Spectrometers for the analysis of materials and coating thicknesses - this is the business area of Hitachi High-Tech Analytical Science GmbH (formerly Oxford Instruments Analytical GmbH) from Uedem near Düsseldorf in the Lower Rhine region. The company has been part of the Hitachi High-Technologies Group since November 2017. Prior to that, it was part of the Oxford Instruments Group, which started more than 50 years ago as the first spin-off of a technology company from the renowned Oxford University and developed into a globally operating company with 1,900 employees around the world and a listing on the London Stock Exchange (OXIG).
Hitachi High-Tech Analytical Science GmbH with 118 employees is the competence center (development, production, sales, service) for optical emission spectrometry and stationary X-ray fluorescence instruments. Optical emission spectrometers are used for the analysis of metal materials, especially in the metal processing and manufacturing industry. X-ray fluorescence analysers measure layer thicknesses down to the nanometre range, e.g. in printed circuit boards. The non-destructive analysis of jewellery and metal coatings is also a standard application.
Since 2007 has ConSense QMS PROFESSIONAL supported the company in quality management according to DIN EN ISO 9001:2015. The software enabled the establishment of an electronic quality document management system. A major goal of the introduction was to regulate routine processes in everyday work with as little mail traffic as possible. In the production of optical emission spectrometers and coating thickness gauges, for example, checklists are used a lot. Each instrument is assigned a routing slip that accompanies the processes in all production steps. Since the introduction of ConSense QMS PROFESSIONAL, this docket can now be retrieved from the system on a daily basis. All work steps that have already been completed are noted on it and can be traced at any time as well as assigned to the employees carrying out the work.
Since 2010 uses Hitachi High-Tech Analytical Science GmbH ConSense Measuring and Test Equipment Management for the systematic administration and documentation of all test equipment information. The test equipment used in production, e.g. for the optical emission spectrometers or the coating thickness measuring instruments, must be subjected to regular calibrations, maintenance and inspections for certification according to ISO 9001. With the ConSense Measuring and Test Equipment Management module, monitoring dates, intervals and responsibilities can now be coordinated and controlled, acquisition and repair costs of the test equipment used as well as their productive and downtimes can be documented, and much more. All important documents for each piece of test equipment are stored in the system - from the purchase invoice to the corresponding certificates. If external audits are pending, all required documents can be compiled at the push of a button.
Recently, the company also began using the ConSense Training Management module for training purposes. All training courses are recorded in the system and supported in organisation, process and control. Katrin van Meegen, who is responsible for ConSense in Uedem, has a clear answer to the question of what needs to be taken care of in order to establish the quality management system with software support among employees in the long term: "The company should provide sufficient resources for good maintenance of the system, otherwise user acceptance will decline.
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