The rail industry differs from other industries through their great tradition, long product lifecycles of 40 years and beyond, small production quantities in a classical project business, but also through a high tolerance against faults and often sorely afflicted customers and passengers.
Unfortunately quality was not a priority in the rail industry. Surprisingly, however, the IRIS standard has seen the light of day ahead of some other industries. CC-Rail’s motivation was not in the sudden quality awareness of the manager in the rail industry. Rather, it was primarily due to the pressure by the rail operators (UITP) as well as the cost savings on the part of railway manufacturers and cost optimisation for their suppliers. Especially the financial commitment of Alstom, AnsaldoBreda, Bombardier and Siemens it is to owe, who enabled the IRIS standard by their market power and ensured its promotion greatly advanced in Europe and Asia in cooperation with rail suppliers like Knorr Bremse, Voith, Faiveley, GHH and Harting.
When we started the IRIS project in April 2004, our strategy was to launch the new standard as quickly as possible on the market, but nevertheless to come up with an innovative certification system. Next to our daily business we achieved our goal in two years only.
On 18 May 2006, the IRIS certification system was presented for the first time to the General Assembly of UNIFE in Geneva. In these two years we went far beyond the IRIS standard, since we established the Rules of Procedure for the IRIS Group, founded the IRIS Management Center, developed the IRIS questionnaire including an audit software, succeeded the certification process and the IRIS assessment guidelines, attracted and authorised 14 certification bodies, provided initial training to their auditors, did some successful audit trials, accomplished the IRIS branding, went life with the IRIS web portal and gave the IRIS system a home under the auspices of UNIFE. It was our huge success as a team of pioneers.