In 2021, the AIAG Quality Steering Committee (QSC) asked a critical question: Considering Industry 4.0, what will the automotive industry and it’s “tools of quality” look like in the next 5-10 years?
Referring to this notion as “Automotive Quality 4.0” – the application of Industry 4.0 tools and concepts to quality management systems and other quality tools – the QSC quickly realized the need for a common industry definition to standardize differing approaches and expectations. Leading the initiative, Magna’s Lina Bucci explained: “Everyone is making up their own definition, and customers are wanting to approach this in many directions, so we are getting plant level resistance on what the right direction is.”
In early 2022, the QSC approved the following definition: Automotive Quality 4.0 is the process of applying a digital approach to quality through the use of advanced technology, to help drive manufacturing’s digital transformation through interconnectivity across the value and supply chain.
- A digital thread creates universal access to data and aligns different processes around a single set of data, from inception to actual use of assets in the real world.
- Automotive Quality 4.0 blends new technologies with traditional quality methods to arrive at new optimums in operational excellence, performance, and innovation.
- Automotive Quality 4.0 enables predictive quality management and quicker reactive quality management.
With a detailed description in place, the 2022 AIAG Quality Summit provided an opportunity to explore related feedback and questions. Along with expressing a need for clear direction from the “top of the supply chain,” attendees asked how control charts and other SPC tools will evolve to take advantage of speed, volume, and connected data sets; how we can use AI to analyze trends to be predictive rather than reactive; and other questions specific to new technologies and tools.
These inquiries – among others – led to the development of four themes to facilitate further discussion: how the digital thread speeds problem solving and continuous improvement cycles; using new technologies to augment or update traditional QMS/tools; moving toward predictive control (from reactive); and how to enable and empower the next generation’s use of Automotive Quality 4.0.
Moving forward, we want to hear from you! Click here to share ideas or concerns surrounding Automotive Quality 4.0, and let us know how AIAG can help. We’d also love to hear success stories and lessons learned from those who have already implemented Automotive Quality 4.0. We plan to publish helpful case studies and thought leadership, so your idea could spark our next initiative at AIAG!