Among the most safety-conscious in the world, the aerospace industry has long-recognized the crucial role quality plays in the performance of aviation, space and defense products. Consumer and customer confidence is directly linked to perceptions about the quality of equipment and services manufacturers in this industry offer.
The industry-wide AS9100 standard was established in 1999 and is the standard to which thousands of suppliers in the aerospace industry are held. Companies achieving certification report:
improved product quality and on-time delivery
more efficient labor utilization
increased customer satisfaction in supplier-customer relationships
alignment with the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG) strategy of having 90% of supply chain certified
The current version of AS9100 aligns the standard with ISO 9001 and has extra requirements regarding Regulatory Compliance and the following aerospace-sector specific requirements:
Design phase, design verification, validation and testing processes
Reliability, maintainability and safety
Approval and review of subcontractor performance
Verification of purchased product
Product identification throughout the productís life cycle
Control of production process changes
Control of production equipment, tools and numerical control machine programmes
Control of work performed outside the supplierís facilities
Inspection and testing procedures
Methods, resources and recording
Expansion of the internal audit requirements in ISO 9001:2000
First article inspection
Servicing, including collecting and analysing data, delivery, investigation and reporting and control of technical documentation
The Benefits of Implementing AS9100
Implementing AS9100 will motivate staff by defining their key roles and responsibilities. Cost savings can be made through improved efficiency and productivity as product or service deficiencies will be highlighted. From this, improvements can be developed, resulting in less waste, inappropriate or rejected work and fewer complaints. Customers will notice that orders are met consistently, on time and to the correct specification. This can open up the market place to increased opportunities. An additional benefit due to the standardised processes and procedures is the reduction in multiple expectations due to the consistency in verification.
How to Implement AS9100
-Identify the requirements of AS9100 and how they apply to the business involved. -Establish quality objectives and how they fit in to the operation of the business. -Produce a documented quality policy indicating how these requirements are satisfied. -Communicate them throughout the organisation. -Evaluate the quality policy, its stated objectives and then prioritise requirements to ensure they are met. -Identify the boundaries of the management system and produce documented procedures as required. -Ensure these procedures are suitable and adhered to.
Once developed, undertake internal audits to ensure the system carries on working.
Steps needed for a successful implementation
A small manufacturing company should allow 18 months for implementation before the certification audit is scheduled.
Management decision and commitment, (Absolute prerequisite)
Appoint a steering group and select management representative
Create a steering group and select management representative
Communicate ISO 9001 implementation to entire organization
Provide training as required
Establish implementation teams
Assess current quality systems status
Accept, improve and develop necessary documentation.
Perform internal audits
Select and apply for assessment from a registrar (if desired).
Failure to get input into documentation from the people involved in the process
Not setting an adequate time goal
Not actively using the system created
How do you begin?
The first step is to decide for whatever reason that achieving ISO 9001 certification is important to the company. Next, appoint someone to receive education on ISO 9001, preferably the person who will lead the company through the implementation phase. A one day introductory seminar is best. This person typically becomes the ISO 9001 coordinator.The ISO 9001 coordinator meets with the management of the company to discuss what will be required to become certified.
If the company is still committed to the process, the top management official announces to everyone that the company will become certified to the ISO 9001 standard. The ISO coordinator attends a week long lead assessor course to learn about ISO 9001 documentation, about internal auditing and about the ISO 9001 standards.
The ISO 9001 coordinator assists management in forming the ISO 9001 steering committee charged with implementing ISO 9000. The committee receives two to eight hours of training about ISO 9001.
A target date for certification is established.
An implementation schedule is established.
The documentation team and implementation team are provided training on the twenty elements of ISO 9001.
Documentation training is provided for the documentation team.
Begin documentation activities.
Why Seek Certification to AS9100
Registration to AS9100 by an accredited registrar shows commitment to quality and customers and a willingness to work towards improving efficiency. It demonstrates the existence of an effective quality management system that satisfies the rigours of an independent, external audit and addresses the additional safety, reliability and quality concerns specific to the aerospace industry. An AS9100 certificate enhances company image in the eyes of customers, employees and shareholders alike.It gives a competitive edge to an organisationís marketing.
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