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IATF 16949:2016 – The New Standard for Automotive Quality Management

Shopping for a standard

There are 3 things we all want from our cars: safety, reliability and quality. IATF 1649:2016 sets the standard that helps to make sure the automotive industry delivers.

The International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) is constantly looking for ways to evaluate and adopt new concepts in the field of quality management. The automotive industry uses international standards to ensure quality, safety and reliability in vehicle parts and assemblies – this is where IATF 16949:2016 comes into play.

Since its initial development in 1999, ISO/TS 16949 has steadily grown into an international standard to accommodate the ongoing growth of the automotive industry. The standard was revised in 2009, and in 2016 the International Automotive Task Force released IATF 16949:2016. The new standard effectively replaces previous versions and certified automotive manufacturers had until the 14th of September 2018 to transition to the latest version. 

Why is IATF 16949:2016 important?

IATF 16949:2016 certification is a mandatory industry requirement. This is to ensure the alignment of global automotive quality systems. It doesn’t operate alone however but instead works in conjunction with ISO 9001 to define the requirements of a Quality Management System for organisations within the automotive industry.

ISO 16949:2009 vs IATF 16949:2016  

When comparing ISO 16949:2009 with IATF 16949:2016, IATF 16949:2016 was written to maintain its relevance in today’s automotive market. Moreover, IATF 16949:2016 builds on this to develop a sound Quality Management System that aids ongoing improvement, defect prevention, and waste reduction. IATF 16949:2016 also relates to the design, development, manufacturing, installation and servicing of automotive-related products.

IATF 16949:2016 is based on Annex SL – the new high-level structure. This helps to maintain consistency, align various management systems, and apply common language across all standards. Annex SL also makes it easier for organisations to incorporate their Quality Management System into their core business processes and encourage members of senior management to get involved.

IATF 16949:2016 has been updated to consider the following: 

Risk-based thinking

IATF 16949:2016 outlines the specific requirements to address risk management. The goal is to identify and alleviate risk to reduce failures in program development. Organisations are also required to have processes in place to ensure a product’s safety throughout its lifecycle. 

Customer specific requirements

IATF 16949:2016 outlines the difference between customer requirements and Customer-specific requirements (CSR) and specifies the procedures for addressing them. This is to avoid misunderstanding. 

Specific requirements for products with embedded software

Technological advances and its ongoing incorporation into vehicles call for strict monitoring to detect and prevent issues; thus, the standard now explicitly addresses the electronics and software systems that are being embedded into vehicles. 

Second level supplier management requirements

Organisations are required to ensure conformance of products, processes and services throughout their supply chain and effectively solve any conformity problems that may arise. 

Incorporation of corporate responsibility requirements

Lastly, organisations must implement corporate responsibility policies and initiatives that address bribery and other ethical issues.

How IATF 16949:2016 is structured 

The IATF 16949 structure is split into 10 sections, of which the first three are introductory, and the last seven containing the requirements for the Quality Management System. 

  • Section 4: Context of the Organisation: The organisation must determine its context in terms of the Quality Management System. This includes interested parties, their needs and their expectations.
  • Section 5: Leadership: This clause requires those in top management positions to demonstrate leadership and commitment to the QMS.
  • Section 6: Planning: The section outlines the requirements for addressing risks and opportunities as well as the requirements for risk analysis. It also specifies the requirements for preventive actions, quality objectives and plans to achieve them.
  • Section 7: Support: This clause contains the requirements for the resources and supporting processes needed for an effective QMS. It defines requirements for people, infrastructure, work environment, the monitoring and measurement of resources, organisational knowledge, competence, awareness, communication, and documented information.
  • Section 8: Operation: The product requirements relate to all aspects of the planning and creation of the product or service. This clause specifies the requirements for planning, design, purchasing, creating a product or service, and controlling the equipment used to monitor and measure the end result.
  • Section 9: Performance evaluation: This section specifies the requirements needed to monitor the QMS to ensure its functionality. It involves assessing customer satisfaction, internal audits, monitoring products and processes, and management review.
  • Section 10: Improvement: The last section defines the requirements for continual improvement of the QMS.

The Benefits of certification

IATF 16949:2016 is applicable to any organisation that manufactures components, assemblies and parts for supply to the automotive industry. The benefits of IATF 16949:2016 cannot be highlighted enough. Some of the benefits include: 

  • Improvement in reputation and credibility
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Fully integrated processes
  • Evidence-based decision making, and
  • Continued improvement

In conclusion, IATF 16949:2016 is a logical choice for any organisation in the automotive industry looking to improve their existing Quality Management System. Take into account that implementing and certifying IATF 16949:2016 can take a lot of effort and financial resources, but the result is a competitive advantage, increased customer satisfaction and an overall higher quality product.

How WWISE can help

WWISE develops systems, repairs, maintains and improves them to ensure optimal competitiveness and efficiency for the client companies. To speak to a consultant on how we can assist your business to prepare for IATF 16949 certification, send us an email admin@wwise.co.za or call us on 08610 99473. You can also visit our website at https://www.wwise.co.za  for more information on other ISO standards we can assist with as well as other services we provide.