The IATF 16949 standard is demanding. Well-known automobile manufacturers such as BMW, Ford, GM, Mercedes and VW and many of their suppliers work accordingly. PLASTON produces, for example, plastic containers for brake fluid in accordance with IATF 16949 at its plant in Jiaxing, China.
There are simpler things than obtaining the IATF 16949 certification. The standard describes the instruments and processes that must be used to manufacture, test and document automotive parts. And before specialized auditors even visit and certify a production plant, it must have been working in accordance with the standard for a year. The series-accompanying statistical process control, abbreviated SPC, is part of it.
"Our team in China worked towards the certification for around 15 months," reports Chris Gerber. Together with his team, he is responsible for quality in PLASTON's three production plants. «In January 2022, the certificate for our plant in Jiaxing arrived.» The first customer to benefit from this is a world-renowned motorcycle manufacturer. He has so-called "fluid reservoirs" made of plastic at PLASTON. "These products have to meet safety-related requirements," says Chris Gerber, "and therefore process validation is of highest importance."
Chris Gerber sees even more opportunities arising for customers in the automotive and motorcycle industries. He is thinking of containers and external casings - and of electromobility. "In China, we already produce housings and various individual parts for charging stations that can be used by Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes, Lincoln and VW cars as well as cars from local manufacturers."
PLASTON's employees in China are not resting on their laurels after achieving IATF 16949 certification. They continue to optimize their processes in order to come as close as possible to the goal of zero-defect production.