Supplier Quality Manual PDF

Document # 270-00005
Revision: D
ECO# 007463
Symbotic LLC makes no representations or warranties with respect to the contents hereof. In addition, information contained herein is subject to change without notice. Every precaution has been taken in preparation of this manual. Nevertheless, Symbotic LLC assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions or any damages resulting from the use of the information contained in this publication.
Symbotic and the Symbotic “S” logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Symbotic LLC. All other trademarks belong to their respective owners.

1             INTRODUCTION

1.1    Purpose

This Supplier Quality manual is intended to address control over the quality and reliability of delivered critical components and assemblies used in Symbotic systems. It is the intent of Symbotic to do business with Suppliers who can provide parts, materials, processes and services consistently to specifications and in accordance with the defined delivery schedule.

1.2    Scope

This manual sets forth the mutually agreed expectations and responsibilities of the Supplier in supplying products and/or services to the Symbotic Buyer. It applies to all products purchased from Supplier and shall be enforced by Supplier to Sub Suppliers utilized in the Supply Chain.

Table of Contents


2.1    Acronyms

  • Affiliate: A person or organization officially attached to a larger
  • AVL: Approved Vendor List; list of Suppliers approved by Symbotic to provide materials specified in the
  • BOM: Bill of
  • Buyer: The responsible Symbotic entity participates by issuing purchase
  • C of C: Certificate of Conformance. A signed document by an authorized representative of the Supplier attesting that the shipped product is manufactured on released processes and meets the
  • C of A: Certificate of Analysis. A signed document by an authorized representative of the Supplier that certifies the quality and purity of the material used, and documents the analysis methods
  • C of T: Certificate of Test. A signed document by an authorized representative of the Supplier that certifies that the product has been tested to identified specifications and includes a conclusion regarding compliance with the test specification.
  • Control Plan: A method for documenting the functional elements of quality control that are to be implemented to assure that quality standards are met for a product or
  • CTQ: Critical to Quality attribute or parameter of a
  • Critical Characteristic: The features that directly affect the product’s ability to meet the primary functional performance
  • DFM: Design for
  • ESD: Electrostatic Discharge
  • FAI: First Article Inspection
  • MRB: Material Review Board
  • Nonconforming product: Product that does not meet
  • PMFEA: Process Failure Modes and Effect Analysis
  • PPAP: Production Part Approval
  • PPM: Parts Per Million
  • QMS: Quality Management System
  • Quality: The responsible Symbotic
  • SCAR: Supplier Corrective Action Request
  • SCDR: Supplier Change / Deviation Request
  • Supplier: The responsible Supplier entity or affiliate who provides products to
  • Subtier Supplier: The Supplier entity who Suppliers parts or services to Symbotic’s direct

2.2    Classification of Characteristics

Symbotic classifies characteristics on the item specification, drawing, and/or CAD model. These characteristics define the importance of the feature to Symbotic LCC products. The Supplier shall maintain the process controls needed to comply with these requirements.

Critical Part: A component that directly affects the safety, regulatory, or product’s primary mission. The failure or nonconformance of this component could cause injury or result in a system failure that is not readily recoverable. A Critical Part requires verification of part conformance during first production run and requires documented evidence of conformance and process control through the supplied life of the part.

Critical Characteristic: The features that directly affect the product’s ability to meet the primary functional performance requirements. Critical Characteristics are specified on the controlling engineering document or drawing and designated by C (Arial Black M, older drawings may use ¿ black diamond).    The Supplier shall maintain the process controls needed to meet or exceed a Cpk of 1.33 when there is a statistically significant sample size built.

3             REFERENCES

270-00015 Production Part Approval Process
280-00060 Production Part Approval Checklist, Warrant, and forms
280-00008 First Article Inspection Report Form
280-00058 Supplier Corrective Action Form
280-00059 Supplier Change or Deviation Request SDCR form
500-00150 Packaging and Label Requirements


4.1    Quality Management System (QMS)

The Supplier shall establish and maintain an effective quality management system, that conforms to ISO 9001, similar industry standard (e.g. TS 16949, AS9100) or equivalent. The Supplier shall maintain documented information, procedures, and processes that support providing the products and services to Symbotic. Supplier shall bear all costs associated with compliance to the applicable QMS. Supplier shall promptly notify the Buyer in writing if there is any change in status or certification of the QMS.

