RCBI helps Hercules International ace quality systems audit

Huntington-based manufacturer Hercules International recently passed its ISO 9001:2015 surveillance audit with zero nonconformities. ISO 9001 is an internationally recognized Quality Management Systems standard that signifies company procedures for producing parts and services consistently meet customer and regulatory requirements.

Erica Cheetham, director of Quality Services at the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI), began working with Hercules officials in April to enhance quality systems to maintain the company’s standards and prepare for a mandatory audit. ISO certification often is required to become a supplier to large prime manufacturers and government agencies or the military.

“Certain Hercules customers require this certification, and we are proud to deliver this level of quality to all of our production,” said Alex Ortega, plant manager. “We already are receiving new inquiries from potential overseas customers who recognize the string quality control required to meet these standards.”

Cheetham said the achievement demonstrates Hercules meets the most stringent standards for quality and will ensure the company’s continued competitiveness while expanding its supply chain opportunities.

Hercules manufactures brake camshafts and air brake components for the transportation industry at its facility north of Huntington along W.Va. Route 2. The Cabell County firm employees about 58 people.

The company received two RCBI Early Stage Funding awards totaling $7,500 to cover costs associated with internal audits and preparation for the surveillance audit. The assistance was provided through RCBI’s Appalachian Hatchery, a POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) initiative. This multi-agency federal program assists communities affected by job losses in mining and related industries. Funding is provided by the Appalachian Regional Commission, U.S. Economic Development Administration and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.