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Traceability is an essential concept in the field of metrology, which is the science of measurement. In manufacturing, traceability ensures that the measurements taken throughout the manufacturing process are accurate and can be traced back to an international standard.
Why be Traceable?
One of the main reasons for the importance of traceability in automotive metrology is that it ensures the quality and safety of the parts and systems used in vehicles. For example, if a car’s brakes are measured using a calibrated tool, traceability ensures that the measurement is accurate and can be traced back to the international standard for brake measurement. This means that the brakes will function as intended and will be safe for use.
Want a real example, take this one of Hyundai’s Santa Fe and Genesis G80, they were recalled due to parts separating from each other, here’s a quick summary of the effects. “Following a test that resulted in the micro gas generator separating from the pretensioner pipe. The test, which involved a vehicle produced for an unspecified market outside of North America, concluded with metal fragments propelled at high speed in the cabin.”
Traceability is also important for regulatory compliance in the automotive industry. Many countries have strict regulations governing the quality and safety of automotive parts, and traceability is often required to demonstrate that these regulations have been met. For example, a car manufacturer may need to provide traceability documentation to show that the sensors on a car meet the required safety standards.
How to Achieve Traceability
Traceability is achieved through the use of calibrated tools and instruments that are traceable to international standards. These tools are regularly checked and calibrated to ensure their accuracy, and the results of these calibrations are documented and can be traced back to the relevant international standard. This means that the measurements taken with these tools are accurate and can be relied upon.
In addition to the use of calibrated tools, traceability in automotive metrology is also achieved through the use of quality management systems. These systems ensure that the measurements taken throughout the manufacturing process are consistently accurate and can be traced back to international standards. This is achieved through the use of processes such as regular audits and reviews, as well as the implementation of corrective action plans when necessary.
Overall, traceability is an important concept in the automotive industry, as it ensures the accuracy and precision of measurements, as well as the quality and safety of automotive parts. By using calibrated tools and implementing quality management systems, traceability can be achieved.
Don’t get caught on the wrong side of an audit, make sure your equipment is certified and traceable to international standards. Don’t know where to start, contact us and we can help!