If the Supplier does not have an appropriate QMS, Symbotic shall review and evaluate the Suppliers processes relative to supporting Symbotic requirements based on component or assembly submission level.

4.2    Management Responsibility

Suppliers are expected to deliver high quality service, maintain appropriate inventory, demonstrate technical knowledge and make continuous improvements. Top management shall provide evidence of commitment to the development and implementation of the quality management system and improving its effectiveness. Management shall assure there is sufficient personnel with proper training to perform the obligations detailed in this manual. Management shall ensure the working environment does not adversely affect product quality.

4.3    Supplier Monitoring

Symbotic ’s success relies on a supply chain capable of meeting quality, responsiveness, and on-time delivery performance. Suppliers may be invited to present a review of their business, performance levels, and future activities associated with maintaining and growing a healthy customer-supplier relationship.

Supplier Performance Measurement

Symbotic procurement shall interact with the supply base on a regular basis providing feedback on performance and compliance such that Suppliers meet or exceed upon the agreed upon performance goals, which will include, but not be limited to the following:

Metric Criteria Goal
Quality PPM Defects / Quantity of Parts received Less Than 10,000 PPM (1.0 %)
On-Time Delivery Shipments to required quantity, 3 days early to zero days late to committed delivery date. Greater Than 98%
SCAR Responsiveness Approved SCAR responses, 21 business days Greater Than 90% On-Time


Overall Supplier Rating = 0.4 * % Part Quality + 0.4 * %OTD + 0.2 * %SCAR OTD

Suppliers with performance not maintaining performance targets will be notified by Symbotic and asked to document an improvement plan that will bring their performance above stated goals. Non-responsive Suppliers with chronic performance issues may be removed as approved Suppliers.

Supplier Incoming Control

Supplier shall have procedures for acceptance of incoming components, which shall be inspected, tested, or otherwise verified as conforming to specified Buyer’s requirements. Supplier shall maintain a record of acceptance or rejection of incoming components.

Source Inspection

Symbotic expects its Suppliers to furnish material that conforms to all requirements and does require inspection as received by Symbotic. If the failure rate is > 3.0%, 100% sorting may be done at Supplier’s expense to meet Symbotic production requirements.

The Buyer and Supplier should mutually agree on who performs the inspection. If the Buyer chooses to perform source inspection at the Supplier or Subtier Supplier site, the Supplier shall provide Buyer reasonable access to inspect, review and audit the site where the products are tested, handled, stored, or distributed, as necessary. Buyer shall provide prior notice of inspection whenever possible, except when special circumstances warrant a shorter time.

Final Acceptance

The Supplier shall have procedures for finished product acceptance to assure each production unit, lot or batch meets Buyer’s requirements.

4.4    Control of Sub Tier Suppliers

Suppliers shall be responsible for the conformance of materials and components provided by their Subtier Suppliers and subcontractors. Suppliers shall maintain responsibility for the monitoring and inspection of packaging, labeling, product quality, and dimensional inspection or analytical analysis. Subtier Supplier controls may be based on risk. The extent of the controls may vary, depending on the complexity of the product and processes, and may include:

  • Evaluation and qualification of Subtier Supplier
  • Control to ensure that raw materials used meet Symbotic ’s
  • Part qualification, including first article inspection and process capability studies, as
  • Sampling plan
  • Control of drawings/revisions.
  • Control of nonconforming
  • Corrective action and preventive action
  • A continuous quality improvement
  • Access to tool drawings, maintenance records, and other relevant Subtier Supplier production control data. Symbotic may specify the Subtier Suppliers to be used. In the event of Symbotic ’s involvement, it does not absolve Suppliers of the ultimate responsibility for the quality performance of their Subtier

4.5    Documentation Control

The Supplier shall have a process for document control. Information related to the product design build requirements (e.g. work instructions) and specifications shall be revision controlled within the documentation control system. Only the latest version of such documents shall be made available to the assembler.

4.6    Change Management

The Supplier shall have a process for change management. The Supplier shall not modify the product, BOM or production process without written approval from the Buyer. A Supplier shall proactively identify and communicate any temporary deviations to a production part, process, or service and receive Symbotic approval prior to shipment. The Supplier may also initiate a request for permanent change of a part, process, or service specification. Changes are communicated to the Buyer using the Symbotic Supplier Change or Deviation Request SDCR form.

