3rd Tier Supplier - ow can we approve this company as being a qualified supplier

L

lrorie

#1
Need help/suggestions how to resolve this catch 22 dilemma.

We are a small Mom and Pop QS9000 certified 2nd tier supplier to the Big 3. We are QS9000 novices. We purchase by-products (waste) from a 3rd tier supplier who is ISO 9002 certified. However, their by-products process is not ISO certified and the company has no intention of certifying their by-product process due to no ROI. Yet, the by-product is a critical production part to our process and we are unable to obtain this by-product from another manufacturer. (At least that is what I have been told. Also, the industry standard on by-products is buyer beware.)

The question I need help with is how can we approve this company as being a qualified supplier, especiallly when there are quality business performance issues and the process has no qaulity system certification? I am not looking at the by-product itself, since that is buyer beware and we do incoming inspection.

I also have an issue with the certifying registrar of this 3rd tier supplier. In a system/process, if the by-product is being sold for input into another usable product, then how can one not include this process into the certification of the non-by-product that this by-product comes from?
 
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Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#2
You might get some thoughts from:

http://Elsmar.com/Forums/showthread.php?t=3473

I'm not sure what to say because I've never run into this type of situation. The way I would have addressed it would have been by defined specific receiving requirements. But.... With the flow down requirements.....

You're 2nd Tier supplying a customer which is 1st tier which sells to one of the big 3, right?
 
J

Jim Biz

#3
Hmmmm?

Bear with me - thinking out loud here..

Assuming that you are performing some type of re-cycle or transforming - processing to the by-product (waste) materials ??

Would I be correct in thinking the by-product materials input although critical to - have no/ or very reduced effect on the expected output?

All that aside - would/could your process be considered along the lines of the (now oudated) "Special processing" - with need for qualification of the operators & inspection methods as means of process validation?

Regards
Jim
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#4
It would help to know what the by-product is you are purchasing and what you process it into.
 
L

lrorie

#5
Yes, we are a 2nd tier supplier for a customer which is 1st tier. Some of our customers sell to the Big 3. We essentially mill waste products for use mainly as a filler in the finished product for increase strength, durability, fire retardant, etc.

Yes, it is true then, that the by-product material input, although critical to - have no/or very reduced effect on the expected output.

I am new to the quality field, so am not familiar with the now outdated "Special Processing", but it sounds interesting. Any references/information available that expands on this line of thinking?

3rd tier suppliers are relatively few and no customers want to pay for waste products, per se. The real issue is that no suppliers take waste products/ processes seriously from a quality perspective. Therefore, QS9000, and worse TS16949, is potentially a hardship for businesses like us. (Unfortunately, one of our main customers required that we become QS9000 certified.)

The other issue that no one has commented on is how a company that is ISO certified for their non-waste products, exclude their waste products from their quality system?
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#6
Try a search here in the forums (you might also want to search the 16949 site - it's separate from the forums search engine, unfortunately) using the words SPECIAL and PROCESSES. You'll find a number of threads in which they are discussed. It mainly involves processes where the process output cannot be verified except through destructive testing. An air bag module would be an automotive example. You can't test whether it will work unless you explode it - which, of course, destroys it.

> The other issue that no one has commented on is how a
> company that is ISO certified for their non-waste
> products, exclude their waste products from their quality
> system?

For most companies, requirements relating to process waste is limited to issues of recycling and toxicity. EPA issues and such. Recycling metal turnings in a machining environment, for example. I would bet this is covered in their system, but not in an expected way. On the other hand, since they are selling the offage it technically IS a PRODUCT and should be included in their registration scope. You might ask them why it isn't included in their registration scope since they're selling it to you.

> The real issue is that no suppliers take waste products/
> processes seriously from a quality perspective.

Well, some do. Waste oil recyclers do. But I guess that's mostly a business where a company pays the recycler to take the stuff, rather than purchasing it. I do know machine shops often sell their scrap tailings, etc. We don;'t immediately think of it as a 'quality' issue, but if you sell scrap metal the price will be dependent upon the type of metal so the purchaser will have an interest in the 'quality' of what they're buying. They will want the type of metal they're paying for, for 1 thing. They may have a contamination requirement.

We don't think of process waste in terms of traditional quality in part because not so many years ago it wasn't addressed at all - which is why we have so many towns (Love Canal is an example), rivers, lakes, etc. that are so polluted. I won't go into how I feel about air polution - a large part of which is a process waste result (granted automobiles and other motorized devices - lawn mowers is another example - contribute greatly). The evolution from simple 'junk yards' and the yearly Boy Scout Paper drive (my troop collected and sold old newspapers in the early 1960's) to the present day level of recycling of process waste is changing that. But slowly. It is an evolution, not a revolution.

> Therefore, QS9000, and worse TS16949, is potentially a
> hardship for businesses like us. (Unfortunately, one of
> our main customers required that we become QS9000
> certified.)

Unhapplily, all I can say is - yes - you are right.

> Yes, it is true then, that the by-product material input,
> although critical to - have no/or very reduced effect on
> the expected output.

Well, this gets to be touchy. But - let's say you purchased old motor oil. You would essentially be filtering and re-distilling it so any contaminants would be left behind. In this case, the 'purity' of the old oil (your process input) may not be an issue. If there's a lot of metal, the filters will remove them and any missed metal shavings will not come over in the distill process anyway. I'm not close enough to that industry to know about other possible contaminants - I'm just trying to give some general ideas. I may be over simplifying in this example. But I can see the concept of widely variable input having a relatively small effect on the quality of the process output (we won't address the issue of process yeild here).

I'll leave further help with the 'flow down' issues to the others to help you with - I think they're following the issue closer than I have been.
 
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