It has been an eventful journey from the production of rubber threads in the Westfalian province to today's internationally operating company.
Good, better, even better! – Quality Assurance at Optibelt Whether raw materials, products or internal processes: We set a high value on quality. The task of quality assurance (QA) is to ensure and constantly optimise it. Whereas quality assurance has still been the responsibility of the director during the early years of the company, today, it is a highly professionalised work field with diverse aspects.
At the beginning of the industrialisation, workers and company founder Emil Arntz personally see to quality control. However, due to the increasing size of the company, the work is divided. At the same time, science is focussing on this topic. During the 1920s, first models for the control and optimisation of production processes are established. Later on, all other company areas are also taken into account.
During the early 1970s, there is still no individual department for quality assurance, but is already enforced rigorously with the practices and methods customary at that time. Thus, the quality of mixtures and compounds is tested in the laboratory; the V-belts are again tested during the final control (static) as well as in the testing bay (dynamic).
A new department develops In the middle of the 1980s, quality assurance finally becomes an individual “discipline“. First benchmarks are published. In 1986, Optibelt starts with the development of the Quality Assurance Department. The first internal quality guideline is created. In close cooperation with OEMs, not only the QA processes are constantly advanced, but also the according products.
In 1987, the first binding quality standards are set (BS 5750, EN 29001/29002). Optibelt has implemented them as soon as possible. The company is the first manufacturer of drive belts to be certified - in 1993 for the production site ABC in Londonderry, and in 1994 for the Arntz Optibelt KG in Höxter. During the following years the QA/QM systems are not only constantly optimised but also implemented at all locations. Since 2005, all essential worldwide business processes have been in compliance with the technical standard ISO TS 16949.
Diverse challenges Today, twelve employees work in the Quality Assurance Department in Höxter. They are supported by quality agents at the individual locations. They conduct audits at our suppliers, compile customer satisfaction surveys, monitor process performance and product conformity, and evaluate the status of prevention and correction measures – especially regarding training. Thus the team ensures that the Optibelt quality demand is implemented in all company areas.