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What is a VDA 4986 Message?

The VDA 4986 message represents Just-in-sequence information that are sent to suppliers by their customers. In contrast to a VDA 4985 message which is used as Just-in-Time calls, the VDA 4986 message is specialized on the use case when car manufacturers want to communicate demands to suppliers who have to deliver single parts in given sequence directly to an assembly line. These JIS messages follow the VDA standards and are supplement documents for electronic purchasing processes based on delivery schedules commonly used in the automotive industries. The structure of the VDA 4986 message is based on EDIFACT.


The use of the VDA 4986 Message

The assembly of a car is a highly automated procedure which still offers a lot of variety customizing a single type of car (equipment, color, etc.). That makes it necessary that suppliers producing parts which are directly sent to an OEM’s assembly line always send the right part for the right car at the right time. Therefore the VDA 4986 message is used to communicate exactly that information.  

In difference to a VDA 4984 or a VDA 4985 message a VDA 4986 message is specialized on sending information for just one specific part to be delivered and therefore contains much more information referring to the item. A VDA 4986 message therefore consists of segments containing production number (= ID of produced car), assembly line, parts family, part number, exact time to ship and a sequence number.

The parts family, also called “Modul” in the VDA 4986 message, specifies in general to what type of part the requested items belong. I.e. you can have a parts family for headlights and the part number then exactly specifies which type of headlight (with or w/o Xenon-lights, etc.) must be built into the car in the end. Why is the parts family information in a VDA 4986 message?

The parts family is used to specify which items are organized together and shall be sent inside one rack/container or other type of package that is used to send out the parts. So you can have different types of headlights in one rack when they belong to the same parts family.

And how does the supplier know where to put the item in the container/rack? This information is also sent in the VDA 4986 message with the so called sequence No. specifying in which sequence the parts must be filled. The production number of a car cannot be used, because this number may not be defined consecutively without gaps and there might be lesser equipped cars where certain parts must not be shipped and for these cars you then get no sequence, which means a vendor must leave a rack pocket empty.

As each individual item is communicated with a VDA 4986 message the calls are sent very frequently in most JIS scenarios (one exception is for instance the AUDI pearl chain process). That can mean you receive i.e. one call every minute and from the time of order to the time of shipment there may only be a timeframe of 90 minutes. That means w/o having a sophisticated EDI JIS-solution which is able to process JIS messages like the VDA 4986 in a short time you will never be chosen as a JIS supplier for automotive manufacturers/OEMs.

Benefits using EDI and the VDA 4986 Message

Benefits exchanging JIT demands via VDA 4986 for customer and the supplier

Reduces employee workload tremendously

as data has not to be typed in manually and information are exchanged very frequently

Preventing errors

as data is generated automatically by the system w/o human interaction

Realizing a highly customizable car assembly process

is only possible with exchanging the demands automatically via EDI and standardized JIS messages like VDA 4986

Managing one car order per minute

is only possible by operating with an automated EDI process (no re-keying)

Automatic integration and planning of sequence calls saves time and reduces costs
Fulfilling VDA 4986 standards makes them eligible to be nominated as partners for JIS processes at the end
Direct delivery to assembly

with a short time order eliminates stocks/warehouses

Communicating sequences ensures

that the right part is delivered for the right car

that the right part is delivered for the right car

automated via EDI enables the OEMs to produce high customizable cars efficiently

Automate the VDA 4986 Just-in-sequence Message with flexible operating models

When expanding your EDI usage, you should evaluate all options how to operate EDI. With SEEBURGER you have all options: The SEEBURGER EDI solution can be used on-premises as an in-house operation, can be booked as an EDI Cloud Service in the SEEBURGER Cloud or in public cloud environments like the ones from Google, Azure, AWS etc.

Still you have to consider that automotive OEMs not always allow cloud operation models when it comes to implement JIS processes. So be aware that in terms of JIS processes you first check with your OEM if a cloud operation model is applicable.

Do you work in a sector with its own specific needs?

Take a look at the SEEBURGER range of industry-specific solutions