Continuous Improvement Program (CIP)

1.0 Introduction

For the last 40-plus years, Kinter has been a "solution provider" as a direct mill importer of quality metal/plastic fasteners and hanging hardware items for the Point of Purchase (P.O.P) sign and display industry. Our business continues to expand its products and services, and the Continuous Improvement Program (CIP) relates to all quality activities to support our growing business.

Kinter recognizes its responsibility as a provider of quality products and services and has developed and documented a Continuous Improvement Program (CIP). The Continuous Improvement Program generally complies with the international standard ISO 9001: 2008 quality management systems' requirements; however, Kinter is not ISO certified and does not make claims as an ISO certified company. The CIP manual provides information to all customers, suppliers, and employees pertaining to specific controls that are implemented to ensure product/service quality.

2.0 Quality Policy and Objectives

Kinter accepts responsibility for the complete satisfaction of its customers. We exercise this responsibility through adequate training of our employees, adherence to proven procedures, total commitment to meeting and exceeding customer requirements, and to maintaining an organizational culture that fosters continuous improvement.

Kinter's Quality Policy: "We aim to be the leading provider of quality products and services which consistently meet or exceed the expectations of our customers. Kinter commits to deliver reliable products and services of the highest quality, which are competitively priced and delivered on time."

To achieve this level of quality, Kinter applies a system of procedures to reflect the capabilities of our company to existing customers, potential customers and independent auditing authorities. Further, application of this policy requires the active participation of all employees who are individually responsible for the quality of their work and overall continuous improvement. Each employee receives a copy of our quality policy which is reviewed by the Quality Control Manager and quality personnel.

The Quality Control Manager is responsible for the Continuous Improvement Program (CIP) with routine operation control by Quality personnel.

2.1 Quality Policy Objectives:

General compliance with International Standard ISO 9001 (Quality Systems) by maintaining an effective Quality System is designed to:

  • Offer continual improvement of our level of quality to meet and exceed customer's expectations.
  • Ensure compliance with relevant statutory and safety requirements.
  • Enhance customer satisfaction.

3.0 Definitions

3.1 Terms and Descriptions

The terms and descriptions used in this CIP manual are generally defined within the ISO 9001-Quality System.

3.2 Additional Definitions:

"Comparable and "Close Comparable": Kinter will classify a competitor part as a "comparable" or "close comparable" when the Customer Approved Sample part can be used or applied by the Customer in a similar application as the competitor part.

Definition of "Comparable": a part that corresponds to a competitor's part and meets the customer's intended use.

Definition of "Close Comparable": a part that corresponds to a competitor part and although it meets the customer's intended use, it may be slightly different in dimensions, aesthetics, materials, or function.

Kinter does not make claims to the "Comparable" or "Close Comparable" of competitor's specifications, only similar application of the part when used by the customer for the intended use.

4.0 Quality Operating Procedures

4.1 Production Samples (Pre-Production Parts) and Quality Certifications

Product samples of all manufactured and/or imported parts are tested according to the specification provided and at a level that is commensurate with the nature of the application prior to shipping product samples to Kinter. Manufacturing/importer will include all prints, specifications and measurements to Kinter upon shipment. Products samples that require material certifications or compliance certifications must accompany shipment.

Upon receipt of product samples by Kinter, Kinter's Quality Control Department will inspect and test the product sample. This inspection and test will include but is not limited to:

Review of material and compliance certifications, such as:

  • RoHS Certification of Composition
  • Kinter Material Certification
  • Conflict Minerals Compliance
  • REACH Certificate of Conformance
  • Prop 65 Compliance
  • Certificate of Conformance
  • MSDS - Material Safety Data Sheets
  • Certificate of Country of Origin
  • Stress test according to specifications
  • Dimensional tests and measurements according to required specifications
  • Basic functionality test according to specifications
  • Grip capacity test where applicable
  • Basic visual test according to specifications and/or part comparison
  • Visual color test

Pre-Production Parts that do not meet or exceed the quality requirements are returned to the supplier or scrapped.

