IATF 16949:2016 Clause 8.6.6 Acceptance criteria

Acceptance criteria refer to the defined conditions or specifications that a product, process, or service must meet to be considered acceptable. These criteria are established to ensure that automotive manufacturers and their suppliers consistently deliver high-quality products and services that meet customer requirements. The acceptance criteria in IATF 16949 cover various aspects of the automotive industry, including design, production, and service processes. Specifications for appearance items, parts, and components, such as dimensions, material properties, surface finish, color, gloss, and texture, are defined as acceptance criteria. These criteria ensure that the appearance items meet the required quality standards. The acceptance criteria for dimensions are specified based on the product design and engineering drawings. They ensure that appearance items and components are manufactured within the allowable tolerances.If appearance items have specific performance requirements, such as load-bearing capacities, mechanical properties, or durability, these are defined as acceptance criteria.Acceptance criteria may include requirements for the material properties of appearance items, such as hardness, tensile strength, or chemical resistance.The standard may include criteria for visual inspection, such as allowable surface defects or imperfections, to ensure the appearance items meet the required aesthetic standards. The acceptance criteria for manufacturing processes are defined based on the process capability indices (Cp and Cpk) to ensure that the processes are capable of consistently producing appearance items within the specified tolerances.The results of inspections, testing, and measurement processes are compared against predefined acceptance criteria to determine whether the appearance items conform to the required quality standards. The acceptance criteria also include compliance with applicable statutory, regulatory, and customer-specific requirements relevant to the automotive industry and appearance items.The standard may set targets for continuous improvement in quality metrics, such as defect rates or customer satisfaction scores, as part of the acceptance criteria.The acceptance criteria may define the expectations for implementing corrective actions in case of non-conformance to ensure that appearance items meet the required quality standards.It is essential for organizations in the automotive industry to adhere to the acceptance criteria specified in IATF 16949 to achieve consistent product quality, customer satisfaction, and compliance with industry standards. These criteria help organizations establish and maintain a robust quality management system to meet the demanding requirements of the automotive industry.

Clause 8.6.6 Acceptance criteria

Acceptance criteria shall be defined by the organization and, where appropriate or required, approved by the customer. For attribute data sampling, the acceptance level shall be zero defects

Acceptance criteria are the requirements which, if met, will deem the product acceptable. Every requirement should be stated in such a way that it can be verified. Characteristics should be specified in measurable terms with tolerances or min/max limits. These limits should be such that will ensure that all production versions will perform to the product specification and that such limits are well within the limits to which the design has been tested . Where there are common standards for certain features, these may be contained in a standards manual. Where this method is used it is still necessary to reference the standards in the particular specifications to ensure that the producers are always given full instructions. Some organizations omit common standards from their specifications. This makes it difficult to specify different standards or to subcontract the manufacture of the product without handing over proprietary information. In determining your inspection and test requirements it is necessary not only to specify what inspections and tests are required and when, but also to define the acceptance criteria and the frequency of inspection and test. Are the acceptance criteria those defined in the product specification or are the limits to be closed to gain better control over the process? Is every product to be inspected or are the quantities so large that it would be economically nonviable? If sampling is to be performed what are the acceptance criteria? Answers to these and other questions need to be provided by your inspection and testing process requirements. The organization is responsible for establishing specific criteria that products, processes, or services must meet to be considered acceptable and in compliance with the quality requirements.When defining acceptance criteria, the organization must consider various factors, including customer requirements, industry standards, regulatory requirements, and internal quality objectives. The acceptance criteria should be clear, measurable, and aligned with the organization’s overall quality policy and objectives.Here are some key considerations when defining acceptance criteria:

  1. Customer Requirements: Ensure that the acceptance criteria reflect the specific requirements and expectations of the customers. This may include appearance standards, performance specifications, and any unique features requested by the customers.
  2. Industry Standards: Incorporate relevant industry standards, , into the acceptance criteria. Adhering to these standards helps ensure compliance with recognized best practices.
  3. Regulatory Requirements: Consider applicable statutory and regulatory requirements that affect the appearance items and the organization’s processes. Compliance with relevant regulations is critical for the automotive industry.
  4. Product and Process Specifications: Base the acceptance criteria on detailed product specifications, engineering drawings, and process control plans. These specifications should define the required dimensions, materials, tolerances, and other critical characteristics.
  5. Performance Metrics: Define measurable performance metrics that align with the organization’s quality objectives. These metrics may include defect rates, on-time delivery, customer satisfaction scores, and other key performance indicators.
  6. Process Capability: Establish criteria that reflect the process capability needed to consistently produce appearance items that meet the specified requirements.
  7. Inspection and Testing Methods: Identify the specific inspection and testing methods to be used to evaluate appearance items against the acceptance criteria.
  8. Continuous Improvement: Set targets for continuous improvement to drive the organization to higher levels of quality and customer satisfaction.
  9. Review and Approval: Ensure that the defined acceptance criteria are reviewed and approved by relevant stakeholders, including customers, suppliers, and internal quality personnel.

