Automotive Industry Action Group
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The Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) is a not-for profit association founded in 1982 and based in Southfield, Michigan originally created to develop recommendations and a framework for the improvement of quality in the North American automotive industry. The association's areas of interest include product quality standards, bar code and RFID standards, materials management, EDI, returnable containers and packaging systems, and regulatory and customs issues.
The organization was founded in by representatives of the three largest North American automotive manufacturers: Ford, General Motors and Chrysler. Membership has grown to include Japanese companies such as Toyota, Honda and Nissan, heavy truck and earth moving manufacturers such as Caterpillar Inc. and Navistar International, and many of their part suppliers and service providers.
The AIAG publishes standards and offers educational conferences and training, including the advanced product quality planning (APQP) and production part approval process (PPAP) quality standards. These documents have become the de facto standard in North America that must be complied with by all Tier I suppliers. Increasingly these suppliers are now requiring complete compliance from their suppliers, so that many Tier II and III automotive suppliers now also comply.
- 1 Supply chain management
- 2 Quality
- 3 Global engineering
- 4 Corporate responsibility
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Supply chain management
The automotive industry is dependent on a supply chain of companies the provide parts and components, including major subsystems, to manufacturers. The AIAG provides services to companies at all levels of the supply chain, including standardization efforts, to help manage complexity.
Bar code standardization
The AIAG first developed standards for bar codes for automated tracking of parts through the supply chain in 1984 with a standard format called Code 39. Prior to that, each automotive manufacturer had used more than one format, requiring multiple bar codes and multiple readers for single parts.
Automotive Network Exchange
The Automotive Network Exchange is a private extranet initially set up and maintained by the Automotive Industry Action Group, Telcordia, General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler. It was launched in 1995 for the auto industry with a stated goal of providing consistent, reliable speed and guaranteed security for data transmissions between the automakers and their suppliers. The ANX Network was designed to allow trading partners to collaborate electronically on product design and development; solicit and process orders; and facilitate just-in-time manufacturing and post shipping schedules.
In 1999 the Automotive Industry Action Group sold the ANX Network to the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), in the face of criticism about high costs and interoperability problems on the network. In 2006, the private equity firm One Equity Partners acquired ANXeBusiness from SAIC.
Advanced product quality planning
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Advanced product quality planning (or APQP) is a framework of procedures and techniques used to develop products in industry, particularly the automotive industry. It is quite similar to the concept of Design for Six Sigma (DFSS). It is a defined process for a product development system for General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and their suppliers. The purpose of APQP is "to produce a product quality plan which will support development of a product or service that will satisfy the customer." A manual from AIAG describes the process in detail.
The APQP process was developed in the late 1980s by a commission of experts gathered from the 'Big Three' US automobile manufacturers: Ford, GM and Chrysler. This commission spent five years analyzing the then-current status of automotive development and production in the US, Europe and especially in Japan. At the time, Japanese automotive companies were seeing remarkable success in the US market.
Production part approval process
Production part approval process (PPAP) is used in the automotive supply chain to establish confidence in component suppliers and their production processes, by demonstrating that: "....all customer engineering design record and specification requirements are properly understood by the supplier and that the process has the potential to produce product consistently meeting these requirements during an actual production run at the quoted production rate."
Although individual manufacturers have their own particular requirements, the AIAG has developed a common PPAP standard as part of the advanced product quality planning (APQP) process to encourage the use of common terminology and standard forms to document project status. The PPAP process is designed to demonstrate that the component supplier has developed their design and production process to meet the client's requirements, minimising the risk of failure.
AIAG sets standards for material compliance in automotive engineering, to pre-select materials that do not contain banned or legally restricted substances that might harm drivers or passengers. The association therefore cooperates with other trans-national, national, and regional industry associations. AIAG supports the global automotive industry's REACh Task Force and is contributing to its Automotive Industry Guideline (AIG) on REACh, for example.
AIAG's corporate responsibility work began in 2005 in an effort by the leadership of several AIAG member companies to provide shared leadership and messaging regarding corporate social responsibility in the automotive industry. An annual summit brings together industry leaders for education.
The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, passed in July 2010, mandates that public companies report on their direct and indirect sources for "conflict minerals" - gold, tin, tantalum, and tungsten - in their SEC filings beginning in 2014. In response, the AIAG formed a working group  to allow member companies to share resources in identifying conflict minerals throughout the supply chain. Suppliers can use the iPoint Conflict Minerals Platform  to track their compliance and provide reporting in support of the legislation.
These minerals are found in many automotive products, including fuel tanks, seat cushions, batteries, brake pads, radiators, sealants, glass and electronics. The task of complying with these new rules is estimated at anywhere from $3 billion to $16 billion across the entire US economy. 
Managing chemicals in production processes
AIAG works with member companies to provide support for best practices in the management of chemicals in the production process. Ford Motor Company has taken a lead in this effort, lending an executive in 2012-2013 to lead up the effort.
Improving working conditions
Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), a non-profit that promotes social responsibility in businesses, worked with the AIAG in 2009 to develop programs and best practices relating to improving working conditions in the global automotive industry. The project was funded in part by the United States Department of State.
- AIAG Company Profile, Bloomberg Business Week. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
- AIAG Dividend, AIAG.ORG. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
- General Motors Customer Specific Requirements - ISO/TS16949, 2007. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
- Global Supplier Quality Manual Revision H, TRW Automotive. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
- Supply Chain Management, AIAG. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
- Bar Code Standards Save Millions In Productivity, Efficiency, and Accuracy, AIAG. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
- "AIAG History Timeline" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-10-08.
- "AIAG spins off ANX Network, SAIC to accelerate development" (Press release). Thefreelibrary.com. December 7, 1999. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
- Automakers look to strengthen struggling VPN, Network World, 13 September 1999. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- One Equity Partners Portfolio. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- APQP manual, AIAG
- Production Part Approval Process, Version 4. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
- "ACEA - European Automobile Manufacturers' Association". Acea.be. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
- Corporate Responsibility, AIAG. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
- 2013 AIAG Corporate Responsibility Summit, Crain's Detroit Business. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
- Crain's Detroit Business, Sept 24, 2012 v28 i40 p0003 African violence touches automotive supply chain; 'Conflict minerals' rules increase costs, red tape. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
- Conflict Minerals Work Group, AIAG. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
- iPoint Conflict Minerals Platform. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
- Honda, Ford spearhead new conflict minerals reporting tool, GreenBiz.com. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
- Auto industry steels itself for 'conflict minerals' rule, Automotive News, 24 September 2013
- Chemical Management and Reporting Group, AIAG
- Industry and Cross-Industry Collaboration, Ford Motor Company
- BSR. Retrieved June 27, 2013.