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“This is an awesome achievement by our employees in Cressona and our Ford program team,” says business area president Charlie Straface, who leads Sapa’s extrusion organization in North America.

“I have no doubt that the work we have done with Ford has made us better as a whole, and that we will continue to improve as a supplier to Ford as well as to all our other customers.”

The plant was notified in March that it had achieved Q1 status – Ford’s highest award for excellence in quality, service and on-time delivery. The plaque presentation and flag-raising ceremony in Cressona will be held on July 20.

Sapa has been supplying Ford from the Cressona plant since 2014 and is one of five extruders working with the carmaker on the F-150, America’s best-selling truck for 39 years. This year, Sapa's business volume with Ford will grow by more than 30 percent with the addition of the 2016 Super Duty trucks.

Sapa is also a strategic partner with Ford R&D and its advanced engineering groups in the development of several new products and alloys.

Quality achievement
Achieving Q1 is no simple matter. As an introduction to the program, Ford writes that Q1 puts in place the “discipline to achieve consistent excellence” while guiding the cooperation between the carmaker and its suppliers for “superior quality execution.”

Suppliers must meet a number of requirements before applying for consideration for Q1. These include an A-level assessment in Global Materials Management Operational Guidelines/Logistical Evaluation, which is a continuous improvement tool. Suppliers also need to acquire Ford endorsements in Material Planning & Logistics, Purchasing, Supplier Technical Assistance and from the Dearborn Diversified Manufacturing Plant.

Having a Q1 Award means that suppliers have attained excellence in:

  • Capable systems
  • Ongoing performance
  • Site action plan
  • Customer endorsement
  • Continuous improvement
  • Ongoing performance includes on-time delivery and quality, as measured in parts per million (PPM). In these areas, the Cressona plant has been outstanding, with 100 percent on-time performance and zero PPM for nearly one full year.