Before we can discuss ISO verifications, we need to discuss what ISO is. Put simply, ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is an independent, non-governmental organization that publishes international standards for products, services and systems. The Switzerland-based group, which is instrumental in facilitating international trade, covers nearly every industry from technology and food safety to agriculture and healthcare. With more than 23,000 standards, ISO International Standards impact everyone in the world.
How Does ISO Apply to Me?
Let’s look at a few of our vendors: Adam Equipment, Globe Scientific and Microlit. Each have their ISO certificates available online for customers to view, but each conforms to different standards based on their product lines and the markets they serve.
Adam, a manufacturer of scales and balances, and Globe Scientific, a supplier of laboratory plastic ware and glassware items, both comply with ISO 9001: 2015. In addition to quality management, the standard governs also focuses on continuous improvement. It certifies that a manufacturer has demonstrated an ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer, statutory and regulatory requirements.
While the specific requirements of this performance-based standard are intended to apply to any organization (regardless of type, size, products or services), it can be applied in different ways for different organizations.
For Adam, it covers the “design, manufacture, supply, service, calibration and hire of industrial weighing equipment, including precision laboratory balances, parts counting machines, price computing scales and platform scales, weighing system components and specialist systems using the above equipment.”
For Globe Scientific, the scope refers to laboratory plastic ware and glassware items.
Like Adam and Globe Scientific, Microlit is also certified under ISO 9001. But it also complies with ISO 13485 and ISO 17025.
ISO 13485: 2016 focuses on medical devices. For Microlit, its scope covers the “Design, Manufacture and Supply of Liquid Handling Products such as, Micropipettes, Bottle Top Dispensers, Electronic Burette, Electronic Pipettes, Electronic Pipettes Filling Devices, Electronic Bottle Top Dispensers, Pipette Stands and Plastic Wares.”
ISO 17025 is based on international consensus, so it helps cross-border trade by improving consistency and conformity assessment worldwide. It covers competence, impartiality and the consistent operation of laboratories.
How Can My Company Become Certified?
ISO itself does not perform the certifications – it just creates the standards. To be certified as ISO compliant, companies need to go through a certification body. While it’s not a requirement, some certification bodies are accredited, which can boost buyer may place on a manufacturer.
ISO 9001, for example, starts with completion of the ISO 9001 Quality Manual, followed by an audit to assess opportunities for the company to improve and an additional audit to confirm the recommended change have been made. Once certification is granted, occasional audits ensure sustained compliance and continual improvement.
If you have any questions about which Sonic Supply vendors are ISO-compliant, feel free to contact us.