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Quality Assurance

Customers want to know how we maintain quality of material and workmanship throughout a project. This case study will describe our approach to quality assurance.

Bidding projects from new customers, or large projects requires a thorough review of all documents, specifications, safety, and quality requirements. The latter can be particularly challenging. The quality assurance program at Midwestern Contractors (MWC) has evolved with each bid and project and will continue to do so. The program is driven internally by our quest to improve, and externally by our customers’ need for assurance that material and processes are controlled and documented.

How we improved our quality program

The MWC management group agreed that updating our documented procedures and outlining more of our processes was a benefit for our customers and for our company. The quality team diligently worked with each department over time to organize, design, and develop written procedures for our processes.

Departments included:

  • Project management
  • Operations
  • Fabrication
  • Logistics
  • Safety
  • Accounting
  • Permit management.

Processes included:

  • Project documentation
  • Excavation
  • Concrete work, concrete testing
  • Pipefitting, fabrication, welding
  • Nondestructive testing (Hydrostatic & Pressure)
  • Civil, grading, compaction, and testing
  • Logistics, material handling and storage
  • Coating application, handling, storage, documentation
  • Pipe and fitting handling, storage, documentation.
  • Safety procedure, certification, audits, and safety management

We were able to identify gaps, best practices and develop new processes to help streamline our activities. We incorporated all levels of management in the development, as well as sought the insight of our field to ensure that the documentation we wrote not only fit our expectations, but our capabilities.

For example the process of coating a pipe varies depending on the customer's procedure and the type of coating selected. Many factors come into play during the coating process including sand blasting, temperature, and humidity. To ensure the best application MWC monitors, checks, and documents every step of the selected coating method. Our warehouse crew cross checks the expiration dates on the coating and the specific mixing ratio of the product. Our foremen utilize an internally developed form to record this process and ensure crews are performing each task to specification.This documented step-by-step, approach to coating helps us deliver a product that meets our customer’s standards.

The same quality assurance process and checklist used with coating is also used for other areas of work, like fabrication, concrete, welding fitting, compaction, etc.

Customer benefits

At MWC, it is our mission to provide our customers with professional services and high-quality work. Organizing and documenting our procedures and processes assists us in ensuring that our customers’ design and construction standards are being met. The fewer mistakes the lower the cost. It may be a check for operator qualifications (OQ’s) or reviewing materials, fabrication check lists and welding procedures to double check everything before it goes in the ground. Construction of high-quality assets for our customers is our goal.

Benefit to Midwestern Contractors

Cost containment and healthy employees are two goals that MWC is committed to. To that end our employees are trained to work safely and perform their trade with quality in mind. By leveraging cloud computing, custom designed project management, and safety management systems we continue to hold each other accountable and can train our new employees to our standard of excellence. Our quality program is constantly improving. If our capabilities change, or our processes grow, we evaluate that as a team and adjust our quality program to meet new capabilities and project challenges.

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