Army researchers earn quality management certification

May 10, 2016

By ARL Public Affairs

Story Highlights

  • An internationally recognized accredited registrar approved an U.S. Army Research Laboratory branch for its quality management system

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (May 5, 2016) – Army researchers are doing quality work – by the book – according to an international standards organization.

SRI Quality System Registrar, an internationally recognized accredited registrar, approved the U.S. Army Research Laboratory's Coatings, Corrosion and Engineering Polymers Branch, or CCEPB, for its quality management system March 17, 2016.

The International Organization for Standards, or ISO, develops and publishes international standards. It serves as a worldwide federation of national standards organizations, according to its website.

"The certification means we have demonstrated a commitment to our stakeholders, establishment of clear policy, effective planning and implementation and sound resource management," said Dr. James Snyder, acting branch chief. "Validating the credibility of our procedures and data in this way is invaluable for both our fundamental and customer research efforts, and especially critical for CCEPB as we have approving authority for the DOD for qualifying certain materials within the coatings and corrosion commodity areas that are used on military assets."

The branch conducts research and development of corrosion resistant materials, surface modification of materials, advanced coatings, adhesives and other engineered polymeric materials at ARL's Rodman Materials Research Laboratory.

"This is a fine example of business acumen within the laboratory and marks a success under the Materials Research Campaign," said Michael Zoltoski, acting director for ARL Weapons and Materials Research Directorate. "This accomplishment fosters a more business savvy approach and thought process at all levels of the laboratory. As we focus on business acumen, we document and streamline our processes and practices."

The branch has been working towards certification, known as ISO 9001:2008, for the past three years. Dr. John La Scala, former CCEPB branch chief, initiated the quest.

"The branch's application [for ISO 9001 certification] was approved on its first attempt, which is a testament to the strength of the processes and procedures within the branch given that a high percentage are not accepted upon first application," La Scala said.

The branch is raising the bar for business acumen across the laboratory, he said.

"This is the first branch within ARL to have its complete quality management system ISO certified and registered through a registrar, such as SRI" said Charles Pergantis, CCEPB quality assurance coordinator. "Continual improvement has been institutionalized and we have demonstrated efficient process controls, measurement and analysis, and an effective document and record management system."

A quality management system is a set of policies, processes and procedures required for planning and execution in the core business area of an organization.

"Certification provides evidence to customers, suppliers, employees and their community of their commitment to producing a quality product or service and providing customer satisfaction," said Edward L. Maschmeier, SRI certification director.

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to ensure decisive overmatch for unified land operations to empower the Army, the joint warfighter and our nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.


Last Update / Reviewed: May 10, 2016