4.10.5 and Prototypes


Rodger G.

nonconformance of prototype testing documentation

During an audit my department was issued a minor. While reviewing prototype test results for a past project, the auditor stated that even though he could see that the prototype passed all testing, the documentation did not clearly show this. I disagree, but that’s not the point. He cited 4.10.5. After reviewing 4.10.5, my conclusion is that the wording there is talking about in coming product , not prototypes we built for ourselves. He just plucked a partial sentence out of a paragraph. If you read the whole paragraph, it will tell you that any product ,(again, product not prototype), that fails to pass any test, the procedures for nonconforming product shall apply, 4.13. Element 4.13 is also talking about current product, not prototypes. Does that mean that any prototype that we have our shop build, after it fails the first round of testing, gets tagged and goes into our nonconforming product area? I don't think so. That’s ridiculous and not possible, because our prototypes do not use product numbers because they are a long way from being a product. There are other issues with trying to do that as well. I believe he quoted me an element that is meant for product, not prototypes. Am I wrong here?
Thanks, RG


Fully vaccinated are you?
I agree with you that the auditor was off the mark as I read the 1994 version. Stuff in 4.10 is related to product. Your stuff is addressed in 4.4.

I would also have asked the auditor's definition of 'clearly'.

Rodger G.


Thanks for the reply Marc. This is the third time this project has been audited. It has always passed before, so I don't know why this auditor sees it differently. The problem I’m having with QS is the lack of consistency. Our consultant will say one thing, and the different auditors all have their own opinion. Very subjective, which sucks. This is getting almost spiritual. We have a Product Planning Guide that has evolved into something very compressive and complete. I have always received compliments on it, but now it seems that prototype testing information is supposed to be present in the prototype control plan. No one has ever said that before. Our Quality department handles control plans, and the information contained within them deals with manufacturing and inspection. Yes, if the inspection process includes product testing fine. But the Quality department does not test engineering’s prototypes, and it would be silly for quality to record prototype-manufacturing information in a control plan. Our prototypes are not always subject to production tooling. We manufacture products using steel tube and sheet, and the prototypes are built however engineering feels conformable. After reviewing the control plan forms I can not see how you could even place our prototype information in them. We are not an auto manufacturer or a tier one supplier. Our business is very much different. They could audit our projects from when we first started QS and our APQP was very weak, and write us up so many times it is not even funny. I'm still not sure what I’m going to do about that. Sorry for the rant guys, but I’m just trying to get my arms around this thing. Anyone know of any good consultants that understand why we can not or should not operate like a tier one supplier? Thanks again, Rodger.

Randy Stewart

Glad to Help

I think I can help you out. We go through a lot of "tryout" product which in reality are prototypes of prototypes. We've been able to satisfy auditors and standards requirements with no problems. Let me know if I can help.
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