QS-9000 Clause Continuous Improvement of Product Special Characterisitics



C/I of product & special characterisitics

Need some help on QS where the standard states " Continuous improvement shall extend to product characterisitics with the highest priority on special characterisitics"....our auditor got hung up on this one and wasn't satified that we've made improvements in our processes, he wanted to see our prioritized list of all product and special characterisitics and evidence were we have improved processes that are stable and capable....Any ideas, techniques, documents that would help us to come into compliance with this element....Thanks, Bob:(

Laura M

If you're doing QS, then do you have products which have all the necessary PPAP requirements? The easiest document to product is the FMEA with recommended actions. Or you can have your initial PPAP capability, and techinically if you make any changes to your process, you resubmit PPAP, right? A little utopian, but rather than producing a separate spread sheet of projects, data, etc, you can use what you already need to produce. If you have a continuous improvement meeting then the special characteristics should be on their for at least a status update periodically. Unfortunately, not all special process or KPC's are going to be engaged in improvement activities, and auditors have a hard time buying that.


I agree with Laura, the best place to start is with the PPAP.
However, the one thing I like about a spreadsheet is that you can list the items of each PPAP i.e., RPN, Cpk, SC's, and check off those that you are considering for CI. You can then indicate( prioritize) whether or not CI action will be undertaken.
Present this to your auditor and you have satisfied the requirement.
It also provides a good method for keeping track of the status of PPAP's.

Al Dyer

I might take a different view on this in that I like to combine activities.

Your auditor asked for a prioritized list, how good is he/she in other areas? Do they like clean floors and bagels in the morning?

The prioritized list is one of continuous improvements that could driven by FMEA RPN's and such. How hard is it to generate an improvement list, work on it, and show improvement?

Isn't QS-9000 based on continuous improvement?

Would a customer want you to prioritize based on characteristics that were not special/critical?

I have fought for years against too many documents but this one seems to me to be crucial. How do you rate improvement without having a starting place to begin improvement efforts?

My company started a project to reduce the time it took for employees punching the clock in the morning and it was successful, it was reduced by 5%. Does your customer give a rats patoootie> no

I took the fallout of a special characteristic fron 5% to 3%, will the customer care????????????????


M Greenaway

If you are performing SPC on special characteristics I would just point the auditor to that.

A list seems again a pointless document for use by an auditor only to make his job easier.
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