API Capacitors have been producing capacitor solutions for the worldwide electronics markets for over 25 years. The latest significant achievement in their ongoing development process is being awarded IRIS certification. This means that API Capacitors have reached International Rail Industry Standard (IRIS) for quality and business systems management. IRIS is the worldwide certification approval for all businesses supplying into the rail sector. This level of excellence will enable API Capacitors Ltd to tender for contracts with the major players in this sector, including GE, Bombardier and Siemens. IRIS adds further, sector specific controls and requirements that reinforces, and adds to, the established ISO 9001 Quality system certification held by the business for over 10 years.
When speaking about their successful IRIS process, Dr. Mike Robinson, the Technical Director said
“This is excellent news for API Capacitors, we had identified the IRIS certification as a key stepping stone for the business. We can now look to sell our technology into the prime rail industry contractors across the globe”.
Since the API group took over the business in October 2012, there has been a major investment programme into the business capabilities. This has focussed on a drive to achieve all of the appropriate national and international certifications and approvals identified as necessary to meet the needs of existing customers, and also to facilitate entry into new customers and markets.
In tandem with the drive for IRIS certification the company has benefited from a major facilities and manufacturing capability upgrade programme. Over the past 2 years the business has invested in:
- A new clean room for the key winding process.
- The upgrade and renewal of the high voltage test laboratory.
- Replacement of the end-spray system with a fully robotic automated process.
- A fully modernised and more effective and efficient factory heating system.
- The complete update of the IT and communications infrastructure commensurate with a global operation.
With regards to their extensive enhancement programme Managing Director Mr Trevor Baggott believes,
“With our comprehensive, targeted improvement of the manufacturing capabilities we (at APIC) are well positioned to address the specific, niche needs for power capacitor products for both the Rail industry, but also other hi-technology markets that demand high reliability and strict process controls ”. As well as products for the Rail sector, API Capacitors also supply the Research, Defence, Industrial and Aerospace sectors.
The evolution and development of the quality management system to the IRIS requirement level was supported by consultants Performance Plus Partnership, Laurence Brooks the Managing Director said “We are pleased to be a part of the API developing success story, building the IRIS framework and operating systems was greatly aided by the sound, basic processes already in operation across the company”.