FUCHS Lubricants South Africa has achieved IATF 16949:2016 certification which aims at providing improved quality products to automotive customers worldwide. IATF 16949, specified by The International Automotive Task Force (IATF), defines the QMS standards specifically for the automotive industry.

IATF 16949:2016 emphasises the development of a process-oriented quality management system to facilitate continual improvement, defect prevention, and waste reduction in the supply chain.

Dr. Siphilisiwe Ndlovu, Technical Director at FUCHS Lubricants South Africa, said the certification covers product design, production quality and risk, and all processes that impact the delivery of a product to the customer. “The goal is to meet customer-specific requirements efficiently and effectively, and ensure that FUCHS’ global facilities deliver the best value, complementing FUCHS’ ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 4500:2018 certifications.”

Dr. Ndlovu said the focus is on minimising risk and errors from a quality system perspective and identifying opportunities to improve process efficiencies. IATF creates awareness of what can go wrong in the overall manufacturing process, implementing error-proofing measures and focuses on meeting customer requirements and delivering what the customer wants,” Dr. Ndlovu explained.

“While our ISO 9001 certification defines the fundamental requirements of a quality management system, IATF 16949 extends this to address specific requirements for the automotive sector.”

Dr. Ndlovu added, “It places greater emphasis on top-level management for QMS ownership with the focus on customer satisfaction.”

“This approval demonstrates FUCHS’ ability to consistently provide products that meet customer needs and meet statutory, regulatory, and product safety requirements. The aim is, therefore, to enhance customer satisfaction through the effective application of our processes.”

As part of ensuring ongoing service improvement, in 2018 FUCHS invested R125 million at its grease plant in Isando and has made a subsequent investment of just over R250 million for the purchase of 3.2ha of land adjacent to the company’s current location in Isando and the development of the site for a new warehouse and office complex.

Phase 1 of the project was started in June 2020 and will be completed in February 2022. Phase 2 of the project, the construction of a new lubricants plant, is expected to follow in the future.