Stringent quality control is crucial in automotive manufacturing. Defective vehicles can lead to expensive recalls, injuries, and irreparable brand damage.
Automakers implement robust quality management systems (QMS) and “built-in quality” processes to achieve high reliability and consistent performance.
Key elements of quality management in auto manufacturing include:
Rigorous Parts Quality
Suppliers are certified to standards like IATF 16949 to ensure that purchased components and raw materials meet specifications.
Extensive Validation Testing
Vehicles undergo rigorous durability testing and test drives to identify defects before launch. Long-term reliability testing helps prevent future issues.
Statistical Process Control
SPC techniques monitor manufacturing processes to quickly detect deviations from quality benchmarks. Data guides improvements.
Poka-yoke and other mistake-proofing methods make assembly defects difficult by design. Sensors can identify faults in real time.
Culture of Quality
Training programs and leadership instill quality values across the workforce. Employee input drives problem-solving.
With heavy competition and consumer safety at stake, automakers invest significant resources to build quality into manufacturing. A mature QMS provides the blueprint.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is IATF 16949?
A: IATF 16949 is the international automotive QMS standard focused on defect prevention, reduced variation, and continuous improvement.
Q: What are the 8 quality management principles?
A: The principles are customer focus, leadership, engagement of people, process approach, improvement, evidence-based decisions, relationship management, and creating value.
Q: What are the 5 dimensions of automotive quality?
A: The 5 dimensions are appeal, reliability, serviceability, durability, and performance. Quality metrics align with these attributes.
Q: What is PPAP in automotive?
A: PPAP (Production Part Approval Process) is the approval process that suppliers must go through before they can ship production components to automakers.
Q: What is the cost of poor quality in automotive?
A: Costs include defects, warranty claims, recalls, loss of customer loyalty, and brand damage – ranging from millions to billions of dollars.
Quality focus from the C-suite to the production line is essential for automakers to minimize risks and costs while protecting their customers.