According to a 2018 Gallup poll, 83% of Americans drive at least several times a week. Based on the upward trend of registered vehicles, with 276 million in 2019, this number is going to continue to increase.
Because automotive vehicles are so enmeshed in our daily lives, they need to be made with the highest quality safety standards. This begins with establishing standards for automotive manufactures to assist in the delivery of high-quality, expertly tested automotive parts and materials.
Since its inception, the automotive industry has adjusted to changes to the economy and customer demand. But over the past decade, several trends are significantly reshaping the industry. The primary changes include:
- More stringent environmental standards, especially directed towards decreasing CO2 emissions
- Increased automation in manufacturing
- Implementation of computers into vehicles
- Rise in new technologies, including autonomous vehicles
- Continuing growth in demand for vehicles
The best indicators that an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) automotive supplier practices standardized manufacturing procedures are quality management certifications. In this article, we identify the quality management certifications all OEMs should have and the partnerships that can help them receive those certifications.
Certification Support Organizations
To undergo the certification process, OEM automotive suppliers need to work with organizations that provide the certifications established by a standard-setting body. These organizations act as fully objective middlemen between the supplier and certification organization.
Before we jump into the top-quality management certifications, here are three of the top organizations that provide support and certification to automotive part manufacturers.
National Quality Assurance Limited
National Quality Assurance (NQA) Limited is a leading independent provider of accredited certifications that establish environmental, energy, sustainability and health standards. NQA also helps to implement consultants into businesses to assist with training to establish these standards. In the automotive sector, NQA is one of the leading automotive certification bodies for a number of certifications from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG)
The AIAG is a not-for-profit organization that works with companies in mobility industries, including manufacturers of automotive parts, to assist in navigating complex supply chains and driving down costs. As it relates to quality management certifications, the AIAG offers certification courses that help companies and their staff prepare for audits to earn certification or recertification.
International Automotive Task Force (IATF)
The IATF is a group of automotive manufacturers that aims to improve automotive products and procedures to satisfy automotive customers. An international group, the IATF develops consensus around quality standards requirements for participating companies’ OEM automotive suppliers. The group also provides support and training for ISO/TS 16949, which we will discuss in the following section.
Quality Management Certifications
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a non-governmental organization that provides 23,876 international standards covering nearly every aspect of technology and manufacturing. These standards support innovation, provide global solutions and ultimately assist in customer satisfaction.
It’s important to note that these certifications are not required, which means those companies with certifications have gone the extra mile to meet the stringent standards and receive certification.
When choosing an OEM automotive supplier, there are four certifications the supplier should have to prove their commitment to the internationally established standards.
This certification, also known as IATF 16949, was established in conjunction with the ISO and sets a standard for safe and reliable automotive products. Now in its third edition, this certification includes a common set of techniques and methods that automotive manufacturers use for product and process development.
ISO 9001 establishes criteria for a quality management system. When certified, an organization has demonstrated improvement in quality of customer service and stakeholder relationships, operating costs, legal compliance, risk management, business credentials and attracting new business.
ISO 14001 establishes an international standard for environment management systems, which monitor an organization's practices to improve environmental impact. Receiving the ISO 14001 certification signals a manufacturer's commitment to making positive changes toward environmental sustainability.
ISO 45001 certification is for companies that seek to improve employee safety, reducing workplace risk and creating safer working conditions. This health and safety certification is recommended to management in any industry, but particularly in the automotive industry where technicians are in constant contact with machinery that can lead to potential injury.
Choose a Company That Goes the Extra Mile
VPIC Group is a world-class producer of high-quality components and products for the automotive industry. To back up our high-end capabilities and state-of-the-art facilities, we have gone the extra mile to receive several ISO quality management certifications specific to the automotive industry and energy management systems.
Additionally, we implement an advanced product quality planning (APQP) to meet our customers’ requirements. APQP is a structured process that incorporates critical tasks from concept through production. The plan follows a five-phase process:
- Product definition and planning
- Product design and development
- Process design and development
- Product and process validation
- Process assessment and improvement, and product launch
If you’re ready to work with an OEM supplier that takes quality products, safe workplaces and environmental impact seriously, contact a representative of VPIC Group today.