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OKAY Industries, Inc. Wins Quality Award

CLEVELAND, OH - April 2, 2008 - OKAY Industries Inc., New Britain, CT, has received the 2008 Parkview Metal Products Excellence in Quality Award as part of the Precision Metalforming Association's (PMA's) Awards of Excellence in Metalforming. The company produces precision metal stampings and subassemblies for medical, surgical, automotive, defense, aerospace and other specialty industrial markets.

OKAY's management team has demonstrated a strong commitment to the quality system, developing the company's Prioritized Action Plan for Continuous Improvement (PAPFCI), which is reviewed and approved by the company's outside board of directors. This document clearly defines specific objectives by part number or process and identifies champions responsible for the action items. Each quarter, senior staff meets with all managers to review the progress made on the PAPFCI. In addition, senior staff meets with department managers weekly to review current issues including customer complaints, efficiencies and delivery performance. OKAY's president holds a monthly communications meeting as well, where key items are reviewed with all employees, including monthly quality and delivery performance analysis.

Most importantly: Senior staff has established a quality culture. OKAY lists its priorities as safety first, quality second and productivity third. These priorities are understood and observed on a daily basis.

OKAY uses an enterprise-management system called Plexus Online to help manage data so that empowered employees can make informed decisions to control the company's products and processes. The system also tracks problem controls, which are broken down into customer complaints, internal audit non-conformances, supplier corrective actions, machine and equipment failure, audit findings, and continual improvements. The corrective action system automatically sends e-mail reminders to those required to perform each action item. Problem solving is a team effort at OKAY, with 30 employees trained in several problem-solving techniques. Numerous items are used to enhance Okay's preventive-action processes, including the creation of a Process Ready Check Sheet, which ensures that each operation is ready to begin production and requires a sign off by the manufacturing and quality departments.

OKAY also works closely with its suppliers. The company performed a multitude of on-site supplier audits in 2007, including a review of processes, documentation and results of year-to-date shipments and corrective actions. Whenever there is an issue with a supplier, OKAY issues a supplier notice (SCAR). In 2006, when OKAY began the program, 144 Supplier Corrective Actions were issued. In 2007 the SCAR count had declined by 51 percent. OKAY also had three of its key suppliers attend extensive root-cause analysis and problem-solving classes, and the drop in supplier-related issues shows how well the supplier partnerships are working.

OKAY also participates in second- and third-party assessments. The company was visited by and/or audited by eight customers in 2007, and received successful audits from all. In addition, OKAY undergoes biannual ISO/TS assessments, and the last four audits have netted only one minor non-conformity. A team of 12 internal auditors perform audits throughout the year, which touch on each process and the requirements of TS 16949 and ISO 9000:2000.

The Quality Award is one of eight Awards of Excellence in Metalforming, presented annually by PMA. Sponsored by Parkview Metal Products, Lake Zurich, IL, the award recognizes outstanding achievement by a PMA manufacturing member in the development and implementation of a company-wide quality system that effectively uses continuous improvement. Along with recognition in industry publications and at exhibitions, OKAY will receive a $1,500 cash prize. OKAY Industries will donate the cash prize to E.C. Goodwin Technical High School in New Britain, CT.

PMA is the full-service trade association representing the $91-billion metal-forming industry of North America—the industry that creates precision metal products using stamping, fabricating and other value-added processes. Its nearly 1,200 member companies include metal stampers, fabricators, spinners, slide formers and roll formers as well as suppliers of equipment, materials and services to the industry. Members are located in 30 countries, with the majority found in North America in 41 states of the United States as well as Canada and Mexico.

EDITOR'S NOTE: More information on PMA's Awards of Excellence in Metal-forming is available at www.pma.org.