Wendelstein 7-X - installation with certified quality management

Certification by TÜV Nord / research device being built in accordance with DIN ISO standard / annual audit

March 09, 2010

The system of quality management governing construction of the Wendelstein 7-X fusion device has now been certified in accordance with the DIN ISO 9001 German industrial standard. The auditors of the TÜV Nord inspectorate thereby confirm that the research device being built at the Greifswald branch of Max Planck Institute of Plasma Physics (IPP) conforms to industrial standards – as one of the first in Germany.

Quality management, i.e. formalised organisation of work processes, is a matter of course in industry, but more of a rarety in a research institute. Notwithstanding, at an early stage strict quality management was decided for the construction of the Wendelstein 7-X fusion device, now in progress at the Greifswald branch of Max Planck Institute of Plasma Physics: “Such a complex device as Wendelstein 7-X precludes production and installation on call,” states Dr. Jost-Heinrich Feist, head of the Quality Management Department at Greifswald. “For the start of construction work we therefore developed an industrially based procedure for quality management and in two years set up a system geared to common standards.” This has been in force since 1999 and then been regularly updated in accordance with current DIN ISO standards.

The system ensures that all work processes during construction of the research device conform to preformulated patterns. From the outset the objective was therefore to define procedures in a manual, starting with the provision, “How to formulate procedural instructions”. The instructions ensure that essential processes proceed in a uniform manner comprehensible to all, from formulation of technical specification to placing of orders, settling and documentation of individual installation steps, and the – particularly important – handling of planning modifications and their proper incorporation in the technical scenario.

The certification now accorded confirmed that this quality-safeguarding regulatory procedure, firstly, meets the standards of the current DIN ISO regulation and, secondly, is in fact practised at IPP and used by all concerned for their own work. After thorough analysis by specialists from TÜV Nord in a three-day audit covering all departments involved in the construction, the excellent test result was documented in a certificate verifying that the quality management for the construction and operation of Wendelstein 7-X is in conformity with the DIN ISO standard 9001:2008. But the meanwhile 13-member team of the Quality Management Department cannot rest on their laurels: till completion of Wendelstein 7-X in 2014 annual audits are to be conducted to ensure the continuance of the present status and its further development.

Isabella Milch

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