Applicability of TS16949 to Non-Manufacturing Organizations

Q: My conpany is certified to ISO 9001:2008 Quality management systems–Requirements. We provide integrated circuit chip design and outsource the manufacturing of the IC chips to our approved subcontractors. Recently, we won a contract to design and supply chips to one of our customers who, in turn, supplies to the automotive industry (the first automotive customer for my company).

One of the key deliverables of this project is to get ourselves certified to TS16949:2009 Quality management systems — Particular requirements for the application of ISO 9001:2008 for automotive production and relevant service part organizations in the next 6 to 9 months.

We would like to know:

1. Is TS16949 applicable to a company, like mine, that does no manufacturing?

2. In general, what does it take to be at least compliant to the TS16949 requirements?

3. Since TS16949 is based on ISO 9001 with addtional requirements, does that mean that once a company is certified to TS16949 it is not necessary to recertify to ISO 9001?

A: Thank you for your questions. 

The answer to your first question is that a company like yours is not eligible to become registered to TS16949 because it is not a manufacturer.  Clause 1.1 General of TS16949 states this very clear:

“This Technical Specification is applicable to sites of the organization where customer-specified parts, for production and/or service, are manufactured.”

Furthermore, clause 3.1.11 from Terms and Definitions defines a “site” as:

“Location at which value-added maufacturing processes occur.”   

Your second question is about how to attain TS16949 compliance.  Simply, you would need to purchase a copy of TS16949 and ensure that your ISO 9001 quality management system meets all of the TS16949 requirements.  The biggest difference between ISO 9001 and TS16949 are the requirements associated with advanced product quality planning (APQP) and production part approval process (PPAP).  

The answer to your third question is yes, registration to TS16949 includes full compliance with all the requirements in ISO 9001.  A separate registration is not necessary. 

If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Denis J. Devos, P.Eng
A Fellow of the American Society for Quality
Devos Associates Inc.
London Ontario
www.DevosAssociates.com

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