QS-9000 Clause 4.2.3.2 - Special Characteristics on process flow diagrams

D
#1
Special characteristics

We were recently cited during an internal audit for not showing "special characteristics" on our process flow diagrams. ISO/QS 9000, section 4.2.3.2, states that they must be shown on "process control guidelines and similar documents" and gives FMEA,s, Control Plans and Operator Instructions as examples. Process Flow Diagrams are not mentioned. We are going to challenge the auditor on this one, anyone have any input?

Thanks,
 
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A

Al Dyer

#2
Dave:

Was it a true internal audit you performed,or an audit from a registrar?

If from a registrar was it a major or a minor?

I ask because issues like these should have been cleared up at a desk (document) audit or a pre-assessment.

Is the process flow chart a process control guideline? I would think so if you define it as such.

Do I believe that special characteristics should be on the process flow? Yes, even if it not used to control the process.

Do you define in your procedures or work instructions that the process flow is used to control the process?

If yes, you have a situation.

If no, I see no place in the QS9000 manual or the AIAG PPAP manual that says you are required to use the process flow chart to control the process (intent is another issue). If you havn't already done so I would ask the auditor where it is defined that the flow charts have to be used to control the process.

If you have to take the hit, I don't see it a major issue, just a document replacement hassle.

As an auditor I would be more worried about control plans and operator inspection instruction displaying the special characteristic.

ASD...
 

Howard Atkins

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Admin
#3
According to the APQP handbook 3.3 Flow chart is an aid, as far as I can see there is no explanation as how it must be completed and Appendix A-6 does not mention special characteristics. I agree that they should be there as the flow chart is an aid to build the control plan and them being mentioned insures that you will relate to them. This could be a hit under mistake proofing but as for special characteristics IMHO no.
 
#4
You do not state what the purpose of your flow chart is in the process.
If it is an operator instruction, then yes you have to show special characteristics.
 
T

T.P.NAMASIVAYAM

#5
I feel the "Special Characteristics" has to be mentioned in the Process flow diagrams.
The reason for doing so is :
When the Process is subjected to change for any process improvements or value analysis, the identification of special characteristics on the process flow diagram will alert the engineer, that particular process is producing a special characteristics and care has to be taken in modifying the process.
Originally posted by Dave:
We were recently cited during an internal audit for not showing "special characteristics" on our process flow diagrams. ISO/QS 9000, section 4.2.3.2, states that they must be shown on "process control guidelines and similar documents" and gives FMEA,s, Control Plans and Operator Instructions as examples. Process Flow Diagrams are not mentioned. We are going to challenge the auditor on this one, anyone have any input?

Thanks,
 
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