New certified supplier of extruded profiles for the automotive industry

Standards and certification are cornerstones in the corporation between auto manufacturers and the whole chain of suppliers. However, the process is long and demands a sincere dedication to transparency, documentation, and the specific requirements set by the automotive industry.

Certified supplier of extruded profiles for the automotive industry
Certified supplier of extruded profiles for the automotive industry - Managing director of Primo Sweden, Jim Nilsson and Mikael Johansson, HSEQ Manager at Primo in Limmared, Sweden.

From the outside, nothing much seems to have changed at Primo's plant in Limmared, Sweden. But for clients in the auto industry, Limmared is a new hot spot on the map of suppliers. The reason is this: IATF 16949; a standard for quality management system based on the more well-known ISO 9001 but designed especially for suppliers to the automotive industry. Limmared production is now following this standard and is obliged to yearly independent audits and a complete re-certification audit every third year. This is done by the reputable third-party accreditation body, Lloyd.

Documenting the entire supply chain

All audits are done by a third-party accreditation body to secure consistency. The standard helps the automotive industry to control and improve its entire supply chain. In special regarding:

  • Process efficiency & effectiveness
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Continual improvement
  • Preventive and corrective actions
  • Reduction of variation and waste in the supply chain

Having a strict management system implemented across the entire range of suppliers allow automakers to have a complete overview of various important factors. 

Showing the world our processes

"It is important to understand that it is not the products or parts that will be certified. It is our entire plant and all its processes and documentation. It comes down to our ability to show the outside world exactly what goes on here," says Mikael Johansson, HSEQ Manager at Primo in Limmared in Sweden.  

Certifications is all all about building trust and sharing quality control data. At Limmared the managing director of Primo Sweden, Jim Nilsson also hints that qualifying for the IATF 16949 is a part of a long term relationship with the automotive industry:

“The certification is a strategic direction we have taken to display and support Primo's long-term dedication to the automotive industry. Meanwhile, the process to get there has led to numerous improvements that benefit all forms of products and all customers.

An addition to ISO 9001

"IATF 16949:2016 is fully aligned with the structure and requirements of ISO 9001:2015. Therefore, the IATF 16949 cannot be implemented alone as a stand-alone document but must be implemented as a supplement and in conjunction with ISO 9001. You could say that while ISO 9001 defines the base requirements of a quality management system, IATF 16949 establishes the industry-specific requirements from the automotive industry to such a system," Mikael Johansson says.

It is also expected that an internationally accepted certification such as the IATF 16949 will improve Primo's reputation and thus open new doors and business opportunities. Not the less because procurement specifications often require certification as a condition to supply.

Confirms efficiency and safety

"Primo has been a stable partner for vehicle customers for more than ten years. It is a natural step to be third-party certified by the IATF. This work has largely confirmed that we have an efficient and safe way of working when customers have new projects. We will work further to increase the customer portfolio of customers who place high-quality demands on their extruded plastic profiles," says Mathias Rubesved, Business Area Manager for Automobile Business at Primo Sweden.

About IATF 16949

IATF 16949 is the automotive industry's most widely used international standard for quality management. The certificate must be confirmed annually (as a minimum) by an IATF certified auditor (3rd Party Auditor) of an IATF recognized certification body. Re-certification is required at the expiry of the three years. IATF 16949 emphasizes developing a process-oriented quality management system that provides for continual improvement, defect prevention, and reduction of variation and waste in the supply chain. The goal is to meet customer requirements efficiently and effectively. The standard was initially created in 1999 to harmonize different assessment and certification schemes worldwide in the supply chain for the automotive sector

International Automotive Task Force (IATF)

The International Automotive Task Force (IATF) is a group of automotive manufacturers which aims at providing improved quality products to automotive customers worldwide. Their primary task is to agree on a consensus for quality systems and ensure a broad group of third-party certifiers to ensure consistency worldwide.

There are more than 20 members of IAFT, among them many of the world's largest automotive manufacturers, such as BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company, General Motors Company, MARUTI SUZUKI, Renault, and Volkswagen AG.

About Primo 

Headquartered in Copenhagen, the Danish group has sales and production activities at 11 locations in Europe and China. The group currently has 980 employees and a turnover of 205 million EUR (per 31.12.2022). The company was founded and owned by the Grunnet family and, since its beginning in 1959, has specialised in designing and producing customer-specific profile solutions in plastic.