Shipping nonconforming product - Out of print

O

OZZIE

#1
SHIPPING NON-CONFORMING

In our recent QS audit we were cited for not getting customer approval for shipping product that was out of print. We have been registered for 3.5 years by a company that is known to be on the "tougher" side of the spectrum in their audits.The following had not ever been an issue in any other audits: We had documented that product that is out of print, yet still functional, could be shipped with appropriate internal approvals. As an example, if a heat treated part is found in the sampling to be 1 point too hard, yet all other destructive testing was within the limits, our lab supervisor would note it on the lab sheet and sign off as "ok to ship". He has done this based on the functional knowledge of the product he tests and has documented authority to do so. He also may ask the heat treat supplier to take corrective action to ensure that it doesn't happen. The same goes for dimensional items that may have a slight non-conformance in a non-critical or non-functional area. Our customers (the big 3), would laugh in our face if we called them for their approval with these trivial things. I guess the question is, is there a way to document our way around this and still meet the standard?
 
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Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#2
It is my understanding that it is not a matter of the old form, fit, function. If I state I want a certain hardness, it has to meet that requiremetn. However, if your customer requirement stated something like "...must have a hardness more than or equal to XXX..." and you exceed XXX there is no problem.

QS is quite rigid. There is no 'almost meets spec'. If it does not meet spec you have to 'ask' your customer before you ship it.

Note that even if you had been registered for 5 years and it had not been mentioned before, audits are samples and it may not have been closely looked at before. It may have simply not been seen before. And in some cases auditors interpret the requirement differently. I think this would be a hard one to misinterpret, however.
 
#3
Refer to 4.13.4 of the QS standard.
"The supplier shall obtain . . . "
At no time is it acceptable to ship nonconforming material without notifying the customer,unless, you are the design responsible activity and the noncormance in question is not a customer designated characteristic.

And this still might be stepping outside the boundries of the standard, from an auditors viewpoint.
 
B

billsfan

#4
Ozzie,
Sounds to me like you need a "permanent deviation" or "waiver" if a print change is not going to happen. You need some documentation from your customer stating that they realize the out of spec condition and are willing to accept parts anyway. If you can't get it in writing, a documented phone call with a date and name of individual you spoke with. Hope that helps!
Peace....out........
 
M

Martijn TVM

#5
I'M sorry but a phone call does not sound, like an authorization to me. I would ask for the written confirmation. But if a phone call is enough.

I guess what ever works for you.
 
J

Jim Biz

#6
Often (in our part of the world) all one can hope to get... is a live phone call contact.

We note date of contact, phone number -contact name/ decision on apropriate documents often I have resorted to reverse e-mail the decision discussed and keep a record of the transmission... Not the best (signed authorization) but better than 0 zip...
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#7
Originally posted by Jim Biz:
Often (in our part of the world) all one can hope to get... is a live phone call contact.

We note date of contact, phone number -contact name/ decision on apropriate documents often I have resorted to reverse e-mail the decision discussed and keep a record of the transmission... Not the best (signed authorization) but better than 0 zip...
I add time of day of the conversation. To me the date is not enough.
 
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