Playing its part
ANLERIE DE WET looks at how parts manufacturers ensure their products are durable, of good quality and safe
Fanie Schoeman, GM of quality management and methods at Bosch, says: “Testing standards depend on the product type and/or market sector. However, for the automotive industry, the global standard is currently ISO 9001/TS 16949, which is set to change in 2018 to the revised International Automotive Task Force 16949 standard.
“Based on the global standard, all automotive part suppliers must be certificated and audited at least annually by this certification board. In South Africa the certification board is DQS South Africa.”
Timothy Edwards, technical customer coordinator at GUD Holdings, says the company has a fully equipped laboratory at its manufacturing site in Prospecton, Durban, to make sure that all its sets of vehicle filters are up to standard.
“We are able to fully test our filters to ensure that they conform to vehicle manufacturers’ specifications in terms of performance, life and efficiency, as well as build quality,” says Edwards.
“Our laboratory processes are audited regularly to ensure that we are compliant with International Organisation Standardisation (ISO) 9001, ISO 14001, as well as TS 16949 manufacturing procedures.”
Schoeman says: “As a general rule, all products achieve 100 percent when tested on the manufacturing line. Testing can consist of several test processes depending on product type and agreed customer requirements. Testing conditions are agreed upon between Bosch and its customers.”
Edwards says GUD has testing rigs for oil, air and fuel filters, which are capable of testing to ISO, Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), as well as Japanese Industrial Standard specifications.
“Random samples of our part types are selected as they move along the manufacturing process and are tested. In the filter development stage, each and every individual part is tested to ensure conformance to original equipment standards, prior to being released to production for series manufacturing,” he notes.
Edwards says GUD also employs a method of continuous quality control from the time the raw materials arrive at the factory, to the time the finished product is sent to the warehouse.
“In addition to this, first-off and last-off samples of every batch of parts are analysed to ensure that there is no deviation in the quality or specification during the manufacturing process,” says Edwards.
“There are on-site measuring and testing stations at various points of manufacture, so that the parts can be analysed in real time. If any deviation is found, that batch is immediately placed on hold for further analysis.
“All our testing methods are governed by ISO standards, which is the international benchmark used by most leading filter manufacturers around the world. Testing of the part will include dimensional testing against the drawing. In-process testing will include filter integrity, for example, bubble testing to
ISO 2942 and hydraulic pulse fatigue testing ISO 4548-5
according to sample plans,” adds Edwards.
Other than meeting the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) specifications, GUD also meets the ISO standard prescribed for filters, such as ISO 4548 part 1 to 12 for oil filters, ISO 4020 and ISO 19438 for fuel filters and ISO 5011 for air filters.
Edwards says the company is currently preparing for the revised International Automotive Task Force (IATF) 16949 standard.
“These standards all provide the prescribed testing methods for testing of filters. Any stock that doesn’t meet our quality standards is placed on hold and moved to a quarantine area, to prevent possible usage in the factory,” explains Edwards.
“Further analysis is then done on the suspect product to determine the root cause of the problem and whether the stock can be reworked to match the intended quality standard, or if it would need to be scrapped.”
Schoeman says at Bosch all products have at least one functional test and there are a few more specific tests based on product type and customer requirements.
“Testing is based on product design knowledge. Using the Failure Mode and Effect Analysis method, risks are determined that can influence product reliability. Testing specifications are then developed to reduce or eliminate any risks,” says Schoeman.
If there are any quality problems with its products, Bosch has manufacturing quality gates that measure failure types picked up during each production phase.
“After the second same failure, the operator stops the process and requests assistance from a line manager. If the failure is batch related, Bosch follows containment rules in the plant, in the transport flow and at customers to contain faulty parts and reduce risks,” he concludes.