Non-Conforming Area Requirements


B. Maynard

My Non-Conforming area for suspect product and next operation process is marked off in Red lines on the floor. I have had several discussions with Upper Management (The Backing of QS-9000) that we need the area un-accessable because of the possibility of suspect parts getting to customer. (I had a caged in area when I got QS-9000 at the last place I worked) They do not want to go to the expense of a caged in area. I need your support. Thanks for this excellent web location.


I think that a "caged-in" area is going a bit overboard.

The Standard does not require that the area be "inaccessible" to others in the facility. VISUAL IDENTIFICATION - The supplier shall provide visual identification of any nonconforming or suspect material or product, and any quarantine areas.

In our facility, we have a "special corner" of the room in our final packaging area that is well-removed from day-to-day operations. The floor is taped-off with a BIG sign hanging over the area: "NONCONFORMING AREA" and any product located therein has a "rejected" or "quarantined" sticker so attached.

This satified the standard. My recommendation is that you find something more productive to do with the money than build a cage around trash.

Good luck!



I see places with lock-ups. Most have other quarantine areas as well. Lock-ups rarely work (again, we look at discipline). :( I remember some years ago I was working with Westinghouse in a military electronics group. They had a locked room - it was the 'MRB' (Material Review Board) room and it was locked. Came in one morning and there were some items missing! No window - only a door. Then we noticed a ceiling tile out of place a bit. Sure enough, someone had climbed into the ceiling on the other side and into the MRB room thru the ceiling.

Most of my clients have minimal segregation. In fact, one chemical client has absolutely no segregation. They rely on 'DO NOT USE' type tags. The bulk made it rediculous to segregate in a specific area. The registrar bought off on it.

Use your head. Don't go to extremes. Locks and doors are not barrier! If your folks aren't disciplined and they want it, they'll get into it no matter what you do unless you segregate at a completely different location across town. Or in the next town. Or across the state...
Non-Conforming Area Requirements
And maybe even then....

Red lines are fine. Make sure you define your system well in your procedure(s).

I apologise for not being able to support you by saying you need a locked cage area. I believe discipline (respect for systems integrity - no really does mean NO...) is more important and works as well if not better.


[This message has been edited by TheOtherMe (edited 21 July 1999).]


I agree. The red lines are fine, just as long as your system defines them. Here at our facility, we use the same method whereas we use BLUE lines instead of RED. Our QS defines what these areas are and what the color blue means. Our registrar did not have a problem with the lines. The caged area is a bit "overkill" for the requirement. I agree with ALM with "the corner" statement. VISUAL IDENTIFICATION - The supplier shall provide visual identification of any
nonconforming or suspect material or product, and any quarantine areas.


Joe W. Guy,
QS9000 Administrator
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