This year Birk Manufacturing is on a mission to improve and enhance our entire Quality Management System (QMS) and align our policies, processes and procedures in place to obtain AS9100 certification. The AS9100 standard is designed to meet stringent, complex and unique demands of the defense and commercial Aerospace Industry. Over the past decade, as the company has developed and matured, we have continued to augment and adapt our standard operating procedures and quality policies and objectives with industry regulations and standards. We are constantly committed to providing our customers with superior quality products that are safe, reliable and have proper documentation and traceability. Over six years ago the company ventured into the world of industry regulation and became ISO 9001:2000 certified before updating to the newest revision in 2008. We continued to improve our QMS further in 2009 when we obtained ISO 13485:2003 certification, which accredits our QMS for being fully capable of producing a product that is compliant to the strict requirements of the medical device industry. We take special pride in the fact that we are bestowed the honor and trust of producing a product that will affect the quality of an individual’s life. It allows us to take more value, responsibly and ownership in our jobs and makes us want to continue to grow, learn and develop as a company. Here’s to new beginnings as we start our next chapter in the improvement process of Birk’s QMS. Look for our certification on our website later this year!

Carleton Birk

Quality Assurance Manager

As an engineer, it is more common than not, that at some point in your day someone will come to you with a problem to solve.  It is our responsibility as engineers to help people with these problems and come up with an answer, but sometimes that is not the right mentality.  Engineers have been trained that every problem has a solution – only one solution.  This can create a huge injustice to our company and our customers.

In the interest of our customers and Birk manufacturing, sometimes it is better to have the mindset that we need to create solutions rather than just solve problems.  By creating a solution you can have a broader view of what the issue is and possibly think of everything on a larger scale.  By altering our mindset from problem solver to that of being a solution creator, we can provide solutions that are more efficient, easier to manufacture and even more cost effective.

What solutions can Birk create for you today?

Mark O’Connell

Engineering Manager

Birk Manufacturing business is thermal circuits and subassemblies. This requires us to be nimble and cost effective at the same time, although, these two demands make for a challenging relationship. Most of the time being expedient is associated with substantially higher costs, due in part by the necessity to carry more inventory and having materials shipped overnight, which can be avoided by working together and partnering. Combine all that and you have custom manufacturing. We have accepted orders with turnaround of as little as one day and our standard lead time from receipt of order to shipping is two weeks, obviously we prefer a bit more time but have the ability, resources and willingness to work with the customer.

How are we able to respond so quickly? We have most of the required resources under one roof. Customers can directly contact our application engineers; we have an onsite etching facility for foil heating elements, a dark room with an image setter, screening room, standard resistance wires, a multitude of lead wires and sensors. We are a company large enough to handle prototypes, large production runs and still accept those small orders of high end units, knowing that they may be the seeds of the future.

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The beginning of a new year ushers in the opportunity to plan for the future and set new goals and objectives which everyone will work towards achieving over the next twelve months.  Our team at Birk is well known for having high aspirations and expectations and we’re constantly seeking a new challenge to conquer. That being said, this is always an exciting time of year at Birk Manufacturing and one that is full of much anticipation and enthusiasm.

This year Birk has selected to target our company wide quality objectives as the main event for our twelve month heavy weight battle. We have increased our weekly on time fill rate (OTFR) goal from above 90% to above 95%. For this objective we track how well we respond to our customer demand, not how well we perform against what we determined as our target ship date based on current workload and inventory supplies. If a customer calls Birk and requests to have their order in three days when our current lead time is two to three weeks, we use the three day request when calculating our metric. We feel this calculation better portrays how well we serve our valued customers.

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