NORWAY • Label printer Ellco Etikett started of 2018 by becoming the only label printing company in Norway to be certified by the strict ISO standards in quality and environmental management. The Norwegian company reports about its project for the certification of NS-EN ISO 9001:2015 and NS-EN ISO 14001.
The project started off early in 2017. Ellco Etikett had recently lost a large tender by an old customer. This partly due to the lack of a quality certification. The company’s CEO, Christian Egedius states: «Over the years we have worked hard to improve the quality of our systems, and now we lost the tender due to a lack of an official certification?»
Kiwa Technological Institute guided the label company through the preparation towards the ISO revisions. According to Kiwa, Ellco Etikett was suitable as a quality provider to certify for two standards at the same time. Jarl-André Skarsten, quality and development manager at Ellco Etikett, became the project leader for the certification of NS-EN ISO 9001:2015 and NS-EN ISO 14001.
Skarsten states: “We have had a thorough clean-up of our systems and gotten to know them in a more sensible way. Now we have a stamp of approval for the work we do in making sure that every section of this company delivers quality.”
Skarsten underlines that the only way to create a user friendly and dynamic management system is by activating and involving all employees in a company. He explains that it has been a long process, but that the work Ellco Etikett had begun through lean practices in 2013, was a very good starting point.
Deviation system implemented
Through working with ISO, Ellco Etikett has implemented a solid deviation system, which register and handle internal and external complaints, such as claims from customers. According to the company, this system contributes strongly as a baseline for education and training in the company and gives a unique insight to the customers’ needs and demands.
The selling, specifying and production of self-adhesive labels are in many ways a complex process, and difficult to standardize. The company has therefore worked with software developers in the label business to build systems that secures quality and a high level of automation.
Integration in workflow management
The American MIS system, LabelTraxx, supports all processes from the first quote to expediting finished goods. Ellco Etikett can trace material consumption, ink and varnish used in the production. With Esko automation engine integrated in the workflow, all original files are provided correct, automated and secure handling, all the way to archiving for future re-runs.
Skarsten states: “With this level of control on the consumption of raw materials, and time spent on each order, there were no reason not to get certified for the environmental part of the ISO standard as well.”
The certification itself was done by independent accountants late in 2017. Two rounds of questioning, document and implementation controls were followed by some deviations that needed to be rectified. Early in 2018, Ellco Etikett was formally certified as an environmentally conscious quality producer by international standards.