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2020 Southern Automotive Quality Summit a Success

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On March 12, 2020, the Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association (AAMA) and AIAG cohosted the 2020 Southern Automotive Quality Summit at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, AL. Joined by a fantastic group of attendees, sponsors and exhibitors, this year’s event featured speakers from manufacturers and associations with a presence in the greater Alabama area.

Tony Walker, quality general manager of Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, opened the event with an update on the status of the new Mazda Toyota Manufacturing facility. Tony discussed the advantages and challenges associated with merging two distinct quality and manufacturing systems into one harmonious system.

Following Tony’s presentation, Richard Morse, vice president of manufacturing at Y-Tec Keylex Toyotetsu Alabama (YTKA), introduced the YTKA joint venture that will support the new Mazda Toyota facility. Richard also described key activities and objectives – including becoming an IATF 16949 certified organization – to creating a common culture in this joint venture.

Scott Shoemaker, senior process manager at Navistar Quality Systems, continued the event by outlining Navistar’s use of technology to drive quality improvements. His presentation described Navistar’s current state of manufacturing and how they are transitioning to integrated quality management and Industry 4.0, including virtual design reviews and consolidating to a central production control center.

After Scott’s presentation, Brian Martensen, senior program manager – quality products and services at AIAG provided an AIAG & VDA FMEA Handbook overview, focusing on Step 6 – Optimization. Brian detailed the additional steps of identifying necessary actions, assigning a responsible person and target completion dates, implementing the identified actions and evaluating the effect of the implemented actions.

The summit continued with Craig Palmer, digital practice head at Larson Toubro Technology Services, providing an overview of the transition from Total Quality Management (TQM) to Digital Quality Management (DQM). Craig’s session covered key steps for merging TQM and Industry 4.0 to create a DQM environment, while recommending competencies to be developed by quality professionals during this transition.

Dave Mimms, AIAG’s director of commercial development in the southeast US, followed Craig’s presentation with a discussion on “Cybersecurity Expectations for Supply Chain Management.” Dave provided an overview of cybersecurity, noting that 50% of small business have been a victim of cyberattacks, but 60% of small businesses do not have a defense plan for these attacks. He concluded his overview by identifying AIAG’s cybersecurity offerings, which are designed to help suppliers develop a cyber defense system that aligns with the requirements of IATF 16949.

The event concluded with a presentation led by McKinley James Jr., plant director at Polaris Industries’ Spring Hill, TN, facility. McKinley discussed the challenges and opportunities embraced by Polaris as they integrate safety and quality into their diverse portfolio of on road, off road and nautical vehicles – as well as the mixed use of these vehicles outside of their designed intent, such as running a snowmobile on a flowing river – to a customer base that pushes the limits of their products.

Missed out on the summit, or want to revisit a particular presentation? Visit AAMA’s website to download the 2020 SAQS presentations, and be sure to follow both AIAG and AAMA on social media to stay up to date on the organizations’ future events!