QS 9000 is an industry standard of American automotive industry, which was prepared in 1994 by the joint efforts of automakers General Motors, Chrysler and Ford (The Big Three) and released under the auspices of AIAG (Automotive Industry Action Group), which processes the standard, distributes it, publishes other quality manuals and provides certification training. QS 9000 contains the full text of ISO 9001, which complements with other requirements of the automotive industry, in particular the requirements for the introduction of new products, product endorsement by customer, requirements for process capability and requirements for continuous improvement. Requirements of this standard shall comply with the various stages of each supplier to the automotive industry. QS 9000 is divided into three sections:
- ISO 9001, including the requirements for the automotive industry
- Other requirements - system requirements defined by the “Big Three” for their own use
- Customer-specific requirements that are unique to each individual car manufacturers
Use of QS 9000 in practice: Standard QS 9000 serves as a reference model for setting the basic management processes in the automotive industry. The introduction of standards helps to continuously improve product quality and customer satisfaction. Standard QS 9000, like other technical standards defines efines minimum standard, requires the following certification of established management system (established processes) in the organizations of automotive industry. The result is a certificate. The whole supply chain must then also be guided by the standard.
The key requirements of QS 9000 are used by other methods in the field of quality, especially:
- APQP (Advanced Product Quality Planning)
- DOE (Design of Experiments)
- FMEA (Failure Mode and Effect Analysis)
- MSA (Measurement System Analysis)
- PPAP (Production Part Approval Process)
- QSA (Quality System Assessment)
- SPC (Statistical Process Control)
Standard QS 9000 is a standard for the automotive industry and is applied mainly in the American automobile industry, while the European automotive industry uses the standard VDA 6.1.
QS 9000 was significantly revised in 1998, but its main drawback is that it was built on the foundation of ISO 9001:1994, which is why most car manufacturers and suppliers in the automotive industry are moving to the newer standard ISO/TS 16949.