Quality management and project outsourcing
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TS 16949 latest release was in 2002 making the current revision TS 16949:2002. With that 2002 release its predecessor, QS-9000 expired at the end of 2006. QS-9000 was created by the AIAG (Automotive Industry Action Group) at the direction and request of Chrysler, Ford, General Motors. The AIAG managed the standard until it became part of the ISO (International Organization of Standardization) structure with the release of TS 16949 (TS meaning "Technical Specification"). With TS 16949 being part of the "ISO System" it is now an international standard no longer directly tied to the any specific automaker.
Automotive Companies Quality Management Systems
Challenges to Registration and Beyond
TS 16949 includes all of the requirements of ISO 9001 and adds specific requirements for the automotive industry. Beyond those general requirements, each automotive manufacturer, and large supplier, can add their own specific requirements that must be complied with if you are a supplier to that company.
In addition, TS 16494 has several companion manuals, which are not required for registration, unless required by your customer (and they often are), but they are generally accepted best practice. These manuals are published and maintained by the AIAG and include:
APQP (Advanced Product Quality Planning)
PPAP (Production Part Approval Process)
FMEA (Failure Mode and Effects Analysis)
MSA (Measurement Systems Analysis)
SPC (Statistical Process Control)
Since TS 16949 includes all of ISO 9001 it has the same general challenges regarding companies tending to over-document themselves, lack sufficient Management commitment, and/or fail to adequately integrate the QMS (Quality Management System) procedures into their daily activities. It has these challenges, but in many ways the problems exacerbated. There are more requirements, the requirements are on multiple levels (requirements for registration and requirements for customers), and the requirements are more detailed and prescriptive than in ISO 9001.
Companies must redouble efforts to ensure the Quality Management System developed for registration can be easily managed into the future. If systems are developed hastily or without due care, they can get a company through registration, but can cause a significant reduction in efficiency and increases in overhead (which is if course the exact opposite of the intended result). TS 16949 must be used as a tool to drive efficiency, consistency and improvement. Within ExoLytic's consulting services, much time is spent developing, revising, and streamlining systems to ensure the promises of TS 16949 are achieved.