Companies in the automotive industry and its supply chain face a growing number of governmental regulations, in the United States and globally, on the use and management of chemicals in the production process. AIAG’s Chemical Management and Reporting Committee (OHCL) works to keep member companies abreast of existing and emerging regulations and provide an assessment of their impact. And by joining with other industrial groups to develop common processes and tools that increase the efficiency of regulatory compliance, the cost to all member companies is reduced.
OHCL committee members work together to define the global impact of emerging chemical management or product stewardship regulations on the automotive industry, as well as to support the development of chemical reporting processes that help companies meet both regulatory and customer requirements.
AIAG connected with Debra Reining, who is a quality engineer at Luvata Ohio, Inc. in Delaware, Ohio, to get her perspective on the responsibilities and opportunities that come with membership on the OHCL Committee.
AIAG: What is the mission and focus of the committee?
Reining: The focus of the committee is to keep current any regulation in the world that may have an effect on the auto industry or its suppliers. We work to provide as much information as possible on pending legislation affecting our members and collect their input to address the changes. It is a collaborative effort.
AIAG: What are the subgroups?
Reining: There are multiple subgroups, in fact, many more groups than I can remember off the top of my head. I am involved personally with the Recommendation & Documentation and GHS subgroups. We do a lot of work with other cross-industry groups to share information that may also be relevant to them.
AIAG: What benefits would a company hope to see from having a representative on the committee?
Reining: The benefit to me, working in a small company, is that I have access to the resources of an OEM or Tier 1 and their recommendations on how to address an issue that will affect my business in the future. In turn, I can provide my management with advanced notice of new requirements. This gives me the ability to be proactive by staying current on existing and emerging legislation. Additionally, as a supplier, I am able to provide feedback to the OEM or Tier 1 on what effect a new requirement may potentially have on their suppliers. Having that two-way access helps to keep us ahead of the curve. I am also able to provide information to our corporate offices when it is relevant to the larger group.
AIAG: What does an individual get out of it?
Reining: The individual gets out of it as much as they are willing to put into it. I enjoy meeting people and seeing how their company addresses certain requirements. At every meeting, I learn something new that I can apply to one or more of the functions that I am responsible for at Luvata Ohio. In a small company, you wear many hats. I am responsible for Conflict Minerals, GHS, ISO Certification maintenance, inspection, supplier audits, PPAP, IMDS, material certification, and trending, just to name a few, and all the things that go along with them, so networking with others in the industry to share best practices and lessons learned is very helpful.
AIAG: What is the commitment as far as time, etc.?
Reining: The time commitment for committee members is not overly burdensome. Meetings are scheduled a year at a time so conflicts can be addressed when they arise. If you are taking meeting minutes, it may take you an hour to type them up and send them in. Most meetings are reasonable in length and can be attended via Webex, so travel is not required.
AIAG’s corporate responsibility work is guided by a CR Steering Committee, which is facilitated by AIAG and comprised of senior staff volunteers from its member companies. To learn more about any of AIAG’s corporate responsibility initiatives, visit www.aiag.org. To learn more about the Chemical Management and Reporting Group, Download Flyer here or email CR@aiag.org.