QS 9000 / TS 16949 :: Overview Click here to go to the homepage
What is it?
QS 9000 establishes a set of standards for the automotive industry. This standard incorporates ISO 9001 plus the automotive requirements. The QS-9000 3rd Edition will expire 14 Dec 2006 (and ISO 9000:1994 expires 15 Dec 2003). Beyond that date ISO/TS 16949:2002 will replace QS-9000. TS 16949 is more process driven and is expected to help streamline the quality systems further.
Why is it important?
Replaces the redundant quality management systems used within the automotive and truck industries, provides a comprehensive structure for quality systems and a model for quality systems for internal and external assessment. Evaluate how good your current system is, think:
1 Is the system an exercise in paper-intensive activity?
Don't make quality the responsibility of one department or group within a company that is not well-connected to the actual work.
2 Does the level of activity increase significantly before an audit?
If you are working frantically day and night just before a scheduled audit there is something wrong with the system.
3 Are you back-filling forms?
Use forms to help move forward through the business process.
4 Is there abundant data not enough information & knowledge?
Data tells you what, information should tell you where/why of that data and knowledge should tell you how that information can be applied to make a better product.
5 Are your internal auditors quality police?
Use your auditors to help you build robust processes and don't let them become the police.

Think redesign, if the situation warrants it:

1 start by ensuring that you have the metrics tied to your business goals and customer needs - you get what you measure.
2 identify value-added activities and streamline your operations.
3 document what you do and do what you document.
4 use cross-functional teams - quality cannot be achieved by one department.
5 have clear, precise and well-defined procedures and work instructions - simplify.
When to use it?
Currently mandated by the Big Three automotive companies. It is useful if your company's goal is to dedicate itself to continuous improvement, defect prevention, reduction of variation, reduction of waste realize customer satisfaction.
How to use it?
You can document existing processes in the given format. Audit your system and prepare for the registrar audit. You will need to determine whether your current registrar is IATF recognized to audit your facility to ISO/TS 16949:2002. The ISO/TS 16949 Oversight Bureau website contains information on qualified registrars.

Elements of QS-9000
4.1 Management Responsibility
4.2 Quality System
4.3 Contract Review
4.4 Design Control
4.5 Document and Data Control
4.6 Purchasing
4.7 Control of Customer Owned Products
4.8 Product Identification and Traceability
4.9 Process Control
4.10 Inspection and Testing
4.11 Inspection, Msg & Test Equipment
4.12 Inspection and Test Status
4.13 Nonconforming Product
4.14 Corrective and Preventive Action
4.15 Handling, Storage ... & Delivery
4.16 Control of Quality Records
4.17 Internal Quality Audits
4.18 Training
4.19 Servicing
4.20 Statistical Techniques

The ISO/TS 16949:2002, a globally recognized automotive sector requirements document, was released March 2002 and is based on ISO 9001:2000. Among other requirements, this standard requires increased supplier management commitment (7.4) to quality system improvement and performance measurements based on data and full process reviews. The key differences between QS-9000 and ISO/TS 16949 relate to the aspects of customer and employee satisfaction.

The benefits of ISO/TS 16949:2002 include:

  1. improved and consistent registrar oversight and auditor training
  2. process based audits focusing on customer satisfaction
  3. global acceptance of the standard in place of 3 European standards and QS-9000
  4. incorporation of improvements learned through the implementation of QS-9000
  5. improved product realization integrations
  6. supplier development
  7. organizational performance requirements
  8. customer oriented process
  9. manufacturing process design requirements
  10. engineering change control
  11. employee motivation, empowerment & satisfaction
  12. monitor customer perception as to whether requirements have been met, evaluate data continuously & demonstrate compliance with customer requirements & efficiency of process.
Food for Thought !
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