Special Process NCRs During Audit

Welding, Weld, Processes, Automation


Recently one of our business units had an ISO 9001: 2008 audit and during the audit they received a couple NCRs on welding as a special process.
One of the NCRs was “Some welders are not qualified prior to welding on product.”

As a matter of fact, our company has developed its own qualification program based on the our needs consisting of the following steps:
– The minimum requirement of least 2 years or more experience as a welder before starting the job.
– In class training for weld specifications, blue print reading, equipment, weld supplies, visual acceptance/ rejection criteria and equipment TPM program conducted by our QE.
– Hands on exam – the result of this test is reviewed by a QE and weld supervisor without performing any bend test, pull test or other types of DT.
– Annual recertification program based on a written exam and weld coupons visual inspection results.

The CB auditor is asking us to send the coupons out to a certified lab for bend testing or having all the welders certified by AWS. Is that required per ISO 9001? As a side note, every time we design and develop a new model we conduct all types of crash tests, FEA and durability testing in design validation phase.


From George Hummel:

I would not accept the auditor’s comments.  He/she is consulting.

From Charles Cianfrani:

No. It appears that the CB auditor is adding requirements. The organization has a process, and if it is effectively implemented that should be satisfactory evidence of conformity.

For more on this topic, please visit ASQ’s website.

Applicability of TS 16949 to Non-Manufacturing Organizations

Automotive inspection, TS 16949, IATF 16949

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 TS 16949 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 TS 16949 is based on ISO 9001 with additional 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 TS 16949 because it is not a manufacturer.  Clause 1.1 General of TS 16949 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 manufacturing 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 TS 16949 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

For more on this topic, please visit ASQ’s website.