8.3.3.3 Special characteristics - Auditor said we are required to create our own, if no customer char. exist.

Nsanch22

Registered
Was issued a minor non-conformance for special characteristics process not fully effective; no identified special characteristics internally (on control plan).
There is no special characteristic specified on design record or technical standard. Auditor said if that's the case, then we are required to identify an important characteristic, tag it, and treat it as special (normal SPC stuff like monitor in production, add and cascade through Flow/CP/PFMEA work instructions, perform data analysis) Nothing too difficult, but I don't think the requirement from below means that we have to create our own, when customer SPC does not exist. Do you agree with the auditor?

Requirement
The organization shall use a multidisciplinary approach to establish, document, and implement its process(es) to identify special
characteristics, including those determined by the customer and the risk analysis performed by the organization, and shall include the following:
a) documentation of special characteristics in the product and/or manufacturing (as required), relevant risk analysis (such as Process FMEA),
control plans, and standard work/operator instructions; special characteristics are identified with specific markings and are documented in the
manufacturing documents which show the creation of, or the controls required, for these special characteristics;
b) development of control and monitoring strategies for special characteristics of products and production processes;
c) customer-specified approvals, when required;
d) compliance with customer-specified definitions and symbols or the organization’s equivalent symbols or notations, as defined in a symbol
conversion table. The symbol conversion table shall be submitted to the customer, if required.
 

Miner

Forum Moderator
Leader
Admin
Requirement
The organization shall use a multidisciplinary approach to establish, document, and implement its process(es) to identify special
characteristics, including those determined by the customer and the risk analysis performed by the organization, ...
While I do have extensive automotive experience, it was from before IATF 16949, ISO/TS 16949. However, I have had to deal with this specific requirement with Ford. At a minimum, you would have to show objective evidence that you had performed the risk analysis shown in bold. Your process should also define the level of risk that would trigger the identification of a characteristic as special.

You did not specify the type(s) of process(es) that you use. While some probably do not have any special characteristics, many would have some special characteristics.
 

malasuerte

Quite Involved in Discussions
Was issued a minor non-conformance for special characteristics process not fully effective; no identified special characteristics internally (on control plan).
There is no special characteristic specified on design record or technical standard. Auditor said if that's the case, then we are required to identify an important characteristic, tag it, and treat it as special (normal SPC stuff like monitor in production, add and cascade through Flow/CP/PFMEA work instructions, perform data analysis) Nothing too difficult, but I don't think the requirement from below means that we have to create our own, when customer SPC does not exist. Do you agree with the auditor?

Requirement
The organization shall use a multidisciplinary approach to establish, document, and implement its process(es) to identify special
characteristics, including those determined by the customer and the risk analysis performed by the organization, and shall include the following:
a) documentation of special characteristics in the product and/or manufacturing (as required), relevant risk analysis (such as Process FMEA),
control plans, and standard work/operator instructions; special characteristics are identified with specific markings and are documented in the
manufacturing documents which show the creation of, or the controls required, for these special characteristics;
b) development of control and monitoring strategies for special characteristics of products and production processes;
c) customer-specified approvals, when required;
d) compliance with customer-specified definitions and symbols or the organization’s equivalent symbols or notations, as defined in a symbol
conversion table. The symbol conversion table shall be submitted to the customer, if required.



Actually, in reality it is the other way around (from your title).

The organization shall use a multidisciplinary approach to establish, document, and implement its process(es) to identify special characteristics, including those determined by the customer and the risks analysis performed by the organization, and shall include the following:

You are always required to determine the special characteristics of your process. Also, your process should include determining from your customer if they have any special characteristics they want to be included.

I went through this a few years ago with a major OEM. Our SC were fully defined, documented, and the rest. When we had an audit with the customer, they indicated that they wanted us to add a certain SC. It was based 100% on the fact that they had previously been subject to reliability failures for that SC. We provided technical expertise to show that we had designed out the concerns and we no longer deemed it to be an SC in the latest version. The customer insisted it be kept. No big deal - it was simply a label and add it to our cpk report. Everyone was happy.

Bottom line - the NC is valid, unless you truly have no SC. But in that case, you would need a waiver from the customer that you could provide as the reason why their are none.
 

Sebastian

Trusted Information Resource
Every supplier has special characteristic, at least one.
See definition of special characteristic in IATF 16949 section 3.1
There might be something affecting:
safety,
compliance with regulations,
function,
performance,
requirements (???).

