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Darlington MP Jenny Chapman visits local firm as it secures world leading Quality Standard ISO 9001:2015

One of the UKs leading product designer, manufacturer and global supplier of fire, blast and heat hazard protection has become the first in the North East, to its knowledge, to secure a world leading quality standard only four months after the accreditation was first launched.

Darlington based Mech-Tool Engineering Ltd was this week visited by the town’s MP, Jenny Chapman, who presented the business with the North East’s first awarded ISO 9001:2015 standard.

The standard – only published in September last year – is the most rigorous to date and, as such, companies across the UK have been given up to three years to implement systems and secure it.

Yet true to form, the Darlington firm, in its constant pursuit of innovation, secured the standard in only four months having set itself the challenging timeframe to do exactly that.

Awarding the fire, blast and heat hazard specialist firm the North East’s first certificate acknowledging achievement of the standard, Ms Chapman said: “Mech-Tool Engineering has a pedigree in the region for consistently driving innovation and being at the forefront of its industry.  It therefore came as no surprise to me that the business had set itself the tough challenge of securing this quality standard in such an incredibly short space of time.

“For them to have delivered on that is a real testament to the hard work and commitment of the organisation in its consistent pursuit to be ahead of the curve and to secure accreditations that will ultimately enable the business to win work for the region and support the employment of people across the North East.”

The standard – which is the toughest to date – means firms across the UK will now have to implement systems that ensure all work processes, risks and opportunities, methods of work and management planning is documented and, crucially, that all employees understand and are aware of it.

For Mech-Tool Engineering Limited this involved a complete overhaul of its management systems combined with the training of more than 200 staff across multiple sites, including the company’s second manufacturing plant outside of the North East and located in Busan, Korea.

LRQA Lead Assessor, Steve Tweddle explained, “We were pleased that Mech-Tool Engineering approached LRQA for assessment to the new 9001:2015 standard and we were there to support them in their challenge to achieve certification within 4 months. They displayed significant commitment and enthusiasm throughout the process, and we are delighted to award this 9001:2015 certificate to them.”

Speaking about the challenge George Hodgson, Technical Services Manager at Mech-Tool Engineering and the manager responsible for driving through the ISO standard said: “This certainly wasn’t just an update of our previous standards, it was a complete overhaul of all our systems.  The new requirements were quite massive and the commitment required made it quite possibly one of our biggest management challenges to date.  We’re delighted to have delivered what we set out to achieve and are incredibly proud to be – what we believe is – the first company in the North East to achieve this certification.”

With Headquarters in Darlington, Mech-Tool Engineering Limited has offices across the globe including Aberdeen, Houston, Korea and state of the art manufacturing plants in Teesside and Korea.

The company offers a complete end to end solution for fire, blast and radiant heat protection from initial design and consultation through to manufacture and assistance with on-site installation.  Only this month Mech-Tool Engineering was listed 26th on the prestigious Sunday Times Profit Track 100 – a league table of high performing private companies published every year by the Sunday Times – and which lists Britain’s top 100 private companies with the fastest growing profits.  The listing comes on the back of successful international contract wins in South Korea and Kazakhstan.

The photograph above shows from left to right: Jenny Chapman, Darlington MP and George Hodgson, Technical Services Manager at Mech-Tool Engineering.

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