- On December 7, 2018
- Aerospace accreditation is key to achieve the highest performance production parts in a safety critical performance dependent environment.
- What exactly is AS9100 and NADCAP?
- How can we ensure that the right systems are in place for manufacturers and suppliers who provide the aerospace industry with 1000’s of component for aeroplane that carry millions of passengers per year.
- To find out more about what our AS9100 accreditation means for your business in practice, click here to get in contact.
What is AS9100?
AS9100 is a widely adopted and standardised quality management system guideline and robust audit for the aerospace industry. Aerospace manufacturers and suppliers worldwide require compliance and/or registration to AS9100 as a condition of doing business with the likes of Boeing, Airbus & Bombardier, to ensure the quality of their products from both a performance and safety perspective is to the highest degree possible.
How does the AS9100 process work?
“AS9100 certified” means an organisation has met the requirements of AS9100. It contains the actual requirements an organisation must be in compliance with to become AS9100 registered. If the organisation creates and implements a robust enough QMS (quality management system) which meets these requirements, they can seek AS9100 registration. The company will be audited by an independent third-party auditor over a number of days depending on the size of the company, the scope of audit (number of processes/services the company would like to have AS9100 certified) and if successful the company will be awarded with an “AS9100 Certificate” describing what they have been certified for.
For example, South Coast Composites is certified for: The manufacture, assembly and supply of composite products to include full lot traceability of materials used for automotive, aerospace, space and defence sectors against customer specification. Click here to see our most up to date AS9100 certificate.
More specifically AS9100 is an SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) document managed by the IAQG (International Aerospace Quality Group) that defines the requirements for the AS9100 Quality Management System Standard.
Benefits of AS9100
- AS9100 can be seen as more rigorous in its approach than other certificate because of the responsibilities and increased involvement of top level management. This starts with the setting of the quality policy, quality goals and objectives.
- Management reviews look at data from the QMS (quality management system) and actions are taken to make sure that the quality goals are met, new goals are set, and continual improvement is achieved.
- Customer satisfaction increases are seen as goals and objectives take the customers’ needs into account.
- Goals focus on the customer, so the organisation spends less time focusing on the individual goals of each departments and more time working together to meet customer needs.
- Increased productivity results from the initial evaluation and improvement of processes that occur during the implementation process and from improved training and qualification of employees.
- Better documentation and control of processes leads to consistency in performance, less scrap and rework.
- Employees have more information for troubleshooting problems on their own.
What is NADCAP?
NADCAP (National Aerospace and Defence Contractors Accreditation Program) is a global cooperative accreditation program for aerospace engineering, defence and related industries.
NADCAP was established in 1990 by SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) and the program is administered by the PRI (Performance Review Institute) . NADCAP ‘s membership consists of “Prime Contractors” who coordinate with aerospace accredited suppliers to develop industry-wide audit criteria for special processes and products. Through PRI, NADCAP provides independent certification of manufacturing processes for the industry. Much like AS9100 the aim is to provide international, unbiased, independent manufacturing process and product assessments and certification services for the purpose of adding value, reducing total cost, and facilitating relationships between primes and suppliers.
How does the Nadcap process work?
The PRI (Performance Review Institute) administers the NADCAP program. PRI will schedule an audit and assign an approved auditor who will conduct the audit against an industry agreed standard using an industry agreed checklist. At the end of the audit, any non-conformity issues will be raised and non-conformance reports issued. PRI will administer closeout of the non-conformance reports and upon completion will present the completed audit package to a ‘special process’ task group made up of members from industry that will review it and vote on its acceptability for approval. Accreditation is granted when all non-conformances are closed.
Benefits of NADCAP certification
- Increased productivity and processes base on the high requirements of the audit and improved standardisation.
- Improvements in quality in the area(s) being audited for in the Nadcap accreditation(s).
- Being NADCAP approved can improve prospects for new business as it shows a commitment towards improving and monitoring quality, which aerospace are receptive to.
- More than two-thirds of the aerospace industry representatives believe that NADCAP contributes to the overall aerospace industry’s safety record.
NADCAP and AS9100 both provide an auditing program and bench marking system for those companies that are seeking to be accredited, to build a quality management system on. The auditing program and benchmarks set for both of these certificates are approved and agreed upon by aerospace companies like Airbus, Boeing and Bombardier to ensure that the components that go into their products are made to the highest level of competency and consistency possible.
NADCAP has all the building blocks and benchmarks for creating a robust quality management system and is audited by an independent third party to ensure the unbiased review and approval of the processes completed within the company for aerospace customers. AS9100 has the above and the addition of customer orientated requirements which ensures that those approved companies use customer satisfaction as a KPI. AS9100 also requires top level management to become involved in the quality procedures to ensure that it is being taken seriously. The quality management system and customer feedback is discussed at each management meeting to ensure that the company can adapt to the changing needs of customers, technology and project specifications.
Find Out More…
If you’d like to find out more about how aerospace accreditation affects the service that we have to offer in practice we’d be more than happy to talk with you about how this could benefit your current and future projects. Feel free to click here and get in contact.