Ulterra Completes the American Petroleum Institute (API) Recertification Audit of their Quality Management System (QMS)


On February 16, 2018, Ulterra completed the American Petroleum Institute (API) Recertification Audit of their Quality Management System (QMS) in Fort Worth, TX. Ulterra’s first API Certification was issued in 2012 and is set to expire in March 2018. Their 2018 audit of their QMS resulted in two minor findings and one opportunity for improvement. This audit was the most successful API audit that Ulterra has completed to date.

Customers can be reassured when working with quality-certified vendors, which is why Ulterra holds both certifications for quality management and quality products. Ulterra’s standards are in compliance with The International Organization of Standardization (ISO) and The American Petroleum Institute (API). Ulterra holds three quality certifications: ISO 9001:2015, API Q1 9th Edition, and API 7-1.

  1. Ulterra’s API Certification guarantees that they are meeting the standards specified in ISO 9001:2015. ISO 9001 is a universal Quality Management System (QMS) standard for all industries to ensure that products and services are consistently meeting customer’s requirements and steadily working to improve their quality. The ISO 9001:2015 has replaced the ISO 9001:2008. This upgraded version has placed a major emphasis on risk-based thinking. It has also placed an importance on guaranteeing companies’ objectives align with the context of their organization. The new QMS also highlights a leadership commitment, making sure top managers and business leaders are involved in planning and implementation of the QMS in their organization.
  2. Ulterra’s QMS also conforms to the requirements detailed in the API Q1 9th Edition API is the governing body specific to the Oil and Gas industry that dictates the requirements needed to be an API registered organization.
  3. Ulterra’s manufactured products conform to the technical requirements specified in API 7-1 for both Matrix and Steel body PDC bits. This certification also allows Ulterra to stamp their product with the API monogram.

Shortly following the audit, Ulterra was recertified to API Q1 and API Spec 7-1. Additionally, Ulterra’s certifications for ISO 9001 are now upgraded to the enhanced 2015 version. These certificates became effective on March 15, 2018.

Ulterra’s Quality Engineering Manager, James Stevens, said: “Maintaining our QMS to these API/ISO standards enables Ulterra to utilize consistent, repeatable processes in order to deliver the best quality product to our customers.”

Ulterra PDC Bits are the most reliable PDC Bits in the industry because they are the only ones designed, manufactured, and repaired at one API registered facility. All Ulterra PDC Bits go through a thorough inspection process, including at least five separate quality inspections between runs. Every single cutter is inspected, photographed, and dispositioned on every repair.

The combination of these certifications differentiates Ulterra from their competitors and guarantees dependable quality for manufactured and repaired PDC bits. The implementation of an ISO 9001 QMS has provided Ulterra with internal benefits that have led them to better operations, improved performance, and increased profitability. The implementation of API Spec Q1 has provided Ulterra with the minimum requirements to effectively manage processes, prevent defects, and minimize any variations and waste in manufacturing. Ulterra’s QMS and product certifications help communicate to their customers their continued commitment to quality. Furthermore, some international customers require these API/ISO Certifications as a prerequisite in order to enter into a business relationship.

James Stevens, Quality Engineering Manager, was particularly impressed with the entire team at Ulterra and their ability to utilize consistent, repeatable processes in order to deliver the best quality product to their customers. Stevens said: “I am thankful for and continually impressed with the talent, experience, and hard work put forth by the entire Ulterra team.” Said James, “This is a huge accomplishment for the entire Ulterra team.”