Change/Approval. Buyer shall review and approve allowed changes that may affect the Product(s): All process changes:

  • Control Plan
  • Manufacturing or test process deviation, method or technology
  • Process Failure Modes & Effects Analysis (PFMEA)
  • Test SW which affects the product (e.g. programming MAC address changes)
  • Critical Process Paramaters Design Change:
  • Changes to materials and/or Components (BOM)
  • Replacement part due to obsolescence, performance or availability
  • Updated Component or Product Specification
  • Labeling or Packaging
  • Transportation Method Supplier Change:
  • Name or address including Supplier Manufacturing site transfers
  • Supply Chain – if lower tier Supplier performs a critical function Manufacturing, test, or inspection equipment change:
  • New equipment
  • Change from manual to automated process
  • Disposition of Product affected by out of tolerance equipment In-process and final acceptance test changes related to:
  • Test specification or acceptance requirements
  • Product final acceptance testing
  • Reduction in either 100% testing or sampling plans
  • Outgoing Inspection Plan Product final acceptance test issue

Symbotic Changes

Specifications may be revised by the Buyer. Revisions may require additional verification at Supplier. Supplier shall respond within 10 days with lead time requirements, impact to manufacturing process, tooling, test equipment. If there are any feasibility concerns, Supplier must communicate this to the Buyer within the specified time frame.

Drawing Controls

The Supplier shall have a documented system for assuring that the latest Symbotic drawings are in effect at their facility. The Supplier’s quality management system shall contain a documented procedure that describes the method used for the receipt, review, distribution, and implementation of all changes to drawings and specifications. In addition, the procedure shall address control of obsolete drawings and specifications.

4.7    Traceability

Supplier shall be responsible for maintaining controlled documentation of product and process traceability during all stages of production. At a minimum, inspection records shall be traceable to lot numbers.

The Supplier shall maintain material lot segregation to support lot traceability and material certification, (e.g. C of C, C of A and/or C of T), for material provided to Symbotic.

Where specified by Symbotic, the Supplier shall provide components marked with Symbotic serial numbers. It is recommended that Suppliers also provide a Supplier identification mark on components where feasible.

Minimum Traceability

It is expected that the Supplier has a system in place to trace all critical components used to build products by lot number.

A lot consists of product of one-part number and revision that are made during a specified time, under the same processing conditions, from the same lot of critical raw materials. Each container of material shipped to Symbotic must be identified with the Supplier’s lot number. Inspection records shall be traceable to lot numbers. At a minimum, all purchased products and components shall be traceability by lot or batch. Each shipment shall include documentation that identifies:

  • Purchase order
  • Supplier work order or job number
  • Quantity shipped
  • Product item number and revision
  • Supplier’s lot number.

The following are typical conditions that may result in a change of lot numbers:

  • Interruption of continuous production
  • Repairs or modification to the tooling or equipment
  • Tooling changes (other than minor adjustment or replacement of consumable tooling)
  • Change to a different lot of critical raw materials
  • Process changes

Serialized or Lot Controlled Product

The Supplier shall maintain a minimum of material lot segregation to support lot traceability and material certification of material provided to Symbotic.

In addition to minimum traceability, Symbotic may define components requiring serialization. Process information shall be traceable to all levels of the Supplier’s assembly. Information should include:

  • Manufacturing instructions and revision level
  • Identification of critical manufacturing and test equipment, with traceability to equipment calibration and PM
  • BOM revision and configuration
  • Record of rework performed

If applicable, serialized products shall include a list of serial numbers included in that shipment.

4.8    Production Control

Supplier shall monitor and control the Manufacturing process and critical process parameters.


The Supplier shall identify and document critical process parameters and monitor their performance. These may directly or indirectly relate to defined product parameters identified on Symbotic drawings and be assessed to determine the impact on product acceptance. Critical process steps shall be identified in the control plan.

Where possible, Supplier shall maintain statistical process control of critical process and / or product characteristics. A minimum Cpk required is 1.33.

