The IATF – International Automotive Task Force
For a long time, different national quality standards were applied in the automotive industry. Aiming to unify the various quality standard of the individual associations and therefore to improve the quality of the product, the International Automotive Task Force, IATF for short, was founded. It is composed of representatives of international automobile manufacturers and national associations of the suppliers industry.
Quality management standards: history
Due to national laws, it is not possible to define a single universal standard for a quality management system. However, in order to standardize different quality methods as far as possible, the IATF has extended the standard ISO 9001:1994 and has published in 1999 the first version of the quality management standard ISO/TS 16949. After that, more and more automotive suppliers could be certified to meet the requirements of the automobile manufacturers.
In 2016, the standard was revised and released as supplement of the ISO 9001:2015 under the term IATF 16949:2016.
Contents of the new standard IATF 16949:2016
Under the IATF 16949:2016
- the customer satisfaction should improve,
- errors and risks within the supplier chain and the production should be reduced or eliminated
- and the improvement measures taken should be tested for their efficiency.
The focus of the process-oriented standard is the definition, documentation, analysis, value added and linking of business processes. This is not limited to internal processes. External leading processes, such as interfaces with customers or suppliers, must also be represented. This should sharpen the view of the interaction and the totality of the processes.
The new standard includes additional guidelines for documentation and interpretability in the areas of:
- customer requirements
- guarantee management
- product safety
- risk-based thinking
After a transitional period of three years, only certifications according to ISO 9001:2015 will be valid as of 15 September 2018, the QMS standard ISO/TS 16949 will cease to be valid. Thus, the conversion to the new standard must be completed by the deadline. Audits shall already be conducted only according to IATF 16949:2016 since 1st October 2017.