If Pre-Production Parts meet or exceed the quality requirements, Kinter's quality control department approves the supplier to fill the purchase order and retains the approved samples for future reference purposes.

4.2 Customer-approved Product Samples

Customers who purchase from Kinter, and/or their customers who apply Kinter products, have the responsibility to test product samples at a level that is commensurate with the nature of the application. All tests and test documentation should be applied and maintained by the customer. Customer provides Kinter with the approval or non-approval of the part (conformance or nonconformance).

If a customer approves product samples, Kinter's quality control department instructs the supplier to fill the purchase order and further documents and retains the approved samples.

4.3 Kinter Quality Control and Process for Production Parts

4.3.1 Inspection and Test Procedure Receiving and Inspection Test

Upon receipt of production parts, the receiving personnel does a visual inspection of the packaging (box/skid condition, shrink wrap is intact, etc.).

If there are no signs of damage or tampering the delivery receipt is marked with the "RECEIVED" stamp containing the following information: date, number of skids, number of boxes, condition ("OK", "DAMAGED", "Pictures taken"), the truck driver's initials, and the receiving person's initials.
If damage or tampering is evident, the shipment is either refused or set aside for intensive examination. The decision to refuse or accept the shipment is based on the extent of the damage and is at the discretion of the Quality Control Department and/or management. Pictures are then taken of the packaging before any shrink-wrap is removed or any boxes are opened for documentation and claim filing purposes.

If the damage to the packaging has not resulted in damage to the product, the shipment will be repackaged and moved to the next step in the receiving process.

If the damage to the packaging has resulted in damage to the materials, the shipment will be marked as "DAMAGED" and will move to the next step in the receiving process. After the quality inspection and piece counts have been finalized, the trucking company and/or supplier will be notified of the damages.

The packing slip is removed from the shipment and the appropriate Kinter purchase order is attached to the packing slip and delivery receipt. The purchase order is stamped with the "Receiving" stamp and the date, number of skids, and number of boxes sections are completed.

The paperwork is then given to the Quality Control Department and the boxes and/or skids are moved to the designated inspection area.

Quality control documentation is printed for each item on the shipment.

Documentation is available for all items in Kinter’s most recent annual catalog.
Non-catalog items are subjected to all applicable testing requirements with the final approval coming from the purchasing department, the salesman who initiated the purchase and/or the end customer.

Samples are pulled from the shipment for testing and inspection. Samples are taken from several different boxes per skid to ensure a randomized selection.

The inspection will include, but is not limited to the following:

  • Sample board comparison test: Sample board contains samples of previously approved and retained parts.
  • Compatibility testing: Parts are tested with other Kinter items in the same family to ensure they will work together properly.
  • Visual exam: Ensure the items are aesthetically pleasing; ensure the color, plating, profile, etc. meet expectations.
  • Dimensional test: Ensure the measurements are correct according to required specifications.
  • Grip capacity test (when applicable)
  • Stress test for strength and durability
  • Basic functionality test: Independent and/or in conjunction with other mating parts
  • Review of material and compliance certifications; if not received with the pre-production samples.

Upon approval by the quality control department, the “Receiving” stamp is initiated confirming the approval of the parts. The parts are then piece-counted, received in the computer system, and put away in a designated location within Kinter’s lot-controlled warehouse.

Parts that do not pass the quality inspection are either returned to the producer to be re-run or are scrapped. All incidents are subject to Non-Conforming Review and Preventative/Corrective Action before being returned to the supplier/scrapped.

5.0 Training

Kinter ensures that all personnel are trained and experienced to the extent necessary to perform and undertake their assigned activities and responsibilities effectively. All staff and management is responsible for recommending the training needs of others and for ensuring that all employees are qualified and experienced to execute assigned tasks. Kinter maintains records of all employee training and related employee signature copies.

(All above items are subject to change without notice.)

3333 Oak Grove Ave.
Waukegan, IL 60087

Phone: 800.323.2389
Fax: 847.623.0105