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SICcast: A certification first for German engineering.

Early certification to ISO 9001:2015 drives competitive advantage globally


Client challenge

SICcast constructs, produces, coats and repairs engineering parts that operate in demanding operating conditions, where erosion corrosion, corrosion or abrasion action is common. Our client uses patented technology, based on silicon carbide materials, which help extend service life. SICCast supports several industry sectors, including flue gas treatment, seawater desalination and pigment and fertilizer production. Several industry successes have led to our client expanding internationally and establishing a global franchising model.

Certified against ISO 9001:2000 in 1995, the SICcast team fully understood the value of a certified Quality Management System (QMS). The business saw certification to the updated standard, ISO 9001:2015, as a must. This would ensure consistent high quality throughout our client’s international franchise operations, driving competitive advantage globally. It would help win new business with large international manufacturing clients and further strengthen the company’s reputation. The company asked us, the world’s leading provider of professional assurance services, to help.

How we helped

We supported SICcast in its transition journey to ISO 9001:2015 from the outset. Over a year, our involvement included:

  • an awareness briefing to introduce the new requirements and describe what the organisation needed to do to meet the new criteria

  • applying our assessment methodology to identify where new requirements were already met and where there were gaps

  • holding training courses for SICcast’s management team and employees to help develop the best transition plan

  • assisting our client in adopting a full risk-based approach (a new standard requirement), giving a broader perspective than risk assessments conducted to date

  • carrying out the audit for successful certification.

SICcast’s new approach considered wider risks than ever before relating to their interested parties, from government agencies through to suppliers, customers, employees and neighbours. This greater visibility has enabled our client to take immediate action on the most significant risks, as well as identify new opportunities.

Insight & Client comment

As a small organisation, quality management was the responsibility of one person. Our client was keen to share that duty wider, throughout the organisation, making employee engagement key. Dr Düchting at SICcast, explained: “Certification makes no sense if the sole point is to show customers the certificate. The business has to benefit from it and the only way to do that is to engage your employees. Our process owners understand their processes best and are in the best position to improve them. For a small business like ours, involving the team is so important.”

Client comment 

“LRQA’s reputation is very good worldwide. When tendering for contracts we are often asked about our certifications and, when we add the LRQA certificate, we never get any further questions. That speaks for itself.”

Dr Düchting

Managing Director, SICcast

“LRQA auditors understand our business and take our structure and business needs into account throughout the assessment and certification process. They explain how quality management thinking is developing and make it clear if we’re on the wrong path. Their feedback is always supportive and constructive, so it’s a very productive working relationship.”

Günter Zarges

Quality Manager, SICcast

Business benefits

Our client was the first organisation in Germany to gain certification to the revised International Quality Management System (QMS) Standard ISO 9001:2015. Consequently, the business has received several new enquiries. Dr Düchting pointed out the encouraging signs: “It is difficult to measure the overall benefit at this early stage, but we have already had positive feedback from several sources.”

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