Choosing the right vendor for your hydraulic cylinders will help ensure the reliability and consistency of your systems. A good vendor will offer:
- Better cylinder performance
- Enhanced product longevity
- Troubleshooting assistance
- Full-service operational support
However, to truly capitalize on these benefits, you need a way to help determine if your vendor is the right one for you or not. ISO certification is one of the first signs that you are working with a team that is committed to consistency, world-class quality and performance. So, what does ISO mean for you, and why is it so important when looking at hydraulic cylinders?
ISO Certifications: Driving Improvements at the Process Level
ISO certification refers to the company who produces the equipment, not the equipment itself. The actual hydraulic cylinder won’t be ISO certified or compliant. Instead, the process by which it is created holds the ISO certification. Getting the certification requires companies to put in place consistent processes throughout the company, not just in the manufacturing process itself.
It’s a major investment for a company to acquire an ISO certification, as certified companies must implement regular internal audits to maintain the certification. In other words, ISO isn’t a one-time certification: it’s a set of practices and processes that are integral to the day-to-day operations of a company.
However, that investment translates into better, more reliable hydraulic cylinders. Here are the ways that choosing a vendor with ISO-certified processes will help improve the quality of your next hydraulic cylinder:
When it comes to moving parts like hydraulic cylinders, precision and consistency are key to overall system performance. Consistency is where ISO comes in: requiring manufacturers to document every step of the process and proving they can reproduce that exact process reliably. With the reliability and standardization that ISO offers, it will also be easier to integrate these cylinders into your existing systems and streamline future maintenance.
Better Control for Small Batches and Custom Orders
In a large run or for standard parts, consistency is fairly straightforward for hydraulic cylinders. Because the machinery can be running the same product line for days or weeks, the setup remains consistent—but what about special orders or small batches of hydraulic cylinders? That’s where ISO certification makes a difference.
Having ISO certification means that a manufacturer always has full and precise documentation of every setup, every measurement and every requirement of even a small batch run. This means that when you come to an ISO certified manufacturer, even a year or two later, and need another custom run—they’ll be able to precisely and flawlessly reproduce the same cylinder. If their staff changed, if their production line changed—it doesn’t matter. The information is stored with the company, not just with the people who served you last time.
Improved Product Quality
When it comes to product quality and product improvements, ISO certification is a boost to companies that produce hydraulic cylinders. Being able to review the documentation gives engineers the opportunity to identify ways that can improve across product lines. For example, when an innovation or tweak is developed for one product line, it’s easy to identify other products and product lines where that tweak or improvement can also be applied.
Full documentation through ISO certification also provides smooth communication between vendor and customer. Because the process provides multiple points where documentation and specifications are verified, if there was any miscommunication at the outset, that gets settled before going into production. In the rare case that anything does go wrong, it’s easy to identify and remedy any issues.
Full-Service Support with ISO
Your relationship with your custom hydraulic cylinder vendor isn’t just about the equipment itself. It’s important that a supplier offer support from the very beginning during the sales and specifications cycle. You’ll also want your vendor to be easy to work with so that invoicing, payments and receipts don’t become an ongoing hassle. ISO certification gives you all that as well.
For a vendor to receive ISO certification, every department must work together to maintain a consistent and repeatable process. You’ll find that every aspect of working with an ISO-certified vendor is straightforward and reliable, so that you have less headache around the delivery, sales, service, operations and accounting departments. It might seem like a small detail now, but try working with a vendor who isn’t ISO certified and you’ll quickly see the difference.
Talking about standards compliance, procedures and certification can sound boring—and that’s because boring means no surprises. When your vendor adheres to consistent processes and fully documents their work, you have no surprises. ISO certification ensures a nice, clean, reliable vendor relationship where you know exactly what to expect—precisely what you need when it comes to hydraulic cylinders.