Automotive - IATF 16949 Quality in the automotive industry
The automotive industry with its global activities stands for excellent process quality, continual improvement, and the power of innovation. IATF 16949 is the standard for Automotive Management Systems applicable to suppliers in this industry sector. It was developed by a joint working group, the International Automotive Task Force (IATF), with the objective of improving both quality, capability and the entire certification process throughout the supply chain.
Most of the Automotive OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) require evidence of a quality management system. Whether for SMEs or large corporations, a certificate to IATF 16949 is practically an entry ticket to this globally active industry. Companies certified to IATF 16949 improve the reliability and process-capability throughout the value-chain and help to avoid waste in the supply chain. That is why IATF 16949 is relevant for anybody working in the production or assembly fields of the automotive industry, or who is listed as a potential supplier.
The latest revision did more than simply align the standard with ISO 9001:2015, though; it also added a host of changes specific to automotive manufacturing, including traceability and management of safety-relevant parts.
Some key requirements:
Safety-relevant parts and processes
Products with embedded software
Warranty management including No Trouble Found (NTF) process
Integration of customer-specific requirements in the QMS scope
Since the structure of IATF 16949:2016 is aligned with the High Level Structure of ISO 9001:2015, this facilitates the integration of other important major management systems such as ISO 14001 for environmental management.
As soon as your processes have been identified, recorded and implemented, and the effectiveness of your quality management system has been reviewed in internal audits and the results analyzed in a management review, you are ready for certification. We customize our planning to you, and we coordinate with you based on your individual circumstances, corporate objectives and success factors. Then your organization will undergo the classic DQS certification process: we will assign auditors with excellent knowledge of the standards, as well as many years of experience in the respective business sector.
The certification process begins with a site readiness review (Stage 1) that must be followed by a certification audit (Stage 2) within 90 days. Within another 15 days, the final report and the certificate are issued, if all requirements are met. If nonconformities are determined, the 90 days deadline for management of nonconformities starts, from the last audit day onsite. Corrective actions must be communicated to DQS sooner – within maximum 60 days. Certifications are renewed after three years; however, the recertification process must be performed early enough to address nonconformities before the existing certificate expires. For that reason, we recommend recertifying three months prior to certificate expiration.