How-To Guide: Changing Your Material Data Sheet in IMDS

When working in the International Material Data System (IMDS), it is essential that you have accurate material data sheets (MDSs) for your parts. If you are a supplier, providing this data to your customers is a required step in your production part approval process (PPAP).

But what happens when you notice an inaccuracy in your MDS and need to correct it? Or what happens if the materials in your part changes and you need to resubmit a correct MDS to your customer?

When Do You Need a New MDS?

When a new part, or a part with a new part number, is sent to a customer for the first time, you will of course need to submit a new MDS in IMDS.

Remember that materials should only be sent once to your customer. If a part already exists and you need to send a new version of that MDS, you should sent a new MDS version instead of a new MDS.

When Do You Need to Revise an MDS?

If there is a change in material content for a part, but the part keeps its same number, you will need to revise your MDS and submit a new MDS version. Reasons for this may include:

  • A change in the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) substances of very high concern (SVHC) list or the Global Automotive Declarable Substance List (GADSL).
  • A change in a reference in your MDS, such as a reference being added, deleted, or changed.
  • A change in the part mass.
  • A special request concerning the law.

Tips for Revising Your MDS

Submitting MDSs in IMDS requires accuracy that can sometimes feel tedious. One wrong digit or a wrong click could hold up your entire approval process. Here are some tips for revising your MDSs to make the process easier:

  • Be aware that small changes in the mass of your part over time can add up to a bigger change that may require you to submit a revised MDS to your customer.
  • Be sure to use copy>new version to keep versioning instead of copy>new datasheet.
  • If you have a joker/wildcard in your tree structure that is being used for a confidential substance, you will need to review your parts when there is a change to a list like GADSL.
  • When revising an MDS, make sure you are following the most recent IMDS Rules & Recommendations and not the ones that were in place when you first created the MDS.
  • Check for any IMDS errors or warnings before resubmitting. Remember that IMDS has guardrails in place that are meant to keep your reporting accurate.
  • When errors are found in an MDS submitted by your suppliers, ask them for a new MDS with the errors corrected.

Also remember to always communicate with your customer about changes for smoother supply chain management.


Checking on Your MDS Submission

You will be able to check the status of your IMDS submission in the IMDS outbox. However, sometimes customers may import your MDS into their own system. In that case, your MDS will show “not browsed” meaning “in process at recipient” until they manually change the status to “accepted” or “rejected.”

If your MDS has been rejected and you want to understand why, go to the IMDS outbox and find the rejected MDS. There, you can right click and choose “Show reject reason” to see more details about why it was rejected and how you can correct the problem. Then you can fix the errors and/or go to your suppliers and have them fix the errors in their datasheet errors.

Get IMDS Support

IMDS is a powerful tool that standardizes compliance across supply chains. However, because IMDS can do so many things, it can sometimes be confusing to use, especially without the proper training.

If you are looking for IMDS training, Tetra Tech has three levels of self-paced, online IMDS training for your employees. Each training comes with hands-on exercises, quizzes to test your knowledge, and a professional certification. Learn more here or contact us at [email protected] to discuss how we can support you with your automotive compliance.


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