Posted in: Industry News

Chemetall Awarded Ford’s Q1 Supplier Status Certification

Posted on Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Chemetall North America has earned Q1 Supplier Status Certification from Ford Motor Company. The certification represents recognition that Chemetall meets a global standard for quality. According to Chemetall, it is the result of the work of a team headed by Loree Lavergne, Chemetall’s manager of quality systems, and Heather Whitehead, Chemetall’s quality systems administrator.

After Chemetall opened its $25 million manufacturing plant in Blackman Township, Mich., the company reports that its effort to earn industry certifications began. Within a month, Chemetall had earned ISO 14001 and ISO 9001/TS 16949— both of which were prerequisites for achieving the Ford Q1 Supplier Status Certification.

Ford Motor Company requires a supplier’s facility to achieve excellence in four main areas: competent systems, constant improvement, enduring performance and satisfied customers.

“We started with the documentation,” says Lavergne, “responding to what is known as an MMOG/LE report surveying our existing quality systems, which was immediately followed by the Q1 Ford Site Assessment Evaluation Matrix. The Matrix is a checklist to guide us in providing objective evidence that we meet all of Ford’s site expectations.”

In January 2012, with the documentation process underway, Chemetall reports that it began supplying pretreatment products for aluminum and steel automotive bodies to Ford’s Kansas City, Mo., truck and assembly plants, and pretreatment products for aluminum parts to Ford’s Dearborn Diversified Manufacturing Parts plant.

For two years, until January 2014, multiple audits and stringent assessments were performed by the Ford team, evaluating all components of the manufacturing process, including management procedures, employee readiness and training, quality control, process monitoring, system capability, system consistency, testing, engineering, preventive maintenance, manufacturing flow, 6 Sigma Metrics, problem solving, and methods of corrective action.

Chemetall worked from the manufacturing process checklist developed by Ford’s quality process team as well as assessments developed by the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG), whose 15-point plan ensures manufacturing compliance. Ford required that two Chemetall employees receive 8 hours of training each to competently use Ford’s elaborate supplier portal. In addition to the monitoring of the Chemetall plant by Ford, the reverse also occurred as John Psiakis, Chemetall’s North American automotive manager spent many hours on site at the Ford plants to manage the incoming quality. “This enormous effort held a great deal of value not just for Chemetall and Ford, but for me personally,” says Psiakis. “We have long ties to the automotive industry, with an emphasis on pretreatment and lubricant technology for the OEM automotive market as well as ancillary-tiered suppliers.”

Ford awarded Chemetall the Q1 Supplier Status Certificate in the form of plaques to hang in the facility, as well as a specially designed flag, which will fly at the Blackman Township facility. For more, visit www.