The freight car production enterprises forming part of Research and Production Corporation “United Wagon Company” (UWC) have proved their Business Management Systems to be compliant with international standards, namely ISO/TS 22163 and ISO 9001, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) standards М-1003 and М-210, and the European EN 15085 standard for welding.
The business management system was assessed remotely using IT communications systems and technologies.
Compliance with ISO 9001:2015 is critical for fulfilling obligations under export contracts. Certification to the ISO/TS 22163 and ISO 9001 international standards also serves to make the enterprises operating at the Industrial Site more competitive in the international market. Information on these companies has been included in The European Rail Supply Industry Association (UNIFE) database of suppliers, where it can be accessed by all customers requiring rolling stock and railway components.
Experts from the Russian department of DQS (a German organization engaged in the certification of management systems) analyzed documentation and business processes including technological preparations for production, purchasing management, the management of changes and special processes etc. Upon conclusion of the audit, the freight car production enterprises operating at the Tikhvin Industrial Site were given management systems maturity indices ranging from 69% to 74%, higher than the average index for Russian companies operating in the sector, which is 67%.
“This improved rating awarded by an international certification body is an important achievement for us, and it confirms that by choosing to upgrade its Business Management Systems, the Industrial Site is moving in the right direction. In March 2021, TAP “Titran-Express” had its recertification audit which proved the entity’s compliance with ISO/TS 22163:2017 and ISO 9001:2015. Its management systems maturity index was rated at 69%. In autumn 2021, TikhvinChemMash, the Tikhvin Freight Car Building Plant and TikhvinSpetsMash had an inspection audit, upon which their management systems maturity indices were raised to 72%, 74% and 71% respectively,” said Marina Kovalkova, Head of the Process Development and Business Management Unit of the Production System Development Service at the Tikhvin Freight Car Building Plant.
All the measures to improve the Business Management Systems applied at the Tikhvin enterprises were taken in response to recommendations made by DQS following earlier inspections, and proposals by directorates and management services of the Industrial Site.
In Q3 of 2021, the foundry facility underwent business management system and technical audits to confirm its compliance with the AAR’s requirements. In the course of the inspections, the certificates that had been issued earlier and were necessary to perform the contract between UWC and the Wabtec Corporation, were approved. Under that contract, freight car castings made by the Tikhvin Site are used in Barber S-2-HD bogies (the main type of bogies used in North America, with an axle load of 32.5 t). Freight cars based on these bogies are operated in the US, Canadian and Mexican railroad networks.
“A great deal of work was done at the Industrial Site to ensure that it complied with the AAR’s requirements. Representatives of the Association of American Railroads commented on the professionalism of the staff at the Industrial Site and the high level of coordination they displayed in their work, singling out for special praise the Centrolit production facility, the Chief Metallurgist Directorate, the Quality Directorate, the IT Service and the Process Development and Business Management Unit,” said Marina Kovalkova.
In Q3 2021, the Tikhvin Freight Car Building Plant and TikhvinSpetsMash underwent another inspection audit by the German certification body TÜV NORD to determine compliance with EN 15085. This standard, issued by the European Committee for Standardization, establishes requirements for the welding of metal components during the production and repair of railroad vehicles and parts.
“Under EN 15085, the organization being certified is awarded one of four possible compliance levels, depending on the state of its production facilities. The Tikhvin Freight Car Building Plant and TikhvinSpetsMash were both awarded the highest level of compliance, CL1, for welded rail vehicles and their welded parts critical for safety. This gives our freight car building plants an additional advantage: they can enter the highly competitive international market, participate in European tenders for freight car welding and export their goods to EU countries,” Marina Kovalkova added.
The results of the audit have shown that the enterprises in the Industrial Site are developing their business processes and producing high-quality goods for both the Russian and the international markets.