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topic 2225

Appearance Standards


My company is a commercial metal finisher and we are currently pursuing QS-9000 registration. One area we have concern with is Element 4.9.6 Appearance Items in the new QS Third Edition.

The specific requirement calls "For suppliers manufacturing parts designated by the Customer as "Appearance Items", the supplier shall provide:
- Appropriate lighting for evaluation areas
- Masters for color, grain, gloss, metallic brilliance, texture, distinctness of image (DOI) as appropriate.
- Maintenance and control of appearance masters and evaluation equipment.
- Verification that personnel making appearance evaluations are qualified to do so."

The concern is whether an auditor will consider the responsibility ours, even though we don't "manufacture" the

products we plate, nor do we have design control. As a result of being a "job shop", all the products are Customer supplied.

I tried to clarify this point with Steve Walsh of Ford at the QS Third Edition Workshop in Detroit back in July, but he stated that the "intent" includes the plater as well as the "manufacturer".

I am wondering how other platers pursuing QS registration have addressed Element 4.9.6 with their Registrar and more specifically, to what extent do you currently utilize appearance masters during plating inspections and are they developed by the Customer or internally?

Guy Rodgers

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