Managing specification changes on standard parts purchased through trading companies

#1
Hello All!

I work as Quality Engineer for a company here in Denmark, which does assembly work. I was recently hired for this position.

*One of the issues I have found is, that we have no way of handling changes implemented by our suppliers on "standard" parts i.e. parts we do not design ourselves (think taper lock bushings, swagelok fittings and so on)

Most of these parts are purchased through trading companies, so we are not directly in contact with the manufacturers of the parts.

We have had a few warranty cases where we have assembled these parts using obsolete mounting instruction from the suppliers, which in some cases have led to issues.

How do you handle changes to standard parts in your organisation(s)?
 
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Jim Wynne

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#2
I'm not sure what you mean by "trading companies," but I'm guessing that you're referring to distributors of hardware. In your configuration management system everything should be controlled by (a) manufacturer revision levels (regardless of the seller) and if necessary, your own company's revision level. If your current purchasing sources don't offer this level of control, therein lies the problem. Your purchase orders should specify the revision level you need.
 

pziemlewicz

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#3
This will vary a bit by industry, so my reply will be high-level.
1) Your Supplier Manual should require that vendors ask/tell you when changes are made.
2) If Automotive, you'd require a PPAP. In Aerospace/Defense or Medical Device, you'd require an FAI. In each case it's a line in the sand of how it was made, and they need to re-submit if defined parameters change.
3) A receiving inspection process can identify if the parts have changed from original or previous shipments (if you're not in a regulated industry, this may mean eliminating dock-to-stock).

In my experience, some vendors are able to deal with the requirement and others aren't. I've seen hardware or electronics distributors/agents/warehouses that are set up for regulated industries who handle it really well, and others who carry stock of inexpensive product with no regard for source or inventory control.
 
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