FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
Here you can find questions and answers regarding IMDS content and usage in several categories. To see the content of each category and to read the answer to a question, please click on the category/question to expand the content.
You find OEM-specific IMDS documentation for suppliers in the Help category "OEM Specific Information" (no longer under FAQ).
All materials in IMDS must be reported in their delivery state to the respective customer. Processing Chemicals, catalysts, and other substances consumed or cured out during processing are not to be reported. Aftermarket parts, due to the recycling and recoverability requirements, are frequently included. Some OEMs require User Manuals to be reported.
Although the IMDS system does flag substances that are on the REACH list, the function of this system is not to collect packaging and other products that are disposed of during the assembly process before it reaches the end consumer. Tracking of these products, if required for REACH reporting, must be done outside of IMDS.
All IMDS entries begin with materials. Materials in IMDS must be homogeneous in order to meet several legal requirements. Homogeneous means that there is a consistent material composition which cannot be separated mechanically into two or more different materials. For more information about the definition of "homogeneous", see IMDS 001 Annex I, section 1.1.
Materials can either be entered by a user, an IMDS entry sent/proposed from a user's supplier (and accepted by someone in the user's company), or selected from the published materials list (we strongly suggest selecting only those published by the user's supplier and/or the manufacturer of the material or IMDS Committee).
If you are creating an MDS to represent something with layers (such as a plated metal, coated wire, textile or leather) or a product sold on a roll or bolt on in a container, you should be using a semi-component for your submission. Semi-components do not have a defined weight until used although you do enter a usage metric when you create the semi-component.
If you are creating an MDS to represent something used in whole numbers (e.g. a part in an assembly) that has a defined weight, then it should be represented by a component.
(A component’s weight is given at the time of MDS creation and it remains constant throughout the manufacturing process.)
In most heat treatments, you do not change the chemistry of the product – see below for specifics. However, due to the necessity of having the information in the system, lack of change does not exempt the supplier that heat treats from entering data. In an austempering process you don’t change the chemical composition. It is an isothermal heating process so there is no change to the original MDS. The nitriding and case hardening processes are a thermal process where N (Nitrogen) and/or C (Carbon) is diffusing into the the steel. The result is a inhomogenuous concentration of N and/or C in a thin surface layer (about 100 µm thickness in a nitriding and 1 mm in the case hardening process). Due to the inhomogenuous destribution, the concentration of N or C depend on the depth and cannot be described in IMDS. Since Nitrogen and Carbon are not elements which are declarable or prohibited or can be a source for danger in the handling or recycling process, the SC decided in this special case that Nitriding or Case Hardening need not be reported in IMDS.
How to develop an MDS:
In the above cases of austempering, nitriding and case hardening, there is no specific material that needs to be created.
How to handle in IMDS:
- The company that does the treatment receives a component (or semi-component) in IMDS from the company that supplies the part in the physical supply chain with forwarding allowed.
- The company that does the treatment creates a copy/forward of the received component (or semi-component) and adds the recipient information (being very careful with the part number and supplier code as you cannot make another copy/forward) and sends to the customer.
If the supplier of the part and the customer is the same, it is then up to the customer to determine whether the company that performs the treatment needs to report.
The short answer is yes although you may not have to do much more than forward what you receive with a change of part number. The reason – the flow of information through IMDS companies needs to mimic the flow of product through the supply chain. In the case where you get a part from your customer and send back to your customer, there is usually a part number change between an unprocessed part and a processed part in your customer’s system. The only way to account for this in IMDS is to have a submission for that part.
In the case where you get a part from a supplier and send to a customer, your customer has a relationship with your company and not your supplier. They may not even have your supplier in their database. As to how to construct an MDS, please see the FAQ on Austempering and Nitriding below.
While the majority of the car manufacturers do not require the reporting of User Manuals within IMDS, e.g. handbooks for radios or infotainment systems, there may be one or two that do have the requirement. Check with your customer.
It is impossible to cover every single part type in a vehicle with a specific Recommendation (found on the Recommendation link after login). However, the IMDS Steering Committee agreed upon a common means for documenting labels in IMDS and provided several label semi-components in IMDS.
More information on how you can find these label semi-components and reference them is found here: IMDS-Committee semi-component labels – PDF-File, 207.8 KB
Where can I find the European ELV Directive and the latest version of Annex II?
Here you can download the EU ELV Directive 2000/53/EC and the latest version of the Annex II (Version: Nov 2017).
Here you can additionally find an IMDS Steering Committee document on the application changes for your support (Version: June 2016).