Daniel Gordon, Contributor at Large
Mini-Circuits members all know and agree that quality is everything.
Our Absolute Commitment to Quality is embedded in truly everything we do, from product design to material selection; manufacturing to testing and beyond. It’s a big part of why our customers have trusted us for more than 50 years and what solidifies our reputation as a top supplier to the world’s leading companies in various industries.
One of the ways we quantify this commitment is by maintaining certifications with international bodies setting strict quality management system standards. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001 is one such certification, demonstrating our ability to consistently deliver products that meet or exceed customer, legal and regulatory standards. Currently, Mini-Circuits facilities in Surrey, UK; Penang, Malaysia; Kiryat Bialik, Israel; Chennai, India; and, most recently, Hialeah, Florida, are ISO 9001 certified.
The AS9100 quality management system takes it a step further, certifying organizations’ ability to supply products for use in the aerospace industry. At present, our offices in Brooklyn and Deer Park, New York; Branson, Missouri; Urjita in Chennai, India; and Mini-Circuits Israel are AS9100 certified — and thanks to some impressive cross-state coordination by a team of Mini-Circuits members, it looks like our friends in Florida won’t be far behind.
Raising the Stakes
Located in vibrant Hialeah just outside of Miami, Mini-Circuits Florida specializes in high mix, low volume assemblies that often require a quick turnover. The operation was established more than 40 years ago as one of Mini-Circuits’ first assembly locations outside of Brooklyn. (If you haven’t already, check out our spotlight on the Florida office here.)
As part of our ongoing effort to unify our quality management systems across our global locations, Mini-Circuits Florida received ISO 9001 certification back in 2019, with a longer-term goal of meeting the even more stringent standards for AS9100 certification. AS9100 was top of mind for our quality assurance teams as Florida approached its recent ISO 9001 surveillance audit. With Florida already operating on many of Mini-Circuits’ systems, the hope was that this audit would help substantiate Florida’s ability to come under Mini-Circuits’ existing AS9100 certification.
That made this most recent audit an even higher stakes endeavor than usual — and the limitations of COVID-19 made preparing for it even more complex. But thanks to the efforts of several Mini-Circuits team members — namely, Lyudmila Vatis and Amul Christian, MCL QA, and Florida Components Team Ana Navarro, Jessie Abreu, Praveen Guthinabailu, Raquel Brito, Marie Elena and Candy Diaz— we were more than prepared.
Coordination Across Teams and States
For the two weeks leading up to the audit, Arthur, Mila and Amul put together a rigorous training program and scheduled one-hour daily Zoom meetings with the Florida team to ensure they were thoroughly prepared. Mila and Amul even flew down to Hialeah for the audit, which spanned three days.
“The experience was amazing. The team was energetic and very quality conscious,” Amul said.
“It was excellent and exceeded all expectations,” Mila added.
While COVID-19 forced many audits to be conducted virtually, Mini-Circuits was fortunate to be able to open our doors to Bill Brown, Lead Auditor at our registrar DEKRA. Not only did we successfully meet ISO 9001 standards, with no nonconformities noted, but Bill took the audit a step further to determine whether our processes met even stricter AS9100 requirements. The team performed so well that Bill indicated a high likelihood that the Florida office could soon be brought onto Mini-Circuits’ existing AS9100 certificate.
“By passing this surveillance audit with flying colors, we feel very confident that Florida’s quality system certification can join that of Mini-Circuits’ headquarter facilities so that we can continue to integrate our quality processes as part of our total global unification project,” said Arthur Ackerman, VP of Quality Assurance.
Jessica Abreu, FCC QA expressed gratitude to the quality assurance team in New York for all they did to ensure a smooth and successful audit down south.
“Thank you to Mila and Amul for taking the time to prepare us and for the time they took to be with us,” Jessie said. “They gave us the confidence we needed, and we couldn’t have done it without them.”
As Mini-Circuits works to streamline our quality management systems worldwide — our quality assurance department is looking for members to help expand our capabilities in this area, so if you’re looking for the next step in your career, check out our current opportunities and apply!