There is always something affecting:
fit.

If you are really good (possessing know how), there is something affecting:
subsequent processing of product.

P.S.
Auditor had to give rationale, why it was a minor.
But, because you ask here for support, it looks like issue deserving major.
Be thankful for downgrading.
 

AMIT BALLAL

Super Moderator
Every supplier has special characteristic, at least one.
See definition of special characteristic in IATF 16949 section 3.1
There might be something affecting:
safety,
compliance with regulations,
function,
performance,
requirements (???).

There is always something affecting:
fit.

If you are really good (possessing know how), there is something affecting:
subsequent processing of product.

P.S.
Auditor had to give rationale, why it was a minor.
But, because you ask here for support, it looks like issue deserving major.
Be thankful for downgrading.
@Sebastian , I beg to differ. The requirement is not to have at least one special characteristic, regardless of whether required or not. It depends on a risk assessment such as FMEA.
There is a requirement (of IATF16949:2016- clause 8.3.3.3) to have a documented process for this purpose.
 

Funboi

On Holiday
Every supplier has special characteristic, at least one.
I think you will find a lot of people disagree with this sweeping generalization.

Auditors should be referencing requirements. Where does it state the organization shall identify sc’s?
 

Sebastian

Trusted Information Resource
Amit, have you seen risk analysis without failure effect "customer can't fit the part" or other wording sounding similar?
What is a rank/effect level then?
What are consequences?
"Low"?

Special characteristic definition is "PFMEA-digest" based in my opinion.

8.3.2.3 asks not for establishing process without getting effect.
It asks to evaluate risk o failure effects in a manner "forcing supplier" to identify certain product and/or process characteristics as special one.
 

Jim Wynne

Leader
Admin
Actually, in reality it is the other way around (from your title).

The organization shall use a multidisciplinary approach to establish, document, and implement its process(es) to identify special characteristics, including those determined by the customer and the risks analysis performed by the organization, and shall include the following:

You are always required to determine the special characteristics of your process. Also, your process should include determining from your customer if they have any special characteristics they want to be included.

I went through this a few years ago with a major OEM. Our SC were fully defined, documented, and the rest. When we had an audit with the customer, they indicated that they wanted us to add a certain SC. It was based 100% on the fact that they had previously been subject to reliability failures for that SC. We provided technical expertise to show that we had designed out the concerns and we no longer deemed it to be an SC in the latest version. The customer insisted it be kept. No big deal - it was simply a label and add it to our cpk report. Everyone was happy.

Bottom line - the NC is valid, unless you truly have no SC. But in that case, you would need a waiver from the customer that you could provide as the reason why their are none.
I couldn't disagree more. It's incumbent upon the customer to identify and classify special characteristics for their products. Customers are not entitled to add special characteristics after the initial quote and production without formally revising the specifications, in which case the contract is open to new negotiations. These things almost always have a cost component.

As far as the supplier identifying their own SCs, the PFMEA should be the guide, and the PFMEA should inform the control plan as to which characteristics, if any, require special controls. If there are no special characteristics to identify, the idea of creating one just to satisfy someone's misinterpretation of the standard is beyond absurd.
 

AMIT BALLAL

Super Moderator
Amit, have you seen risk analysis without failure effect "customer can't fit the part" or other wording sounding similar?
What is a rank/effect level then?
What are consequences?
"Low"?

Special characteristic definition is "PFMEA-digest" based in my opinion.

8.3.2.3 asks not for establishing process without getting effect.
It asks to evaluate risk o failure effects in a manner "forcing supplier" to identify certain product and/or process characteristics as special one.
Thanks for sharing the criteria being used by you. But such criteria can be different from organisation to organization.
For example, we determine certain characteristics as special, if the severity is 7 or more. Or if the OD/SOD is X or more.
But, if I get involved in 3rd party audits, should I raise a non-conformity just because a certain organization is not following the criteria that I have been using?
Definitely not.

Hence, it is required to have a documented process specifying the criteria used to determine special characteristics.
IMHO, if the organisation hasn't determined any special characteristics, availability of documented process should be verified first, then its compliance.
The requirement is not to have a special characteristic, but to have process for determining special characteristics.
 

Sebastian

Trusted Information Resource
Definitions given in clause 3.1 are part of standard.
One of them, in my opinion, is related to requirements given in clause 8.3.3.3.
In my interpretation it is a guideline for PFMEA team, how to rank some characteristics, based on related failure effects.
 
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