SOUTHFIELD, MI-The Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) is launching a program that will allow suppliers to be certified to its Quality Measurement Data (QMD) standard, representing a way to prove to customers that they have achieved total interoperability.

AIAG will be conducting the certifications, which will examine an automotive supplier’s correct use and adherence to the QMD specification.

The QMD certification program springs from AIAG’s quality measurement data project, which created a generic nonproprietary standard for variable, attribute and binary quality measurement data from any source. The yearlong project was completed in 2008 with the creation of an XML-based solution known as the AIAG QMD Specification.

The specification has support from General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC, as well as from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and could eventually become an ISO standard. Prior to the QMD Specification, quality measurement data reporting output could be shared in up to 1,500 different proprietary formats, a situation that made OEM-supplier quality data communications slow, difficult and open to error.

“Writing an internal translator for just one proprietary format costs around $5,000,” says John Horst, metrology interoperability project manager for NIST, who played an active role in developing the QMD specification, “and the need to write such a translator comes up about 50 times per year. Therefore, for just one SPC supplier, the average cost is about $250,000 per year.”