ISO/TS-16949 Standard


The ISO/TS-16949 Standard is an ISO Technical Specification that defines the quality system requirements for the design/development, production, installation, and servicing of automotive-related products.  It was written by the International Automotive Task Force (IATF) in conjunction with the International Standardization Organization (ISO). The IATF consists of an international group of vehicle manufacturers and national trade associations.


The ISO/TS-16949:2002 aligns into one global specification all existing standards erstwhile used in the automotive industry: the Americans' QS-9000, the Germans' VDA6.1, the French's EAQF, and the Italians' AVSQ.   It will be used throughout the entire supply chain of the automotive industry, and is now gaining acceptance to be the replacement of QS-9000 when the latter is phased out, since it is based on the already obsoleted ISO-9001:1994.


It would be worthwhile to take a look at the similarities and differences among the QS-9000, the ISO/TS-16949:1999 (the older version of the standard), and the ISO/TS-16949:2002 (the latest version of the TS-16949, released in March, 2002). 


A process for measuring customer satisfaction is one of the notable requirements of both the ISO/TS-16949:1999 and the QS-9000. The newer ISO/TS-16949:2002, however, additionally specifies the following requirements:  1) a continuous process for monitoring customer perception of whether their contractual requirements have been met exactly or not; 2) a continuous evaluation and analysis of technical, manufacturing, and testing data; and 3) demonstration with evidence of compliance with customer requirements and efficiency of processes.


Employee motivation, empowerment, and satisfaction are addressed by the TS-16949, but not by the QS-9000. The TS-16949:1999 required a process that measures employee satisfaction. On top of this, the TS-16949:2000 has the following requirements with regard to employee satisfaction: 1) a process for measuring personnel satisfaction levels in relation to achieving quality objectives and make continual improvements; 2) promotion of quality awareness at all levels; and 3) making people aware of the relevance of their activities to the quality goals of the company. 


As a whole, the process-oriented concept inherent to the ISO-9001 standard is also carried by the ISO/TS-16949:2002, since the latter is indirectly based on the former.  The elements of any process are:  suppliers, inputs, the value-adding activity, outputs, and customers.  The ISO-TS-16949:2002 gives importance to all these process elements, with the ultimate goal of satisfying the customer, who receives the output after all. 


Benefits offered by the ISO/TS-16949:2002 to its users include: improved/consistent registrar oversight and auditor training; process-based audits focusing on customer satisfaction; global acceptance of the standard in place of 3 European standards and QS-9000; incorporation of improvements learned through the implementation of QS-9000; improved product realization integrations; supplier development; development of organizational performance requirements; customer-oriented process; development of manufacturing process design requirements; better engineering change control; employee motivation, empowerment & satisfaction; better understanding of customer perception.     


See Also:  The QS 9000 The ISO 9000The AS-9100 Quality Systems Document Control





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