Inspection, Measurement and Test Equipment

Supplier shall establish a calibration program that is documented to ensure all inspection, measurement and test equipment are within their calibrated requirements. Supplier will notify Buyer immediately if calibration checks identify equipment is out of calibration and will advise Buyer of the extent of parts produced using the equipment from the time of last certified calibration.

Supplier shall identify risk, propose containment, and resolve fielded non-conforming product.

Electrostatic Discharge ESD protection

When components or assemblies are susceptible to ESD, the Supplier shall establish ESD susceptibility controls. Devices that are ESD sensitive shall be processed, handled, marked and packaged in accordance with ANSI/ESD S20.20. ESD failure modes shall be considered in PFMEAs, and ESD controls shall be included in control plans and packaging.


Printed Circuit Boards Assemblies (PCBA) shall be compliant with IPC-A-610, class 2. All PCBA’s shall be packaged to prevent component damage, contamination from ESD, humidity and/or dust.


When workmanship standards are not referenced on Symbotic drawings or specifications, the Supplier is expected to follow industry-accepted standards (e.g. ANSI, IPC, AWS). When in doubt, consult with Symbotic for clarification.

4.9    Control of Nonconforming Material

Supplier shall have a process to control purchased products that do not conform to specified requirements. It shall ensure that in process materials are properly segregated during all stages of production to prevent mixing of accepted, unaccepted and nonconforming products. This process shall address identification, documentation, evaluation, segregation and disposition on nonconforming products.

When a Supplier’s product is identified by the Buyer as nonconforming, the Supplier shall cooperate with Buyer to close the nonconforming report and/or SCAR issued by Buyer or Buyer’s affiliate.

Supplier Corrective Action

The Supplier will be notified when non-conforming parts are found at incoming inspection, in production, test, or at a customer site by the Buyer or Quality Engineer. Nonconforming material may be returned to the Supplier for investigation and analysis and should be accompanied by a copy of the Nonconforming Material Report (NCMR) summary. The NCMR summary will detail the discrepancies noted by Symbotic which must be addressed by the Supplier. The Supplier must fully contain all product suspected of being non-conforming at their facility.

SCAR Requirements and Timing

As part of the investigation of Nonconforming Material, if the issue requires containment, root cause, and corrective action by the Supplier, a SCAR shall be issued to the Supplier. The Supplier shall complete 280-00058, the Supplier Corrective Action Form or Supplier equivalent. The Supplier must respond to the issued SCAR as outlined:

Category Timing Supplier Action
Containment 2 calendar days Immediate containment upon notification of the nonconformance. Interim containment plan required. Identify all suspect lot numbers and quantities.
Root Cause 14 calendar days Report the results of the Supplier’s investigation into the root cause of the problem.
Corrective action (CA) plan 21 calendar days Submit corrective action plan, including effectivity dates expected for implementation of the CA. “Train the operator,” or “increase inspection,” are not acceptable CA’s.


The Supplier is required to keep Symbotic informed of progress towards implementing corrective actions. Corrective action implementation is considered complete once the Supplier verifies effectivity.

Disposition of Nonconforming Material

The Supplier shall have a process to disposition nonconforming material. If any materials are reworked, the rework and retest will be jointly agreed by the Supplier and the Buyer or Buyer’s affiliate. The reworked material shall meet documented specifications unless a deviation has been approved.

Supplier Production Defects

Supplier production defects that exceed established control plan limits shall be investigated within the Supplier’s corrective action system. Supplier shall notify Buyer if there is any risk to materials already shipped and / or in use by Symbotic. Analysis of quality data, trends, root cause investigations and corrective actions may be requested by Symbotic.

Symbotic Customer Defects

Buyer has the sole authority for decisions related to any product in the field. Supplier shall support Buyer by providing access to necessary product information and quality records.


An excursion is defined as a non-normal, significant and sudden failure rate. In the event of an excursion, Buyer will request Supplier to replace or rework the nonconforming material with material that meets specifications. Supplier will bear all costs and expenses based on warranty agreements.

4.10    Certificate of Compliance

Symbotic may require the Supplier to collect inspection, test, process performance, or other quality data to ensure that the product meets Symbotic ’s requirements. All documentation must be clearly identified with Symbotic ’s part number, revision, the Supplier’s lot number and Purchase order. These may include C of C, C of A and/or C of T’s. This data should be available upon request.


