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ISO TS 16949

Standards for automotive suppliers are changing. ISO/TS 16949:2002, commonly referred to as TS2 (technical specification), was introduced March 2002, as a globally accepted automotive sector technical specification. TS2 is the culmination of a phased-in approach to developing a single standard for the entire automotive supply chain. It has become a mandatory set of requirements for many automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in both North America and Europe. The standards are accepted in place of the QS-9000, VDA (German standard), AVSQ (Italian standard), EAQF (French standard) and ISO 9001/2 (Japanese standard).

An OEM Mandate

The automotive OEM’s objective for the third party registration process is to reduce waste throughout the supplychain. This will result from continual improvement of processes, products and levels of customer satisfaction. Some OEMs are mandating that their suppliers become registered to TS2, driving continual improvement (see Table 1 for supplier compliance deadlines). The TS2 standard addresses operational efficiency, while offering these additional benefits:

Elimination of redundancy in audit and surveillance processes, and reduction of documentation requirements; A more effective, flexible customer-oriented process model; and A framework for managing and improving the entire business.

TS2 should be viewed as a completely new standard, not as an update to QS-9000. When comparing QS-9000 to ISO/TS 16949:2002, one needs to consider the quality management systems upon which they are based. QS-9000 is based on the element model of ISO 9000:1994. TS2 is based on the process approach model of ISO 9001:2000.

The process model differs significantly from the element, or 1 to 20 checklist approach, employed in QS-9000. TS2 recognizes that organizations conduct business with different methods. It follows that their respective quality management systems should not be structured in the same way. TS2 requires companies to develop quality management systems that align with the way they do business. Companies are asked to define themselves using the series of processes they employ in operations. Once identified, the sequences of processes and their interactions are documented. This model offers much more latitude in how systems can be described, with more emphasis on an organization's unique characteristics. The audit process no longer has to fit inside the confines of the QS-9000 1 to 20 checklist.

The bulk of the requirements in TS2 are centered on product realization processes used by organizations to  take customer input and transform it into product that meets customer expectations. Product realization is referred to as the "line of sight" through the organization from customer requirements to customer satisfaction.

The process audit approach also encompasses all processes implemented within an organization's quality management system - including management responsibility, resource management, measurement, analysis and improvement.

No single, acceptable method defines and documents an organization's quality management system, its processes and interactions. The only requirement is that the processes be defined accurately. Simple process maps or flow diagrams can be employed to give a "40,000 foot view." Processes can also be captured in great detail using text only (a daunting task if processes are complex and numerous). Acceptable methods are as varied as the diverse organizations that employ them.

Organizational structure also impacts how companies are audited to TS2. The entire organization must be included when developing the quality management system, including all support facilities (design centers, sales offices), even if they are geographically separate from the manufacturing site being registered. Organizations must ensure they identify all processes, their linkages and how they interact. These actions can aid in a smooth transition to TS2 registration:

1. Does the Company Qualify?

The first step for any organization facing ISO/TS 16949:2002 is to determine if the company meets the applicability requirements. The IATF made it clear that applicability rules will be strictly enforced. TS2 is applicable to organizations making or adding manufacturing value to vehicle parts.

Organizations must also consider what can be excluded from their registration scope. The only exclusion permitted for companies seeking registration to TS2 is the product design aspect of clause 7.3, design and development, if they are not “design responsible.” Organizations with the authority to establish a new, or change an existing, product are considered design responsible.

2. Learn What Customers are Mandating

Many customers have specific requirements beyond TS2 that must be incorporated in the quality management system’s implementation. These are typically found in the customer’s quality requirements documents, purchase order, production contracts, drawings, engineering specifications or any other document provided by the customer to convey their supplier expectations.

MOCG is uniquely positioned to interpret the global situation today and guide on the emerging requirements and regulations. Providing services that help companies understand what they need to do to meet the ISO TS16949/TS2 requirements, including upgrading from other management standards.

Purchase the ISO 16949 Standard (ISO/TS 16949:2002: Quality Systems - Automotive Suppliers - Particular Requirements for the Application of ISO 9001:2000)