Oxford RF Sensors (ORFS) has gained ISO 9001

Microelectronics International

ISSN: 1356-5362

Article publication date: 31 July 2009



(2009), "Oxford RF Sensors (ORFS) has gained ISO 9001", Microelectronics International, Vol. 26 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/mi.2009.21826cab.006



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Oxford RF Sensors (ORFS) has gained ISO 9001

Article Type: Industry news From: Microelectronics International, Volume 26, Issue 3

The high-tech start-up company develops novel, highly sensitive, non-contact sensors, based on patented technology developed at the University of Oxford, which detect and measure a variety of materials including metals, plastics and liquids.

The technology has been developed into a number of sensor applications including mechanical measurement able to operate up to 1,000°C or track objects from DC to over 100 kHz, in the presence of 400-atmosphere operating pressure pulses, and are highly resilient to dirt, dust and oil contamination.

Applications range from measuring turbo-charger speed (300,000 rpm) on rally cars to in-flight blade tip clearance on aircraft jet engines and from particulates in lubricating oil, on line, to water in aviation jet fuel – also on line.

Why ORFS chose ISO 9001

A key reason why ORFS chose ISO 9001 was to increase its perceived value amongst a growing list of prestigious international clients in the aircraft, oil and gas and automotive sectors. “We are working with global companies,” says Anthony Williams, Quality Manager at ORFS. “We need to assure them we are serious about being in control of events and that we are much more than an ‘ideas’ house, that we take R&D projects right through to production readiness with a complete manufacturing pack.”

A second reason why ORFS chose ISO 9001 is that with the procedures in place, everyone in an organisation is focused towards the quality goals. Better documentation or control of processes leads to consistency in performance, and less scrap and rework. Employees have more information for troubleshooting problems on their own and managers become more efficient.

“This way we all are singing from the same hymn sheet and new people are able to get up to speed with less distraction to others,” says Williams.

“As a start-up we need to take people on fast, and we need documented procedures of how we do things round here – ‘current good practice’. Being certified helps us make sure that ‘current good practice’ moves forward and that we keep the documentation up to date.”

Working with SGS United Kingdom Ltd

SGS and ORFS began the journey to ISO 9001 with a gap fill exercise. This compared the company's existing documentation with the requirements of the standard. Williams documented the operating procedures according to need over a period of time.

“The documentation work identified processes that could be simplified, reducing both our operational overhead and the distraction of the team from their work,” says Williams.

“SGS has always been prepared to listen to ‘why we believe we comply with the requirements of the standard’, and then decide whether they agree. They are not prescriptive, unlike some other certification bodies. Being with SGS gives us the freedom to operate in a way that suits us, while meeting the requirements of the standard.”

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