RWTH Aachen University - ITA

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From cardiac valves to car doors –
Textile technology research with software-based quality management at ITA of the RWTH Aachen University

Exciting innovations enhance our life with conveniences: Translucent concrete is a homogeneous material with light-transmitting properties due to embedded optical fibres. That makes it possible to illuminate entire façades in the dark. Cardiac valves of synthetic textile structures are colonised with endogenous cells from the patient to minimise rejection and the risk of infection. Smart textiles perform diverse functions in everyday life, such as medical monitoring of bodily functions or accident prevention due to sensors in work clothing or protective gear. And new fibre-based materials enable innovative lightweight construction concepts, for example in the automotive industry. As diverse as all of these pioneering developments are – they all originate from the research field of textile technology, which involves the manufacture of chemical fibres and their subsequent processing. The use of technical textiles comprises a broad application spectrum throughout a broad range of industries.

Rapid growth of the organisation necessitates systematic QM

Textile technology is meanwhile essential to many industries. And this is what resulted in the rapid growth of the institute. The enormous administrative costs necessitate a systematic, transparent quality management system. Nicole Mevissen, quality management officer of the ITA, explains: “A few years ago we established a system in which flow diagrams were created with simple programs that were made available to the employees as PDF files. This system was soon stretched to its limits. Data was provided via PDFs on a network drive, which was rather impractical and confusing. It was not possible to implement links to documents or websites. Therefore we could not guarantee access to the latest versions of documents. We realised that we needed a software-based management system.”

The QM team of the ITA decided to use the Integrated Management System ConSense IMS from the Aachen-based ConSense GmbH, a supplier of leading-edge software for process and quality management. The company is committed to providing comprehensive solutions for complete electronic support of DIN EN ISO 9001 and numerous other standards.

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