Advanced Precision Machining

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Your Go-to CNC Machining Center Implementing ISO and ITAR Certification Procedures

[September 30th, 2013] Your Longmont precision manufacturing shop, Advanced Precision Machining, has some great news to share! We are proud to announce we are one final step closer to full adherence with ISO-9001 and ITAR certification standards. Simple economics, and our recent acquisition of a Zeiss Spectrum II Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM), dictate that the time is now. So, in a quest to serve all potential companies in the area, APM's CNC machine shop is officially seeking full ISO and ITAR certification and compliance. The wheels are in motion, and we are currently busy implementing certification procedures specific to the CNC milling and machining industry. A crucial first step is writing/updating and submission of our procedure and quality control manuals. This is done and our foot is in the door. So, what does this mean to current and potential customers of our Colorado machine shop?

Let's start with an explanation of ISO and ITAR certification. ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, is the largest developer of voluntary international standards in the world. In a nutshell, they define, establish, and maintain a quality assurance system for many business types. The ISO-9001:2008 standard is specific to the manufacturing and service industry, including the CNC machining trade. With our milling center's pending certification, our milling and machining work will need to meet ISO-9001 criterion in order to fulfill orders from customers seeking these types of specific quality requirements.

ITAR, or International Traffic in Arms Regulations, are laws aimed at controlling access to sensitive types of technology including manufacturing and sales. Enforced by the Department of State Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), these regulations state that material and information related to defense and military technology may only be shared with U.S. persons. Its aim is to safeguard U.S. national security. With regards to our Longmont machine shop, the government requires that if we precision machine parts related to national defense, we need to be ITAR compliant. To reach compliance, we must register with the DDTC, maintain a working knowledge of the requirements, then self-certify that we possess this knowledge.

Our staff of CNC machinists is looking forward to the long awaited goal of reaching these ISO and ITAR certifications. Along the Front Range of Colorado, many companies demand the set of quality assurances established by these standards prior to the milling and machining process. If a contract machine shop CNC mills a part for them, and there is a fault in manufacturing, they want to be able to trace that fault right down to the material lot the metal was poured from. In addition, they require a specific set of precision machining procedures for all projects. As an ISO-9001 and ITAR certified shop, we will keep and file a lot more paperwork for traceability purposes. In doing so, we will be able to subcontract directly with Lockheed Martin, Ball Aerospace, and other defense contractors for the precision manufacturing of sensitive military hardware. At APM, our goal is to enhance customer satisfaction. In fulfilling the quality and regulatory requirements that come with ISO and ITAR certification, we hope to achieve continual improvement in performance for all of our customers in pursuit of these new objectives.

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About the Author

Gerry Dillon is a co-founder, current owner and certified CNC machinist at Advanced Precision Machining (APM), a full-service machine shop located in Longmont, Colorado. Before making his home in the United States in 2000, Gerry was born and raised on the emerald isle of Ireland and took an interest in milling and machining from an early age, ranking #1 in the Irish National Apprenticeship Program. In 2005, he partnered with his friend and colleague, Kirk Tuesburg, currently APM’s machine shop manager, together launching what’s grown into a leading Colorado machine shop. Gerry brings over 30 years of machining experience to the shop floor, and is certified in all aspects of geometric dimensioning and tolerancing.

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