effectively to achieve customer satisfaction. It is important to understand that a system will achieve its objectives only if the activities of its sub-systems are linked and mutually supportive. It is Columbia Tech’s objective to provide a competitive advantage to our customers.   Customer inputs from surveys, product and service quality results; customer returns and feedback provide the best measure of the effectiveness of our quality system. Utilizing these inputs, we have developed and implemented a Quality System that:

  • Strives for customer satisfaction
  • Driven by Management Commitment
  • Promotes continuous improvement
  • Links all of the business and manufacturing processes
  • Is founded on teamwork and empowerment
  • Encourages associate development and training

Columbia Tech is ISO 9001 and ISO 13485 Registered through QMI and remains committed to the continual improvement of quality through attention to detail and refinement of procedures.  In addition, Columbia Tech was awarded a Certificate of Compliance for meeting the requirements of  J-STD- 001 by EPTAC.  EPTAC’s J-STD-001 Electronics Manufacturing Compliance Audit is a program that provides for the extensive auditing of a facility and the over 100+ procedures outlined in IPC J-STD-001 “Requirements for Soldered Electrical and Electronic Assemblies”.

Columbia Tech Raytheon Cart

Columbia Tech promotes a collective commitment to quality and is passionate about providing only the highest quality products and services.

Columbia Tech Quality Policy states Columbia Tech will:

  • Supply results that will meet or exceed mutually defined expectations
  • Strive to continually improve the effectiveness of the Quality Management System
  • Comply with all applicable standards, statutory and regulatory requirements

“Instead of relying on tribal knowledge and anecdotal information, we manage the business with data.”

A significant aspect of the Quality Management system is the use of data.  Instead of relying on tribal knowledge and anecdotal information, we manage the business with data.   Monthly quality reports are distributed and quality trends are displayed on our Quality Bulletin boards.   Should we migrate to a different MRP system, all historical data is available to transfer over to a quality module in MRP.

In addition to factory data we gather and track customer data.  An electronic software based Corrective Action/Preventative Action (CAPA) system is employed where issues are tracked and trended.  Trend data including turnaround times is readily available.  The basic software has been customized for Columbia Tech’s needs using resident resources.

Another software system is used to control our calibration of tooling and test equipment.  All records of tools for Columbia Tech and Coghlin Precision are stored electronically on the system include all the ESD mats and shelf life sensitive products.    Monthly lists are generated tracking locations and devices requiring upcoming calibration.  Certificates of Compliance are on file and all calibration activity is traceable to NIST.

Should there be additional questions, I would be more than happy to answer them.  Leave a Comment below!

About the author:

Richard Schulman is the VP of Quality at Columbia Tech, a  Coghlin Company.

He can be contacted at 508-713-4789.