Bulk Process (Electroplating), Control Plan, and Process Change

Crimpshrine13

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#1
In bulk process (electroplating), what is exactly considered as "process change"?

This caught me off guard - I'd been in automotive for over 20 years and have been outsourcing electroplating process, but never realized that bulk process was not handled in the similar way as component manufacturing process.

The issue we have is that in our outsourced electroplating process, one of our processors is not disclosing process control range of each bath on their control plan (which apparently is a norm maybe? and IATF does not require it per Annex A - A.1 NOTE 2 "For some bulk materials, the control plans do not list most of the production information. This information can be found in the corresponding batch formulation/recipe details."), but this conflicts with what our customer's customer (OEM) is requiring. This particular OEM wanted it disclosed and the information be shared internally (perhaps so that they have control over the process), but our processor does not guarantee that this bath condition parameter range be permanent and they may change it from time to time as they are a job shop and need to accommodate all of their customers' requirement. I can see their point, too, but if this is so, how would we know they've changed the process? Even if the recipe for processing our part is unchanged (such as process weight and current density), if the bath condition changes, it can affect the quality. But, in electroplating process, is it not considered as the change in process if the processor shifts the control range? Are they not required to notify their automotive customers that they made changes to the bath condition?

One of our other processors have their control range in their control plan, so I guess each processor does it differently, but still I'm bit skeptical about what's required and not required on control plan of electroplating processes. Can someone provide me a clarification on this?
 
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