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A World First in Energy Efficient Designs
Thompson Couplings Ltd is an NSW-based engineering company with a patented invention known as the ‘Thompson Constant Velocity Joint’, or TCVJ.
The TCVJ is a world first, the only true constant velocity joint with no load bearing sliding surfaces. It is more efficient than existing universal and constant velocity joints, and reduces friction and heat. This improves energy efficiency, reduces wear and fuel usage, and increases machinery lifespan. It can be applied to a whole range of mechanical engineering purposes, from rapid transportation and water pumps to hydroelectric equipment
The company began testing a commercial version in 2005 at their purpose-built research and development facility in Orange, NSW. They realised that they would need certification to international quality standards to meet the growing demand for their products around the world.
Managing Quality for Export Opportunities
NCS International first assessed Thompson Couplings for compliance to the ISO 9001 Quality in 2009. “I was pretty surprised when they sent me their Quality Manual,” comments their NCSI Auditor, Sriraam Tadipatri.
“It was impressive. The management team had a solid background in quality systems, as many of them worked previously at Electrolux. So they had the makings of an effective quality system from the very beginning. The initial assessment determines the extent to which this documented quality system has been implemented.”
Len Kosharek, Thompson Coupling’s Chief Executive Officer, agrees that having been through the process before meant we had a good understanding of the requirements and expectations from certification to an ISO standard. “Our team and NCSI did a lot of pre-audit work to ensure that we were ready and that the audit ran smoothly . We appointed two internal staff members to be responsible for development of the system, one from engineering and one from administration.”
“We chose NCSI because we had a critical timetable to meet, with a contract to Malaysia in the pipeline. They were able to adapt to meet our needs.”
Sriraam says Thompson Couplings requires certification for export. “Their quality system enables control over design specifications to meet customer requirements in the development and manufacture of their products. This new coupling reduces energy loss, increasing the power transmitted. It is ideal for transport, so there’s a good market around the world for it.”
But they also wanted to have a system in place that was practical and suited their business and customer needs. Sriraam has a mechanical engineering background, having previously worked in a technical control role in multinational companies. So he enjoyed working on such an exciting new engineering project and could relate to the product design and specifications.
Global Growth Ahead
“There’s no doubt in my mind that the certification was one of the instrumental features in achieving our contract with Scomi in Malaysia,” says Len. This multi-million dollar contract is for the supply of Thompson Constant Velocity Joints and driveshafts to a major monorail project in Mumbai, India.
The energy efficiency benefits have made the couplings very attractive to a range of different projects. “We’ve also been selected to go into an advanced yacht being built in The Netherlands,” says Len. “It’s one of the most sustainable yacht designs in the world, and we were selected for a number of reasons - one being the energy savings from our couplings.”
Len says that most of their business is now overseas, something that would not have been possible without the ISO certification. “We’re talking to people in Africa, in Canada… our website has been hit by people in 77 different countries. We’ve had a terrific response but it’s virtually all global.”
“It was strategically important to us to have that ISO certification, as we put our products onto the global stage. We now have the NCI certified logo on our website and I think subliminally it’s a very positive thing,” says Len.
The first audit in July 2009 was followed up in January 2010, and the second audit will take place in July 2010. “As a new client we undertake third party independent assessments every 6 months to ensure that the system is maintained in accordance with the standard.
“Whilst an assessment determines compliance with the standard it is also important for an assessor to provide value by suggesting improvements to a clients quality system within their business framework. The management team understand how important their quality systems are to production quality – and to their customers.”
And the results certainly show in the level of demand around the world for this unique invention.
For more information on how NCS International can assist you with your certification, call 1300 856 554 or Request a Quote Online.