Every aspect of manufacturing must be carried out with precision. The margin of error is often very slim or even non-existent. This is especially true for companies that manufacture items that will be used in the aviation, space or defense industries. These agencies need to meet high standards to ensure defects do not occur. The lives of many are often at risk.
In order to comply with these requirements the most rigorous set of standards needed to be developed. AS9100 was born from the ISO 9001, a manufacturing quality system we discussed in previous blogs
What is AS9100?
ISO 9001 had gaps and areas that need to be addressed to meet the needs of the aerospace and defense industries. AS9100 was developed to fill those gaps. AS9100 is a certification based on a standards published by the Society of Automotive Engineers. Obtaining this credential is an extensive process but is advantageous when doing business with the Federal Aviation Administration, National Air Space Agency and the Department of Defense.
Why is it important?
Major aerospace manufacturers and suppliers worldwide require compliance with AS9100 standards. It is a condition of doing business in this arena. A vendor must use rigorous quality procedures which includes monitoring to do business with these companies.
The international aerospace industry realized the necessity to supplement the ISO 9001 quality system model to satisfy internal, government, and regulatory requirements applicable to the aerospace industry-requirements. As a generic standard, it was not designed to satisfy the demands of these particular industries
How to Obtain Credentials
The following is an outline of the credentialing process:
- Learn about the Standard – Learn about the requirements and expectations. Assess the company’s capability of meeting these standards.
- Perform a Gap Analysis – Determine where your current operation falls short and what changes will need to be made for the company to rise to the occasion.
- Plan your Project – Set your timeline, identify needed resources and create an implementation plan.
- Train your Organization – Train your employees. Do not underestimate the magnitude of this task!
- Document Your Quality Management System (QMS)- Assess current processes to see if they meet all of the standards. Implement changes as needed. Control the new processes and document the changes.
- Implement your QMS and Conduct Business – Collect records to facilitate analysis and to make systemic improvements
- Audity your QMS – Make sure the QMS is still in place and accurate.
- Register you Process.
Implementation will be time consuming and will seem daunting at times. The potential rewards are huge because this credential allows access to the lucrative world of aerospace and defense contracting. Achieving this credential is required to even be considered to enter into this very lucrative arena.
NJMEP can help you obtain important industry-specific certifications to make your organization more marketable. Contact us at 973-998-9801 to learn more!