7.3 or not to 7.3, that is the question



I work for a Heat Treating company. The only thing that we do is heat treat our customers parts. We do not manufacure a "product".

I have been told that we can opt out of 7.3.

Is this true? I have my doubts.

Dazed and Confused.....


Jimmy Olson

Based on what you said you can easily exclude 7.3. Just put a short statement in your manual saying that you don't do any design and that you are excluding that portion of the standard.

There are several people here (including me) that have 7.3 excluded. There have also been several discussions along the same line that have some good information.

Here are a few:



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Here's my take on it. If your customers specify the hardness, case depth, etc. in every case I would say you can opt out. If there are some cases where the customer says "here's what I want to do with this part" and you specify how you meet the requirement, then you are designing part of the product. If you assist them in coming up with appropriate heat treating, and they put it on their drawing, specification, or PO, then they are still responsible for the design.

Of course if you want to do it anyway (to improve your business, not just meet the requirement), you can always include 7.3 because a note in the standard says that it may also be applied to the development of product realization processes.


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If I were in your shoes, I would worry more about how you validate (and document that validation) the heat treating process than design. I used to be in a plant that did heat treating. We excluded design using the justification that the customers told us what ASTM spec we had to meet.

I also agree that you could use the design requirements in your process design...but hopefully any process changes you make go through a planning and commisioning process.



I was confusedfor a while....

The path that I was going down was to look at 7.3 as addressing both design of product and process. If you designed a product 7.3, if you designed a process, 7.3....

Thanks for the clarification!



One More.....

Just one more clarification needed:

In the book :Exploring ISO/TS 16949:2002" it states that:

"ISO/TS 16949:2002 allows scope exclusion of product design, but requires all of Clause 7.3 be applied to the manufacturing process. This brings a much stronger focus upon the manufacturing process than was present in QS-9000"

Is this not applicable to use because we have a heat treating process and not a manufacturing process?




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Since you posted this in the ISO 9001 forum I assumed that that was the standard you had to live with. The answer is completely different if you look at it from a TS 16949 standpoint. The only allowed exclusion in TS is in 7.3 as it applies to product design. You must apply all of 7.3 to design of processes.
The only permitted exclusions for this Technical Specification relate to 7.3 where the organization is not responsible for product design and development.
Permitted exclusions do not include manufacturing process design.


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I think I misread your last post. Here's what I should have answered with. From TS 16949 terms & definitions:
process of making or fabricating
- production materials,
- production or service parts,
- assemblies, or
- heat treating, welding, painting, plating or other finishing services

Shaun Daly

>The path that I was going down was to look at 7.3 as addressing both >design of product and process. If you designed a product 7.3, if you >designed a process, 7.3....

I agree with Howste regarding the above.

For TS16949:2002 you must apply 7.3 to the design of your manufacturing processes.

ISO 9000 7.1 does reference planning of product realisation & quality plans, which cover similiar ground, but, IMHO, ISO 9000 does not require you to apply 7.3 to the design of your manufacturing processes - thank goodness.


Yes. If you are in ISO9000 situation, you could exclude 7.3, cause the company only serve heat treatment process,not design for product. and you should establish your product realization process planning.
But if in TS situation, the only permitted exclusion was Part of 7.3( product design only).
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