Blog - Polaris MEP


Looking to Strengthen Your Quality Management Systems and Customer Satisfaction? Consider AS9100 Certification!

What is AS9100 Certification?

Simply put, AS9100 is the International Quality Management System (QMS) standard for the Aerospace industry. It relates to ISO 9001 but takes it further towards ensuring product safety and reliability. An AS9100 registered QMS shows a business’ commitment to quality and dedication to customer satisfaction. This certification meets QMS standards for the Department of Defense (DOD), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

In September 2016, the revised AS9100 D Aerospace Standard was released. The upgrade deadline to AS9100 D is September 15, 2018. After this date, all AS9100C will expire with no option for renewal. Read more


Think You’re Too Small to Be a Cyber Attack Target? Think Again!

Cybersecurity breaches aren’t just for large businesses. No business is too small to be hacked. Over 70% of reported breaches actually affected businesses with 100 employees or less. You might be surprised to learn that represents over 90% of Rhode Island manufacturers! Your business must have a plan in place to help avoid the catastrophic impact of a cyber attack.

Yes, cyber attacks can happen right here in Rhode Island. In fact, it just did. In January/February 2018, Chinese hackers breached a company that contracts with the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport and stole sensitive data including some related to the development of a supersonic anti-ship missile designed for U.S. submarines. Read more


READE Announces Certification to ISO 9001:2015

East Providence, Rhode Island: Reade International Corp., DBA Reade Advanced Materials, a global distributor of specialty chemical solids, is proud to announce their recent International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001:2015 certification. The 2015 revision is intended to ensure that ISO 9001 continues to adapt to the changing environments in which manufacturers operate. Some of the key updates include limiting risk through an assessment of processes, and improved quality standards and requirements. Leadership and management commitment are also new areas of increased focus in the new ISO standards which will bring added value to the companies’ internal processes. Read more


NEB Becomes ISO 9001:2015 Registered for the Manufacture of Composite Components and Assemblies

Portsmouth, Rhode Island: After close to a year of refining their Quality Management System with help from Rhode Island’s Polaris MEP, New England Boatworks Inc. (NEB) has been ISO 9001:2015 registered by NQA. NEB joins a very limited number of Rhode Island Composites businesses who have attained this registration and, while NEB will continue its strong tradition of boat building and marine service work, we look forward to further diversifying our custom composite construction capabilities into new areas. Read more


Polaris MEP Recruiting Experts to Accelerate Manufacturing Growth

Industry Specialists Sought to Meet Evolving Needs of RI Manufacturers

May 1, 2018 – PROVIDENCE, RI – Polaris MEP, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership for Rhode Island, is recruiting professional business consultants with a goal to help the state’s manufacturing companies thrive and grow. The application period runs from May 1 through June 15. Applications will be vetted by staff at Polaris MEP and approved partners will be offered opportunities to work with manufacturers on projects related to their area of expertise. Read more


Small-Business Cybersecurity is Twice as Nice as Pumpkin Spice

by Pat Toth, NIST MEP Cybersecurity Program Manager

This article originally appeared on the NIST Taking Measure blog.


I think we’ve taken this pumpkin spice thing too far. Don’t get me wrong, I love fall. That first crisp evening when you need to put on a sweater, the crunch of leaves under your feet, homecoming football games, but pumpkin spice? It’s obvious that the pumpkin spice council’s marketing team has done an outstanding job because it’s in everything now: cookies, chocolate candy, ice cream, oatmeal, pancakes, marshmallows, and now even in a special “limited edition” of my favorite breakfast cereal. Read more


First Card Company is now First Card Packaging

New vision, more services and products, same commitment

East Providence, Rhode Island – September 6, 2017 – First Card Company, a family owned and operated packaging manufacturer located in East Providence, Rhode Island, announced today that it will now serve its customers as First Card Packaging. 

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Rhode Island Manufacturing Leader Named to NIST MEP Advisory Board

Hope Global’s Leslie Taito Joins National Team Providing Guidance to Help Small Manufacturers

PROVIDENCE, RI – Leslie Taito, Senior Vice President of Corporate Operations for Hope Global in Cumberland, RI, has been named to the National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Advisory Board ( The NIST MEP Advisory Board is a national board that is legislatively mandated and established under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).

MEP is a public-private partnership with centers in all 50 states and Puerto Rico dedicated to serving small and medium-sized manufacturers. Last year, MEP centers interacted with 25,445 manufacturers leading to $9.3 billion in new and retained sales, $1.4 billion in cost savings, $3.5 billion in new client investments, and the creation and retention of more than 86,602 jobs.

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Panel Discussing Federal Funding to Benefit Rhode Island Manufacturers Convened

Congressional Delegation and Local Manufacturers Discuss the Tangible Benefits to the MEP Program

PROVIDENCE, RI – At a panel discussion hosted by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Representative David Cicilline, representatives from three Rhode Island manufacturers discussed how Polaris MEP, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership for Rhode Island, has impacted small manufacturing in Rhode Island.

The Honorable Sheldon Whitehouse, U.S. Senator, convened the panel on August 7. The Senate’s new budget provides $130 million in funding for the Manufacturing Extension Program (MEP), nationwide. Read more


Polaris MEP and The Phoenix Partnership Bring 21st Century Lean to Rhode Island

New Breakfast Series, Manufacturing Essentials Course and Executive Level Training for Manufacturers Offered

PROVIDENCE, RI – Polaris MEP (Manufacturing Extension Partnership) and the award-winning Phoenix Partnership will be providing local manufacturers with 21st Century Lean training in the coming months. The two organizations share a common purpose that is to help Rhode Island manufacturers become more efficient and profitable through continuous improvement and lean manufacturing methodologies. Read more