Quality Documentation

Quality Documentation Engineer

AEHQ Automotive Career Choices Leave a Comment

Have you ever sat down and read the entire instruction manual for a new appliance?  These bulky documents list a tremendous amount of information, all of which seems irrelevant to the everyday user.  After all, when you are trying to determine the correct temperature settings or how to activate the water filtration system you really are not concerned that your refrigerator is CE mark compliant.  But the world is more complicated nowadays and there are regulations and requirements that every product that is sold in just about every market must meet in order to be offered for sale and this is where the quality documentation engineer’s role comes into practice.

Activities of the Quality Documentation Engineer

There are a multitude of requirements that automotive products, subassemblies and raw materials must meet.  Additionally, the labs, design houses, production facilities and even shipping must all operate within the parameters specified by their countries and by worldwide.  This multitude of requirements is managed and controlled by the quality documentation engineer.  They will facilitate the certifications and audit schedules for all required documentation and manage the paperwork and certifications.  They will control all documentation requirements for labs and testing to ensure that they meet all the required certifications.  There are two primary certifications that must be maintained for each company as a whole and these are TS16949 and ISO requirements.

The ISO TS 16949 is the international standard that all automotive organizations must meet worldwide to ensure that efficient process are used, effective engineering and design systems maintained as well as accurate records kept during the day to day operation of the facility.  For a more detailed discussion on the TS 16949 system visit the following link.

Additionally, there are activities that must be completed from a quality standpoint to certify products and release them to the market.  These activities include the PPAP documentation that must be provided for each component.  The PPAP is a part of the APQP process which documents all the specifications, certifications, validation testing and other requirements required to launch a product.  The Quality Documentation engineer will facilitate the completion and approval of this information then ensure that a signed PSW (Part Submission Warrant) is available with the document control department before the first production shipment is made.

Now, these activities may sound rather mundane but they really require a special level of knowledge and understanding of the world market requirements and international standards.

A career as a quality documentation engineer

If you choose to enter the field of automotive quality and specialize in documentation and certifications you will first need to have a solid background in engineering.  A background in engineering allows you to better understand the materials and performance requirements of each product or subassembly to best determine the requirements that they must meet.  After earning your degree you will want to continue your studies in the specific certification fields or consider completing auditor training in order to truly understand each certification requirement.  Each certification body offers training courses to prepare the industry to meet the requirements and these course are a great way to start a career as a quality documentation engineer.

This role within the automotive industry may seem mundane but it actually is essential to doing business worldwide.  Without this vital role, no automotive companies could do business and operations would shut down.  In particular, when dealing with overseas customers your products could be delegated to the back storage area of customs without the proper documentation.  So, if you have a strong attention to detail, are knowledgeable in engineering, and desire to learn the requirements of doing business in a global market then consider a jobs as a quality documentation engineer.

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