Illumination

Insights and trends on augmented reality and advanced manufacturing technology
15February2018

Automotive Supplier Audits Face Increased Quality Standards

Beginning in September 2018, many automotive suppliers will need to adopt new specifications and standards in order to maintain current business, and be awarded new business.

Already facing a challenging and changing economic climate, OEMs, as well as Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers, must now deal with a transition from ISO/TS-16949/QS9001 to IATF 16949:2016 – a more stringent quality management system.

In this article, we’ll overview the biggest changes to the requirements, detail how it impacts manufacturing organizations and offer solutions that can help put organizations in a stronger position to succeed.

The Biggest Changes from IATF 16949:2016

The new IATF 16949:2016 registration is designed to provide the following benefits:

  • Improved product and process quality.
  • Increased confidence for global sourcing.
  • Reassignment of supplier resources to quality improvement.
  • Reduction in multiple third-party registrations.
  • Common quality system approaches in the supply chain for supplier/subcontractor development and consistency.

Significant changes from the previous automotive audit guidelines include:

  • Maintenance of the mandate on documented procedures requirement.
  • Requirement that a quality manual be on site.
  • Mandatory representation of management requiring senior leadership to earmark a management representative to foster collaboration and participation in the quality system. This significantly changes the exchange of information, and the inherent silos around it, by mandating the elimination of the “delegate-and-forget-about-it” approach.

These changes impact all automotive suppliers from a quality standards and process standpoint. If organizations aren’t compliant by this time next year, it could land them on the Top Focus Supplier List—one of the worst things that can befall an automotive supplier. Companies on this list are subject to greater scrutiny, and spend a significant amount of time in guidance meetings established to address non-conformance.

A great way to avoid this designation is investing in new and emerging technology that streamlines and standardizes assembly and inspection processes to leapfrog productivity and maintain quality standards.

Here’s how augmented reality manufacturing tools, like Light Guide Systems, can help drastically ease the amount of process change required to comply with these new audit guidelines.

How AR Helps with Management Representation 

There aren’t many automotive manufacturing managers who haven’t heard the phrase, “Show me some innovation!” from their senior administration. There’s also not an automotive company out there who doesn’t tell their vendor that they need to be more diligent with their quality requirements.

Light Guide Systems’ patented augmented reality technology blends automation and manual operation, acting as an innovation element designed to satisfy customers interested in the newest, most advanced technology from their suppliers.

How AR Helps with Quality and Process Documentation

IATF 16949:2016 requires each process to be documented and maintained. Instead of collecting dust in a binder on a shelf, Light Guide Systems virtualizes that documentation, and projects it directly onto an operator’s field of vision. This ensures work instructions and procedures are correctly and consistently followed.

Through a simple software update, operators can easily make changes to work instructions to reflect changes that may come as a result of new models and processes. Think of the logistical challenges in updating every binder and ensuring all employees are trained on these changes!

Additionally, the new audit guidelines require an on-site quality manual at all times. Sure, this can also be put in a binder and displayed somewhere (next to the process documents on the shelf, perhaps), but wouldn’t it be better if you could simply upload it into a tool like Light Guide Systems for automatic projection onto an operator’s workspace, where it holds more practical value?

Unlike traditional paper-based work instructions, augmented reality is dynamic, interactive and adaptive, ensuring that operators complete tasks efficiently and without errors. The best AR solutions combine industrial strength projection technology with sophisticated software, overlaying a digital operating canvas directly onto the work surface, giving users an intuitive and interactive visual guide.

How AR Helps with Training

Great training leads to a safer and more productive working environment—all factors that help meet the new automotive supplier audit guidelines.

By providing a more efficient and effective way to train both experienced and aspiring professionals to master even the most complex of tasks, augmented reality is transforming the automotive training landscape.

Flexible, scalable and customizable enterprise augmented reality tools are designed with integrated audio and visual cues that provide real-time guidance, pacing and direction.

Such systems can record hand position and sequencing, ensure trainees use the correct tools and the right number of parts, and even facilitate independent training and certification by giving users the option to complete tasks with computer guidance.

A no-faults-forward functionality makes these tools an ideal fit for training applications and teaching users to use the right parts in the right sequence, all while gathering real-time analytics and detailed data that allows supervisors to review process and progress in more detail.

Light Guide Systems’ innovative AR technology allows automotive suppliers to seamlessly transition to new IATF 16949:2016 requirements and standards. If you would like to learn more, send us a message and we’ll gladly put you in touch with a representative who can answer your questions.

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Michael Koper

Michael Koper

Mike Koper is the Senior Director of AR sales at OPS Solutions. With more than 20 years of experience managing advanced manufacturing teams, Mike specializes in providing customized innovative strategies through technology to help companies better connect their people, processes and physical assets. In addition to his academic credentials, he holds certifications as a Manufacturing Engineer, Professional Engineering Manager, and Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional. He is also a senior member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and the Society of Maintenance and Reliability Professionals.
View all posts by Michael Koper