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Jeff Frazee is the kind of guy who puts his heart and soul into whatever he is doing. He may try to fool you by saying he is a “simple guy”, but he is smart, driven, and highly capable. His gifts and talents have been put to good use as the Assistant Quality Manager at CARDINAL Metal Finishing, one of the nation’s leaders in the industrial finishing and machining of billet metals, castings, and forged parts.

CARDINAL Metal Finishing serves a variety of industries but finds its expertise and offerings are prized by the automotive industry. Both of CARDINAL’s facilities, Kokomo IN and Bloomington IN, are currently transitioning from ISO 9000 to IATF 16949 Certification.

What does CARDINAL Metal Finishing do?

If you catch Jeff on the phone, there’s a chance you’ll hear the whirring and buzzing of machines in the background. Most people conceptualize metal “finishing” companies like CARDINAL Metal Finishing as the final processing step, when really they are often preparing components to be introduced into a larger system. Here’s a good example: a transmission casting often requires casting impregnation. This is the process of filling a casting with resin to ensure it is not porous and is air tight. Once the casting is finished, it can be sent to an automotive manufacturer for “value add”.

In addition to casting impregnation, they also do shot blasting, which is an appearance enhancer, a cleaning process and ultimately enhances employee safety for those handling the product; casting trimming, to remove unwanted excess material left behind after the casting process; heat treating, to help prevent cracking through annealing; and a fluorescent penetrant inspection process to highlight failures or cracks, in order to prevent future issues and ensure product quality for their customers.

CARDINAL Metal Finishing & Our Solution

With all that they do, it’s no wonder the automotive industry holds CARDINAL Metal Finishing to such high esteem. Quality Assurance is critical for such an important industry, both for financial implications and, more importantly, for safety. This is where Jeff’s job–and our software–enter the picture.

Jeff has a background that embodies a love for how things work. He has worked within engineering and machining throughout his career. As Jeff explained, “I have always been fascinated by the ability to take a piece of steel…and make something from it.” He is a maker, a creator, and a creative. When faced with a task he confronts it with an “all in” mentality. So when presented with our software and tasked with making it a reality in CARDINAL Metal Finishing, he fully embraced it.

Document Management & Accountability

A specific area of Qualtrax that resonated with Jeff was the document management aspect. For him it comes down to “say what you do and do what you say.” He elaborated, “With document ownership, the review and approval process is so perfectly in line with what we need to document anyway.” Jeff specifically highlighted that with cross-functional teams, Qualtrax creates conditions for everyone to be involved and held accountable for their involvement. It ensures much needed visibility.

Another layer of accountability is related to how Qualtrax send both notifications when documents expire and notifications when approvals are needed. There are inherent “built ins” that keep everyone on the same page–Jeff has found this extremely helpful.

Getting to Work

Getting to a place where CARDINAL Metal Finishing was able to use our software simply came down to the team “doing”. Carey was Jeff’s Project Implementation Manager. She went on-site with Jeff to roll out Qualtrax and also had a series of Zoom meetings. Jeff shared, “I can’t tell you how much help she was, it was crucial to me getting anywhere…the more I did with it the more I realized the power.” The CARDINAL’s Team has determined that Qualtrax is much more than a document control software. They continue to push the use of the software as a critical broad ranging tool that addresses many requirements of the business.

The reality of Qualtrax is that it has enabled Jeff to move past administrative minutia of Quality Assurance and move towards more complex tasks that improve efficiencies and create conditions for the very best product. With over 250,000 square feet, lots of machines, and in a literal sense, many moving parts, anything that can simplify and add visibility makes CARDINAL Metal Finishing function more efficiently and in a safer manner.

We are thankful that Jeff was introduced to Qualtrax–and that we were introduced to him. Talking with clients about their passions & industries is one of our joys–and coming alongside customers like Jeff to alleviate his compliance burdens has been an honor.

Interested in learning more about how a compliance management system like Qualtrax can save you time and money? Check out our upcoming webinar on that very topic!

Category: Manufacturing

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