If you’re a passenger on a Boeing 727 or a soldier gearing up to face a heavily armed enemy force, you can’t have the equipment you’re depending on failing you. The only way you can have that confidence is if you know that the equipment manufacturer followed the highest possible safety measures. AS9100D certified companies must adhere closely to quality management system (QMS) standards.
AS9100 certification is intended for organizations that design, develop or produce aviation, space, and defense products. Organizations that manufacture components for equipment on which human lives or a lot of money depend should also be AS9100D certified.
What Is AS9100 Certification?
AS9100 certification is the international Aerospace quality management standard. It includes requirements for aviation, space, and defense industries.
The standard was prepared by the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG). It was done with the help of representatives from aviation, space, and defense companies in the Americas, Asia, and Europe.
The AS9100 quality management standard is based on general ISO 9001 standards for quality management. It adds, over and above the standards for ISO 9001, requirements that relate to the needs of stakeholders in the aerospace industry. These include needs for “Product Realization” and “Measurement, Analysis, and Improvement”.
In the AS9100 you can note sections added for project management, risk management, configuration management, and control of work transfers.
What Are The Requirements of AS9100D?
The defense and aerospace industries need the best materials with the most precise metal machining techniques. According to the AS9100D, an aerospace manufacturer must demonstrate that it has the necessary procedures and controls in place to provide the highest quality machine parts. The manufacturer must develop these products safely following stringent statutory and regulatory requirements.
These additional requirements are as follows:
Product Realization Planning
There are requirements for project management, risk management, and configuration management. During the manufacturing process, the metal fabricating company must do risk identification and assessment on an ongoing basis.
The purchasing process needs to be controlled. Verification of the purchased products has to be done consistently. Selection and control of suppliers is an essential part of these steps in the quality management system.
Production and Service Provision
Changes in this section are extensive. They include more control of production processes and controls on production equipment and tools. Support after delivery is part of these provisions.
Strict monitoring of non-conformity and actions to take in the case of non-conformity are laid out. Corrections actions need to take place if non-conformity is found.
This topic lays out product quality requirements and specifies product safety. It also covers product reliability, availability, maintainability, suitability, and disposal requirements.
How Can My Company Get AS9100D Certified?
Once you have devised your quality management system, you must implement it. You have to operate your QMS since you have to complete the following tasks before certification:
The following actions should be carried out within your company prior to the certification audits. These are essential for your certification to proceed smoothly.
During this process, you’re looking for hidden weaknesses in your QMS with the goal of correcting them. You will have to check all of your processes to see if they’re working according to plan. If there are any inconsistencies or non-conformities, you have to find the source and correct it.
Company management needs to review the QMS implementation and ensure it is running smoothly. If they need to reassign resources or revise any part of the process, they can do it now.
Once you have implemented your QMS, if you find a problem or non-conformity, you need to find why is not working and correct it. During the audit, it will be too late, so do it now.
The Audit Stages
Most authorized certification bodies will want you to have spent a pre-determined length of time using your QMS. They will inform you of this length of time to avoid problems. They may also guide you through the pre-audit steps and help you know what to expect.
Stage 1: The Documentation Audit
The certification auditors will review your documentation to ensure it meets the standards of the AS9100D. They will also allow you to run your QMS for a certain length of time.
The auditors will then create a report to identify non-conformities. This may include missing documents or required records. They will identify at which points your company may not be meeting the requirements of AS9100D.
Stage 2: The Certification Audit
During this stage, the auditors will audit all of your QMS processes to ensure that the activities meet the AS9100 standard. They will conduct interviews and do observations. They will then assess that everything is conforming to standard and following the QMS protocols you provided during stage 1.
Once they have confirmed that all your company processes are functioning as planned and in compliance with AS9100D, they will issue you a certification that states that your company’s QMS meets the requirements of AS9100D.
This is the initial certification. It will continue at least yearly with surveillance audits and re-certification audits.
Why AS9100D Certified Is Important
Using components built by an accredited business is essential. If they are not AS9100D certified, chances are they will fail. Failure may cost substantial amounts of money or many human lives.
One problem that aerospace electronics manufacturing faces is the risk of counterfeit parts. The most recent revision of the AS9100 includes the provision of a counterfeit part. This revision is called AS9100D.
If a manufacturer is going through the aerospace certification process and is not yet certified, you need to be careful since it’s a long process. You could be dealing with delays while waiting for the process to finish.
One way to make sure you’re purchasing your components from an AS9100-certified company is to check the IAQG OASIS database. It has the full list of certified aerospace manufacturers that have AS9100 certification.
At NAMF and NAPM, we are conscientious about our QMS and are fully AS9100D certified. If you’re looking for top-quality parts that arrive on time, contact us today.