Automotive standard in WROCLAW, Poland
‘In the case of automotive components the quality of each part has a direct impact on driving safety and comfort. Until now, depending on the country, there have been several product quality standards in force. In 2016, the automotive industry decided to unify the requirements, thus the IATF 16949:2016 standard was developed’, says Michał Matuszewski, Quality Director responsible for compliance with the requirements related to this standard at the plant in Wrocław.
‘We have applied for the certificate in 2017, it took 12 months to obtain it, because during certification it is necessary to document a mature quality management system lasting at least one year’, adds Michal.
The standard is granted by the International Automotive Task Force (IATF), an international automotive industry organisation that brings together car manufacturers: BMW Group, Chrysler Group, Daimler AG, Fiat Group Automobile, Ford Motor Company, General Motors Company, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Renault SA, Volkswagen AG and associations of automotive manufacturers: AIAG (USA), ANFIA (Italy), FIEV (France), SMMT (UK) and VDA (Germany). The IATF 16949:2016 standard, introduced in October 2016 replaces the current ISO/TS 16949:2009 technical specification. Just like the ISO/TS 16949:2009 standard, the IATF 16949:2016 is a supplement to the ISO 9001:2015 standard.
‘The new standard treats the entire production process and its organisation in a holistic way. This means that the highest requirements apply not only to the product itself, but to all elements related to it’, explains Michal and adds that “the same standards must be met not only by the plant in Wroclaw, but also by all its sub-suppliers.”.
‘Regular internal audit is also an important element. Quality has always been of the utmost importance to us. The fact that we have obtained the IATF 16949:2016 certificate confirms that we care about the highest standards not only of the product, but also of the entire production organization.’
IATF STANDARD – It’s the quality that matters
‘All the time we keep an eye on all the elements of production in order to recognize possible errors and suggest improvements’, says Michal.
IATF 16949:2016 describes in detail the competence of internal auditors as well as those verifying the suppliers. In addition to setting requirements for auditors, the standard also indicates the need to develop their competence.
‘The idea is to defend the quality at any time and to approach every task responsibly. This means that in order to obtain a certificate, we had to reorganize our daily operations. According to the IATF standard, the plant in Wroclaw must, for example, keep all documentation related to the production process. It must be safely stored for at least 15 years after the production has been completed’, explains Michal.
‘The Risk Management is also a key issue. Our duties include constant analysis of both internal and external threats that may affect the organization and its quality management system’, says Michal. Properly conducted analysis of requirements and potential defects with respect to the entire production process allows to prevent causes of potential errors and reduce costs associated with the production of products not compliant with the standard.
‘Our task is not only to analyse the risk, but also to prepare ourselves in practice for situations that may endanger the production process. We need to develop and practice behaviours in crisis situations, such as fire or other natural disasters, which may disrupt normal functioning’, he says and adds that "such preventive actions mobilise the entire organisation to cooperate and jointly seek the best solutions.".
MICHAL MATUSZEWSKI, Quality Manager
Knauf Industries Poland, WROCLAW factory
The quality strategy for KNAUF Industries Poland requires the IATF certification in both factories, therefore it was also introduced in the MSZCZONOW plant