Quality may be hard to define, but in our market sector it is of the utmost importance, therefore we have developed a comprehensive quality assurance system which is compliant with ISO9001:2015.

Most of the vehicles or machines for which we supply products are used in demanding sectors such as industry, construction or public transport. The pressures this imposes on a supplier like Blackthorn include the following:

  • If an emission control system fails or is unreliable, the resulting downtime costs the end user money. Bearing in mind that many end users operate their vehicles or machines intensively, the reliability of our products needs to be extremely high.
  • Some of our customers operate lean production systems, which means that if we don’t deliver our products on time, this can quickly bring a production line to a standstill.
  • Our customers’ designers squeeze more and more components into each machine but also want to improve aesthetics and driver visibility. This means we have to achieve the maximum possible in the space we are allotted (and if the products we supply are a few millimetres different from the drawing, they won’t fit).
  • Many of our customers have very diverse product ranges, and a production run of a given product might only be in single figures. This may necessitate the exhaust system being made by hand, but nevertheless it still needs to agree to the drawing. Taken together with reduced product life cycles another result is that we need to be able to keep efficient control of numerous drawings and revisions.
  • Frequently components or systems we supply are highly visible after installation, and must neither let down the overall appearance of the machine nor present a burn hazard to the operator.

Against this backdrop we believe that the most important factors in quality are design, inspection and administration.