NOVI, Mich. — EOS, the world-leading manufacturer of laser-sintering equipment, has launched the EOS Quality Standard, an initiative of the EOS e-Manufacturing partner program that is open to and beneficial for all customers.
The purpose of this program is to define a package of requirements that guarantees the high quality of e-Manufacturing parts and services. The procedures for this standard are to be integrated into customers’ ISO: 9001 quality management systems.
“The EOS Quality Standard is a great step forward in establishing best practices for end users and demonstrates EOS’ leadership in the market,” said Eli Liechty, Leader Operations/Manufacturing RMM at Morris Technologies, Inc. “It highlights the importance of controlling the entire additive manufacturing supply chain, ranging from system maintenance, to operator training, material qualification, and critical system parameters. This standard will supplement our international ISO: 9001 and industry-specific AS9100 and ISO: 13485 quality systems, and Morris Technologies is pleased to be one of the early adopters implementing this new initiative.”
Quality Assurance Procedure
To assure quality, special measures have to be implemented in each customer’s operation. The e‑Manufacturing provider must have implemented a quality management system (QMS) with a valid certification according to ISO 9001, and must define and implement quality assurance procedures for the production and supply of laser-sintered parts within that QMS.
Qualification and responsibilities
There are five types of qualifications that a customer has to integrate into the QMS. Personnel qualification is one factor. For example, the e-Manufacturing provider’s staff is expected to have the knowledge and skills for the relevant technology. The provider also must assure machine status according to quality procedures. This status is to be specified and documented, regular maintenance has to be done, and the environmental conditions the machine is operating in must conform to the defined EOS Installation Requirements.
Secondly, if the customer uses a material that has been released by EOS for the relevant technology, then EOS provides them with the appropriate set of procedures to meet the criteria of the standard. In that case, the third criterion – using the right parameter sets – is met by deploying the system-specific EOS parameter set and powder material. The fourth element of the quality standard ensures the conformity of part design with the relevant design rules.
Last but not least, certain demands have to be met concerning data preparation and post-processing. These should be in accordance with recommendations published by EOS for the relevant machine and powder material. Otherwise the customer needs to specify what procedure has been used and why, or how that procedure has been qualified.
With this quality standard, and its recently presented Part Property Profiles, EOS continues expanding the use of its e-Manufacturing technologies in the production world.
The provider of any parts or services supplied with reference to this quality standard is solely responsible for the fulfillment of the requirements and for any information provided in relation to those parts or services.
“Customers of an entity that follows the EOS quality standard can expect consistent part quality from their e-Manufacturing provider. The standard allows them to distinguish between providers by a reference to an independent standard,” said Peter Klink, Executive Vice President Sales & Support.