Why do we do API audit and what is it like?


When suppliers were trying to win your business, they might be exaggerating and all the answers they gave you may not be completely accurate. A lot of people think that working with Chinese manufacturers comes with certain risks and they can't trust everything the China supplier says. Third-Party auditing is the fairest and the most in-depth form of supplier evaluation. The initial reason why we conduct the audit is to help verify what we say is what we do and let customers know what's really going on in our factory. Thus, further, ease the path to enter the overseas market, differentiate us from our competitors. It also pays us back to improving our company operations and reduces risks. 

When it comes to audit manufacturing companies, most audits comply with the internationally recognized ISO 9000 standards for the quality management system and conduct an extensive evaluation of your company's facilities and management systems. The standard manufacturing audit like this:

· Factory profile, to verify your company's legitimacy, whether your company has the necessary licenses and certifications required.

· Production capacities and factory facilities, to verify the condition of machinery and equipment in your facility, to verify your company is operational and suitable for manufacturing slewing bearings. Whether you have the required experience? Whether you have all the manufacturing process done in-house or which manufacturing process of the slewing bearings are the subcontractors responsible for? What standards do you adhere to when selecting suppliers?

· Workflow and organization charts, to help better understand your company's management structure and evaluate the competence of your factory management

· Quality assurance systems in place, to confirm your factory's methodology in ensuring slewing bearings final quality. 

API(American Petroleum Institute) also provides quality management systems certification through API Spec Q1. API develops many standards for the oil and natural gas manufacturing industry. In some cases, failing an API Spec Q1 audit can be very harmful to your company's professional image at the very least.

The ISO 9001 series takes a process-focused approach, but the API Spec Q1 takes a process-and-risk-management approach in one manner of speaking. To state the bottom line frankly, if your quality planning does not include a formal risk assessment, your company will not meet the minimum standards required to get API certification. Particular key areas include formalizing employee competency and training of personnel, reinforcing risk assessment and management throughout the standard, contingency planning, controlling the supply chain, preventative maintenance validation of designs, management change, etc

API audit is much more strict than ISO. For example, heat treatment or induction hardening is a critical process in manufacturing slewing bearing, it affects the reliability and longevity of the slewing bearing, so testing the raceway hardness is crucial. API requires to know what operation guidance and hardness standards you follow when testing the raceway hardness, what tool you use to test the hardness, whether the testing tool is qualified, how often you calibrate your hardness testing tool, what alternatives you have when your testing tool wear out. Whether the inspector has the relevant experience, how often do you train the staff, whether there is examination after training? This kind of interlocking quality and risk management system ensures the company runs very well.

The API audit is not meant to catch you doing something wrong. On the contrary, they hope to find people doing things right during the audit. Prior to the audit, the company must have at least four months of the quality system in place before submitting the quality manual for approval and the quality manual must implement each review and risk-mitigation project covered by the standards. At last, API officials conduct an on-site audit and the entire system must be audited every year, this is the most effective way to ensure that a company’s risk is properly identified and eliminated so that you can encourage progress over time

The follow-up audit is a prerequisite for the maximum validity of the API certificates of 5 years. The follow-up audit is carried out by local representing in China and it takes the auditor 1.5 to 2 days in your facility. The procedure is similar to that of the initial audit and is intended to check whether the conditions for the API certificate are still met. And this year, we are proud to say that we have passed the API annual audit. 

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