The CQI-27 Special Process: Casting System Assessment provides requirements for foundry suppliers of OEM automotive castings. It is not a detailed description of the entire foundry process. Rather, the focus is on common failure modes that cause OEM customers to receive non-conforming castings from foundries. It is written from an OEM and Tier One perspective. It is the voice of the customer and includes specific activities that the foundry industry needs to improve upon.
For an OEM, discussions with the foundries about expectations for full CQI-27 assessment compliance will concentrate resources on the specific subjects that are often the root cause for castings that fail to meet product engineering requirements.
For a foundry, full compliance with CQI-27 is similar to reducing the RPNs on a PFMEA — the lower the RPN values, the less likely that customers will receive bad parts. Some of the requirements are defect prevention, and some are reduction of variation. All benefit quality metrics.
No two foundries are the same. Multiple foundries may be sourced for a single, high-volume part number. Each of the foundries may have vastly different processes. Yet, each can produce acceptable parts. As OEMs, we understand this. In CQI-27, we intentionally give flexibility in the requirements for deciding what makes sense for each foundry.
However, this flexibility is at the discretion of the customer, not the foundry. Each requirement has technical logic to support it. There are strong reasons why we want the foundries to comply. In an effort to be concise, CQI-27 does not always elaborate about the reasoning because it would make the document too lengthy. Trained auditors are expected to explain why the customers expect full compliance for each item.
This is CQI-27’s first edition. It is a collective effort by OEM and Tier One customers to create common process requirements for foundries, requirements which our shared experiences tell us will benefit the foundry industry for their OEM automotive customers.
Thomas Boone is casting technical specialist for General Motors International Operations.