THE CULTURE OF QUALITY
Our goal has always been to guarantee the product to the final user as it was formulated.”
It has always been a key point for us. It is a cross property included in all business areas. It is an attention to detail that makes the difference.
In 1996 we have been among the firsts in the lubricants sector to obtain ISO 9000, today 9001:2008, quality management systems certification, in order to have the full control on what we produce benefitting the final customer and not only to exhibit a certificate.
Quality control means an accurate suppliers selection based on price performance, technical and security data sheets accuracy, compliance with legislation, deliveries punctuality and technical assistance service. In order to guarantee and to keep our products high technological standards, a crucial point is the control of incoming raw materials based on the congruence with the documents received, on detailed lab tests and on the negatives findings identified as a result of stock spot checks. All incoming raw materials undergo quality control.
The essential moment in which our products materialize is the raw materials blending. This process takes place in our production facilities, among one of the most cutting-edge ones, thanks to the completely computerised productive flows management.
Investments in IT took us to a completely productive processes computerisation, reducing the human error to zero and optimizing the production with a significant waste reduction. Above all, it allowed us to satisfy completely customers’ expectations on the product quality. Indeed, this computerisation permits a prompt tracking of incoming and outgoing batches, but also raw materials’ dosage during production, with the benefit to have extremely accurate and formula consistent blendings.
The computerised production begins with a production list system entry. The software scans the products’ types and according to the previous productions, states which blender is the most suitable, in order not to contaminate the ongoing production. The production plant automatically collects the required raw materials from the silos and inserts them according to the quantity specified in the recipe and adding the additives, which are automatically weighed on system-controlled scales.
Before placing them on the market, all batches, particularly the most sensitive ones, undergo a quarantine period that may vary from fifteen to twenty days and up to thirty days for new formulated products. According to the separations’ or other negative findings incidence, the system automatically extends or reduces the quarantine period based on statistical historical data. However, before placing them on the market, all products undergo the quarantine for a minimum period of two days, during which the blendings are tested in different temperature conditions: in stoves, internal and external ambient temperature.
The finished products’ accurate control (based on different indexes depending on the product’s type: viscosity index, density index, Brugger index, IR index, TAN+BN index, etc) guarantees the needed quality to place them on the market. With better performance compared to similar products. The production quality control can take place in two modalities. Strategic products, or the ones which need a particular blending, are inspected by lab technicians directly in the blender before draining, with a just in time response. However, the production staff inspects all the productions for clearness and density.
In any case, the morning following the production, the lab inspects all batches before placing them on the market.
Actually, we take care of our products also in the post-sale phase: we check constantly and methodically all sold batches’ performances doing daily tests on samples stored in our lab for more than one year from the placing on the market. For every single production batch, we store in our lab a counter sample on which daily are run all tests. The counter samples, after one year in lab, are stored in the warehouse for a further two years.
Also packaging and stroring activities are accurately monitored to guarantee the orders’ fulfilments timing. At this time, the product is ready to be shipped: an activity, like all the other ones, managed with qualitative controls following clear and well-defined procedures.
The goods tracking is guaranteed by a packaging equipped with three labels. The first label identifies the batch, the production date and the dangerous properties labelling. The second label identifies the single package, the contained product weight and its position in the warehouse. The third label links the product to a specific order with regard to the quantity of sold product, and so to the client and to the product’s destination. In the transportation’s loading time, only if all packages have been loaded on the truck, the computerised system closes the order and allows the transport document printing.