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In-process inspection - Tooling and assembly lines for automotive companies

chinadaddy02

Involved In Discussions
#1
My company builds tooling and assembly lines for automotive companies along with a couple of defense contractors. From an automotive side, to keep costs down we do not require vendors to perform inspections on incoming machined products (as none of the products go on the vehicle). Any issues with incoming product follow the NCP process. We also have a small machine shop that creates manufactured products for the lines as well. While the outside sources do not perform inspection, our internal process does inspection on critical dimensions.

The machining manager has now come up to me and and is asking why is he penalized for performing inspections while the outside vendors don't. He figures that just like the outside vendors, any issues are caught during assembly. Now he wants to change the process and remove inspection from the process. I would say no to this because this is not "best practices", but since he is the process owner he can change it. Since 95% of our business relates to the automotive side, could he change the process and say "inspection to be performed only for aerospace and defense projects" and not be an audit issue?
 
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NickV....

Starting to get Involved
#4
My company builds tooling and assembly lines for automotive companies along with a couple of defense contractors. From an automotive side, to keep costs down we do not require vendors to perform inspections on incoming machined products (as none of the products go on the vehicle). Any issues with incoming product follow the NCP process. We also have a small machine shop that creates manufactured products for the lines as well. While the outside sources do not perform inspection, our internal process does inspection on critical dimensions.

The machining manager has now come up to me and and is asking why is he penalized for performing inspections while the outside vendors don't. He figures that just like the outside vendors, any issues are caught during assembly. Now he wants to change the process and remove inspection from the process. I would say no to this because this is not "best practices", but since he is the process owner he can change it. Since 95% of our business relates to the automotive side, could he change the process and say "inspection to be performed only for aerospace and defense projects" and not be an audit issue?
Someone correct me if I'm wrong but only items applicable to AS9100D (in your case defense) are required to follow those guidelines, so yes you can change any process not related to that standard. It sounds like your machine shop manager actually has a valid point, if they only produce components for the automotive line then no inspection required.....defense jobs yes verification is required.
 

Big Jim

Super Moderator
#5
If you craft your scope statement carefully that is likely possibly. This is a conversation that you should be having with your automotive customers and your certification body.
 

chinadaddy02

Involved In Discussions
#6
The scope does not state the automotive and aerospace/defense industries separately, so it would be the same for all processes unless documented in the procedure (inspection not required for automotive-related products unless required by the customer).
 

toniriazor

Involved In Discussions
#7
What kind of inspection you mean ? If it is by human I always strive to remove such inspections (one person staring at an item - in my practice a wire harness is painful to watch). Why ? because i want quality people to focus on process control and quality, not on inspection. Inspection has no value add and it indicates weak process. Also does not lower down RPN or Action Priority in PFMEA. I'd rather direct people to observe a process and find a kaizen rather than always inspecting. Yet a lot do not understand this where I work.

You also say "an audit" issue. If your performance and KPIs are stable you will not have problems with an auditor. Sometimes inspection is required especially if you don't have acceptable process performance or capability index, but if you've got that, seriously consider removing inspection and focusing on process. Don't worry about auditors as they could be very strange sometimes. Also as long as you follow your control plan, which should be signed and reviwed by your customers (if they require) you should be fine.
 
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