By defining their own acceptance criteria, organizations can tailor the quality requirements to their specific products and processes while ensuring alignment with customer expectations and industry standards. Having well-defined acceptance criteria facilitates effective quality control, reduces variability, and helps the organization deliver appearance items that consistently meet high-quality standards.

Acceptance criteria for attribute data

The standard requires the acceptance criteria for attribute data sampling plans to be zero defects. Attribute data refers to data that can be categorized into discrete categories or attributes, such as “defective” or “non-defective,” “pass” or “fail,” or “conforming” or “non-conforming.”When the acceptance level is set at zero defects, it means that the organization or quality control process will not accept any defective units or items during the sampling inspection. If any defects are found during the sampling process, the entire lot or batch may be rejected, and corrective actions may be initiated to address the root causes of the defects.Setting the acceptance level at zero defects is common in industries where product quality is critical, such as the automotive industry, where safety and reliability are paramount. Appearance items and other critical components are subject to strict quality requirements, and any defects can have significant implications for performance, safety, and customer satisfaction. With attribute data the product either has or has not the ascribed attribute — it can there fore either pass or fail the test. There are no gray areas. Attributes are measured on a go or no-go basis. With variables, the product can be evaluated on a scale of measurement. However, with inspection by attributes we sometimes use an acceptable quality level (AQL) that allows us to ship a certain percent defective in a large batch of product -probably no more than 10 in 1,000 — but to the automobile industry that is not good enough. The standard imposes a strict requirement on characteristics that are measured by attributes. There shall be no AQL, there shall be zero percent defective in the sample selected for inspection, otherwise the batch shall be rejected. This is what it implies, as your customer does not want to be supplied any defective products. For inspection by variables the acceptance criteria have to be specified and the place to specify it is the control plan, which is submitted to your customer for approval.To achieve a zero-defect acceptance level, organizations must implement robust quality management systems, effective inspection processes, and continuous improvement initiatives. This involves:

  1. Establishing Clear Quality Standards: Clearly defining the quality standards and acceptance criteria for appearance items, ensuring that they align with customer requirements and industry standards.
  2. Implementing Robust Inspection Procedures: Developing rigorous inspection procedures and quality control measures to identify any defects or non-conformities during the sampling process.
  3. Training Personnel: Providing training to personnel involved in inspection and quality control to ensure they can accurately identify defects and assess conformity.
  4. Using Statistical Process Control (SPC): Implementing statistical process control methods to monitor the manufacturing process and detect potential defects early on.
  5. Continuous Improvement: Regularly reviewing inspection results and performance data to identify trends and opportunities for process improvement.
  6. Collaboration with Suppliers: Collaborating with suppliers to ensure they also adhere to zero-defect quality standards for externally provided processes, products, and services.
  7. Root Cause Analysis and Corrective Actions: Conducting root cause analysis for any identified defects and implementing corrective actions to prevent recurrence.

Achieving a zero-defect acceptance level requires a commitment to quality and a culture of continuous improvement throughout the organization. While it may be challenging, it is a critical goal for industries like automotive, where safety, reliability, and customer satisfaction are paramount.

Customer’s approval

Getting approval from the customer for acceptance criteria involves effective communication, collaboration, and documentation. Thoroughly understand the customer’s requirements and expectations for the appearance items. This may involve reviewing contracts, specifications, engineering drawings, and any other relevant documents. Based on the customer’s requirements and internal quality objectives, develop a set of proposed acceptance criteria for the appearance items. Ensure that these criteria are clear, measurable, and aligned with the customer’s needs. Initiate communication with the customer to present the proposed acceptance criteria. This can be done through meetings, video conferences, email exchanges, or other preferred communication channels. Provide a detailed explanation of the proposed acceptance criteria, including how they align with the appearance items’ specifications and how they ensure quality and performance. Listen to the customer’s feedback, questions, and concerns regarding the proposed acceptance criteria. Be open to making necessary revisions based on the customer’s input. Collaborate with the customer to review the acceptance criteria together. This interactive approach helps in gaining a shared understanding and fosters a collaborative relationship. If the customer requests changes or adjustments to the acceptance criteria, incorporate those revisions and provide updated documents for their review. Once the acceptance criteria have been reviewed and revised as necessary, formally request approval from the customer. This request can be made in writing, such as through a formal letter or email. Request the customer to provide written confirmation of their approval for the acceptance criteria. This confirmation serves as documented evidence of the customer’s agreement. Keep records of all communication with the customer, including meeting minutes, emails, and any exchanged documents. Maintain a record of the customer’s written approval for future reference and audits. Maintain open lines of communication with the customer throughout the production process. If there are any changes or updates to the acceptance criteria during production, seek customer approval for those changes as well. By following these steps, organizations can effectively obtain customer approval for acceptance criteria, ensuring that appearance items meet customer requirements and expectations. Clear communication, collaboration, and proper documentation are key to obtaining and maintaining customer satisfaction in the automotive industry.

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