Suppliers of production materials to Symbotic shall be approved Suppliers. The extent of the approval process is dependent upon the criticality of product purchased and other factors determined by Symbotic. The approval process for Quality in its most complete form consists of four parts:

  • A QMS self-assessment completed by the Supplier, using the Symbotic Supplier assessment
  • An on-site assessment or QMS/Process audit by Symbotic personnel or their authorized
  • An on-site audit of the Supplier’s control plan
  • Completion of appropriate Part Warrant/Production Part

Symbotic periodically reevaluates current production Suppliers using quality performance data, on-site audits and/or first article submissions. If requested, the Supplier shall make their facility available for on-site process verification by Symbotic personnel.

5.1    On-Site Assessment

Symbotic reserves the right to evaluate the quality system and records of Suppliers. In the event of Symbotic ’s involvement, it does not absolve Suppliers of the ultimate responsibility for the quality performance of their sub-tier Suppliers.

Depending on the criticality of the component(s), an on-site assessment of the Supplier’s facility may be performed. The on-site assessment includes:

A quality assessment to determine whether the Supplier’s quality management system is in place and functioning effectively.

A technology assessment to determine whether the Supplier has the needed technical resources, including production and inspection equipment, facilities, engineering resources, etc.

A business assessment to determine whether the Supplier has financial resources, production capacity, and other business resources needed to fulfill Symbotic’s production needs.

5.2       On-Site Audit

The Buyer retains the right to audit the Supplier Manufacturing Site. The Buyer shall have the right to conduct at least one pre-production audit. The Buyer shall have the right to conduct at least one audit per year. Symbotic shall provide notice of no less than 30 days, whenever possible.

Buyer shall have reasonable access to observe and inspect Supplier’s facility, manufacturing and quality control processes. In addition, the Supplier shall ensure access to any Subtier Supplier facility to conducting an on-site quality audit, if required.

For Cause Audits

For cause audits shall be for investigating a significant quality problem. This is intended to be a focused audit solely addressing controls surrounding the specific quality problem. Buyer will notify the Supplier as soon as possible. Buyer reserves the right to audit Subtier Suppliers under similar circumstances.


The Supplier is responsible for submitting all part qualification data requested by Symbotic. Supplier shall demonstrate compliance to requirements and process control per the Production Part Approval Process 270-00015. The process is initiated for new items and significant changes to parts or process. Part approval documents requirements shall be agreed to at the start of the implementation and completed with part approval and signed Part Warrant. Where possible, Part Warrant documents should be submitted to the Symbotic Quality in electronic format (preferably Adobe Acrobat or Microsoft Office).

In some cases, including purchased parts or assemblies shipped directly to customer sites, Symbotic personnel may wish to be present during the initial production run. This will allow Symbotic to validate and verify the process before any product is shipped.

Symbotic will accept products only as specified by agreement between the parties and in accordance to specifications placed on characteristics, performance, processes and quality measured against mutually established standards, or other requirement documents provided or agreed to, by Symbotic.

6.1    Production Part Approval Process (PPAP)

The PPAP provides evidence that the manufacturing process has the potential to produce product that consistently meets all requirements during an actual production run.  For each new or changed part, Symbotic may issue a Production Part Approval Checklist, listing the steps and documentation that must be submitted and/or maintained for qualification of the component or assembly for production. The checklist items selected are based on the type of component or assembly to be supplied, and the appropriate level of control required. For a complete description of Part Approval requirements refer to Symbotic PPAP Process 270-00015 and 280-00060 PPAP forms.

Submission levels
Level General Requirement Typical Use Risk Examples


Part Submission Warrant (PSW) only, if requested. Commercial Off the Shelf (OTS): part requirements defined by Supplier catalog or specification sheet. Lowest risk – Off the shelf hardware (Nuts, bolts, screws, belts)


PSW with product samples, Inspection Results, other documents as specified Low risk Fabricated items, purchased from an approved AVL Supplier. Low risk– Off the shelf with critical aspects (Bearings, cables)



PSW with product samples, Process and Control plans, other documents as specified Symbotic designed but Supplier fabricated items, affects product performance, and/or includes classified characteristics.

