Printer Friendly

QS 9000 from the Big Three.

Chrysler, Ford and GM continue their drive for quality improvement by mapping out a new set of standards for their suppliers.

As globalization in assembly and component manufacture expands, the Big Three automakers have steered their drive for quality a step further by issuing a new set of standards for their suppliers.

Quality Standard 9000--previously termed Quality System Standard and Quality System Requirements--was scheduled to be rolled out to the supplier community this month, with effective dates announced later.

The new standard not only has adopted ISO 9001 in its entirety but has added interpretations and supplemental quality system requirements, along with common and customer-specific demands. Until now, the Big Three have relied on their own quality systems:

* Chrysler--Supplier Quality Assurance Manual

* Ford--Q101 Quality System Standard

* GM--North American Operations Targets for Excellence

QS 9000 represents the harmonization of the above systems, and will apply to all their internal and external suppliers of production and service parts and materials. Worldwide, this amounts to more than 19,000 first-tier suppliers.

The new standard's goal is to provide a fundamental quality management system model that will ensure continuous improvement, and emphasize defect prevention and reduce variation and waste in the supply chain.

Though QS 9000 has adopted the 1994 upgrade of ISO 9001 as its foundation, there are some differences. Section I of the automakers' standard has added "interpretations" and "supplements" to ISO 9001. Section 11 specifies new requirements that are common to Chrysler, Ford and GM in:

* production part approval process;

* continuous improvement;

* manufacturing capabilities.

However, certain Big Three "specifics" remain unresolved and can't be harmonized at present. These requirements will be discussed later.

In addition to the Big Three, QS 9000 includes major U.S. truck manufacturers, which actively participated in developing the new standard. These manufacturers include: Freightliner Corp.; Kenworth Trucks; Mack Trucks, Inc.; Navistar International; Peterbilt Trucks; and Volvo GM Heavy Trucks.

As with the automakers, the above companies will include their own requirements in Section III of QS 9000.

Verification Choices

QS 9000 does not demand certification at this point, though verification of conformance will be necessary.

This means Big Three suppliers will need to define, document, implement and maintain a quality management system (QMS) that satisfies all applicable elements of QS 9000. They may choose one of two methods for verification:

Second party--to be undertaken by one of the Big Three (the customer);

Third party--conducted by an authorized registrar who agrees to follow the QS 9000 code of practice and is accredited by a recognized national registrar (such as the RAB in the U.S. or NACCB in the U.K.).

Second-Party Assessment

Suppliers decide as a matter of policy not to pursue ISO 9000 certification. Instead, they conduct a self-assessment using the Quality System Assessment (QSA) manual that accompanies QS 9000.

The self-assessment results and a copy of the supplier's quality manual are delivered to the customer. At this time, any major problems or deficiencies with the QSA manual are made known. Corrective actions should be initiated before resubmission.

After scrutinizing the QSA, the customer decides whether an on-site visit is needed. Assuming QSA results are acceptable, the customer then will check on supplied product performance. An on-site survey will be conducted to resolve any remaining issues.

Such surveys are not equivalent to QS 9000 certification. Therefore, they have no standing outside the supplier/customer relationship.

Third-Party Assessment

Under this method, the supplier seeks ISO 9000 certification and QS 9000 certification. Again, the starting point is establishing and fully documenting a (QMS) that meets all ISO 9001, QS 9000 and customer-specific requirements.

The supplier must select a registrar authorized to provide QS 9000 certification. They should be nationally--and ideally internationally--recognized. Their scope must include the industry sector and/or commodities being assessed.

Authorized registrars also have to abide by a 12-point code of practice, which demands that individual QS 9000 assessors complete a (Big Three) training course.

Unlike ISO 9000, however, the company/consultants that help a supplier develop a QS 9000 assessment program, cannot conduct or provide the assessment and registration. Another third party must do this.

If its service and product performance are acceptable (and no outstanding issues exist), a supplier is unlikely to receive an in-depth, on-site customer survey.

Existing ISO 9000 Certification

Suppliers that already have ISO 9000 certification, must meet three criteria:

* Their QMS must be upgraded to ISO 9001:1994, and all QS 9000 interpretations and supplements must be incorporated.

* Their registrar must be authorized to undertake QS 9000 assessments. This requires the registrar be accredited with the appropriate scope.

* Their QMS must be reassessed to embrace QS 9000. If the existing registrar is unable or unwilling to become QS 9000 authorized, then an alternative must be appointed.

The supplier must advise the customer of any changed circumstances.

ISO 9000 certified suppliers may alternatively seek self-assessment by the second-party route.

Though QS 9000 assessment doesn't require ISO 9000 certification, GM will mandate it soon. In fact, GM already requires ISO 9000 certification from its dealership network in the U.K! Therefore, it's likely that Ford and Chrysler will adopt a similar strategy for suppliers.

Given the rising demand for ISO 9000 certification from all sectors of U.S., European and world markets, it appears advisable to pursue this route when seeking QS 9000 verification.

Customer Requirements

At present, the Big Three intend for registrars only to assess Sections I and II of QS 9000. If investigations lead into Section III issues (customer-specific requirements), then nonconformances could be raised. The system audit and quality manual review, however, will be limited to Sections I and II.

Apart from the customer-specific requirements, QS 9000 is to be equally applicable to production and service parts supplied to all of the Big Three automakers and truck manufacturers.

Therefore, the ISO 9000/QS 9000 scope of registration will have to be general and all-embracing. It will have to cover the whole facility rather than single production lines.

For instance, a company supplying castings to Chrysler should be able to provide similar castings to Ford or GM with a minimal impact on its QMS. The supplier should only have to accommodate company-specific requirements in Section III of QS 9000.

QS 9000 Structure

Section 1: ISO 9000-Based Requirements

ISO 9001 clauses with the addition of interpretations and supplemental quality system requirements that are common to the Big Three.

Section II: Chrysler, Ford and GM Requirements

Requirements on topics that have been harmonized by the Big Three, but not specifically included within the clauses of ISO 9001:

* production part approval process;

* continuous improvement;

* manufacturing capabilities.

Section III: Customer-Specific Requirements

Separate requirements demanded by individual customers:

* Chrysler-specific requirements;

* Ford-specific requirements;

* GM-specific requirements.
COPYRIGHT 1994 American Foundry Society, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1994, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:quality standard; Big Three automakers
Author:Scrimshire, David
Publication:Modern Casting
Date:Oct 1, 1994
Previous Article:Iron foundry benefits from new nodularizing process.
Next Article:Partnering for profit.

Related Articles
ISO 9000 standards: an emerging CPA service area.
QS-9000: facts about compliance.
In the driver's seat.
Bad air: cleaner vehicles are here - so why is the industry turning out gas guzzlers?
ISO 9000: not just a foreign fad.
IRS allows same-year deduction for ISO 9000 costs.
Cooking up a better approach to development & quality. (Information Technology Update).
The auto industry.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |