Talking Quality with Toby Hudson - Wolf's Quality Assurance Manager
We recently took some time out to talk about Quality with Wolf's Quality Assurance Manager, Toby Hudson. Toby, who has over 15 years experience in the Quality, Health and Safety profession, joined Wolf in March, 2018.
Q: How important is Quality at Wolf?
A: As a world leading manufacturer of ATEX and IECEx certified Portable and Temporary lighting products for safe use in potentially explosive atmospheres, quality is at the very heart of everything we do at Wolf. It's integral to everybody's role - whether it’s Sales and Marketing, ensuring they understand the customers’ requirements; or our Research and Development team, making sure that every last detail of the applicable Ex Product standards has been considered; or Operations, building exactly to specification, each and every time. As Quality Assurance Manager, I have to ensure there is the framework in place for everyone to understand and achieve this.
Q: How would you describe your role?
A: Put simply, my role as Quality Assurance Manager could be described as ensuring that Wolf succeeds at the aims and objectives of the Wolf Quality Policy. I'll explain by giving some examples of a few of the many key areas that I'm involved in:
- Working with all departments to ensure that we have systems and processes to make sure that we successfully design and make Ex products to the same exacting quality every time, so they conform to the products' certification and, most importantly, are safe to use
- Approving and then liaising with suppliers to ensure the components and materials that Wolf purchase are exactly to the requirements we specified
- Auditing and being audited. Wolf has a very robust internal audit programme, with the requirements for BS EN ISO/IEC 80079-34:2020 “Explosive atmospheres. Application of quality systems for Ex product manufacture” being greater than for ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Systems. Requirements. Wolf is also audited by many external bodies, including SGS, Bureau Veritas, Factory Mutual, Lloyds and DNV (for INMETRO in Brazil).
Q: Can you give us a simple example of how your work, and Wolf's committment to Quality, benefits the customer?
A: Yes, a good example would be that every single item we produce is function tested after production. In fact some items, for example our rechargeable hand lamps and torches, are not only checked at the build stage, but also again when they are packed for despatch. Customers can be assured that when they receive their delivery, the torch or lamp will work straight from the box, every time.
Q: What do you like about your role and working at Wolf?
A: I really enjoy working with the Operations team, benefiting from the wealth of experience they have and constantly looking for ways to improve efficiency whilst ensuring strict controls are in place which make sure that our full range of Ex Portable and Temporary Lighting, Power Distribution and Ventilation products are also set up and tested exactly the same way, every single time.
One of the most interesting parts of my role is working with the Research and Development team utilising the latest technologies to produce products that are safe, high performing and robust; and the different and varied concepts of protections (BS EN IEC 60079 Explosive atmospheres. Equipment series standards), such as encapsulation or intrinsic safety, for the different types of Ex products.
Q: On a more personal note, what do you enjoy doing when you're not working?
A: I like road cycling and mountain biking; there’s great rides including some big hills nearby in the Peak District. The only downside is I always seem to be repairing a bike or helping friends with theirs! I also enjoy reading all sorts of books, and recently really enjoyed a couple of old Agatha Christie’s, and there’s a French author called Fred Vargas who writes brilliant but slightly quirky crime novels.
Q: And finally, what's your favourite food?
A: Anything and everything! But I'm really looking forward to some sunshine for a BBQ and homemade burgers!
..every single item we produce is function tested after production. In fact some items, for example our rechargeable hand lamps and torches, are not only checked at the build stage, but also again when they are packed for despatch. Customers can be assured that when they receive their delivery, the torch or lamp will work straight from the box, every time.