Purchased from a specific (qualified) AVL


High risk – Custom Designed (Sheet metal, plastics, PCBA, CM’s)



Supplier Design, PSW with product samples, Process and Control plans, other documents as specified Supplier designed, fabricated, and/or assembled items and product. Specific submission requirements defined by Symbotic. Purchased from a specific (qualified) AVL Supplier High risk – (Large Castings, PCBA, Sub-Assemblies)



PSW with product samples and complete

supporting data available for review at the Supplier’s manufacturing location.

Supplier designed fabricated and/or assembled items and product. Warrant and samples submitted with other data retained at Supplier. Supplier ships Finished Goods direct to sites or to inventory. High risk – OEM Suppliers (Turn-key equipment, drive controls, motors)

6.2    First Article Inspection (FAI)

The PPAP procedure defines FAI requirements in the Dimensional / Performance Results section. Form 280-00008, First Article Inspection Report Form, or a Supplier equivalent form may be used to document results.

If production parts will be produced from more than one cavity, mold, tool, die, pattern, or production process, the Supplier shall complete a dimensional evaluation on a minimum of one part from each variation (including color, if applicable, for certain processes). The specific cavities, molds, line, etc. shall then be identified on the Dimensional Results Report.

Dimensional results for 100% of the dimensions listed on the specification is required for 3-5 parts as agreed with Symbotic Buyer affiliate.


7.1    Safety

Supplier shall provide and maintain a safe work environment and integrate sound health and safety management practices into its business. Residues, films, out-gassing products and packaging materials should comply with OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Association) standards. For items with inherent hazards, safety notices must be clearly observable. As applicable, Safety Data Sheets (SDS) must be provided during the Production Part Approval. Symbotic shall be notified of any changes or revisions to the SDS.

7.2    Packaging and Labeling

Packing Slip

A packing slip shall document only one Purchase Order number. Multiple cartons of the same part number should only include a single packing list for the entire quantity. There should be only one packing list for the consolidated container or pallet listing all the part numbers, Purchase order number, and quantities within.

The Supplier shall provide packing lists for each delivery. Packing slips shall include:

  • Symbotic Item number, revision, PO number
  • Item Quantity
  • Heat/Lot/Date code
  • Manufacturer part number (if applicable)
  • Quantity per carton, number of cartons, and related packaging
  • List of serial numbers within the shipment (if applicable)

Material Identification and Labeling

Material identification must remain intact from the time of initial application by Supplier through receipt and storage at the Symbotic receiving location. Typical labeling requirements are:

  • Minimum label size of 4X6 inches, white color with black
  • Data to include: Part number, description, lot number, quantity, purchase order number, Supplier name, mfg/ship date, expiration (if applicable). Both human readable and bar code data is
  • Labels shall be applied to two adjacent sides of the carton and/or pallet.


The Supplier shall provide controls that insure the proper protection against damage, contamination, and corrosion during manufacturing, storage, and shipment. Packaged product must remain undamaged. Packaging shall be compatible with industry packaging testing standards as appropriate for the type of package.

Symbotic packaging specification, 500-00150, lists specific requirements for packaging critical parts or assemblies. Contact Symbotic Buyer for approval of packaging outside of these requirements or to arrange the use of reusable containers.

7.3    Rework / Refurbished Material


Rework may be performed using a defined rework processes or an industry standard. The material shall meet specification. The rework should be documented per the Supplier’s control plan. No more than two reworks are allowed. Reworks should be documented using the SCDR process.


Refurbished material shall only be used when there is prior written approval from Buyer. The refurbished material shall be identified and must fully meet production requirements.

7.4    Quality Records

As required, quality records provided by the Supplier shall be traceable to Symbotic purchase orders and shall be made available for review at any time during and 5 years after the manufacturing or delivery cycle.

Supplier shall maintain records in accordance with agreements with Symbotic which may include, but are not limited to:

  • Inspection, test and calibration records
  • Material certifications
  • Process qualifications and certifications
  • Supplier deviation request
  • Supplier corrective action reports
  • Special process traceability
  • Material and / or serial number traceability
  • Operator training records
ECO Rev Date Author Description of Change
007463 D 11/21/2108 Jill Carr Rewritten based upon 270-00123 Rev A Supplier Quality Agreement.