Changes Your ECM Will Make Transitioning From AS9100C To AS9100D
In order to participate in the aerospace or defense industry, nearly all manufacturers and suppliers must make themselves AS9100 compliant. This set of standards is followed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the United States Department of Defense (DoD), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as well as many large prime contractors in the aerospace industry.
The AS9100 accreditation encompasses the more broadly applied ISO 9001 standards and brings in added layers of quality and safety specifically for aerospace and defense. This quality management system is what ensures safe, reliable, and standard defense, aviation, and space products and services.
Organizations wishing to become AS9100 certified must undergo a third-party audit annually in order to maintain accreditation with the publishing body, the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers). Beginning in September 2018, all new and currently certified AS9100 organizations must advance their standards according to the new set of criteria. This is commonly referred to as AS9100D where the previous set of standards was labeled AS9100C. Those organizations transitioning from level C to level D should take special note of the additions and changes presented in the new set of standards.
As in the past, changes in the AS9100D reflect the most current version of ISO 9001. ISO 9001:2015 is a good place to begin when looking for all the required changes for AS9100D. ISO 9001:2015 was adjusted to help make integration with other quality management systems more smooth, including with AS9100.
Next, there are a few key changes between AS9100C and AS9100D that are specific to the aerospace and defense environments. These additions and adjustments are of particular importance in these industries where operations have become increasingly complex and challenging. The revisions were designed with these environments in mind and as a way to assist organizations with processes, customer and product quality.
1. Product Safety: Notations on product safety are conspicuous throughout the new standards. The importance of safety cannot be overstated in the aerospace and defense industries, therefore AS9100D expands the definition to include safety requirements throughout a product’s full lifecycle, not just it’s contract and production processes.
2. Human Factors: Human factors are now a part of the standard’s discussion on Nonconformity and Corrective Action. Everything from attitude and distraction to stress, fatigue, and physical fitness can bear some blame for nonconformity, especially in highly-sensitive manufacturing processes. AS9100D requires organizations to include analysis of these factors in instances where nonconformity occurs. The intention of this addition is to assist organizations in making quick corrections to these issues so that problems do not reoccur.
3. Risk-based Thinking: Risk prevention is a perspective that is emphasized through the AS9100D standards. In order to encourage better process and quality management, risk-based thinking is encouraged throughout the entire system, not just at the beginning. This includes risk-based thinking after a product’s useful life has concluded.
4. Counterfeit Products: There is a whole new set of prevention requirements aimed at unauthorized substitutes, modified parts and illegal copies of parts that attempt to pass as genuine parts in AS9100D. Much of the prevention procedures include additional training, standard controls for acquiring parts, verification methods and obsolescence monitoring.
5. Configuration Management: The definition of affiliated entities has also been expanded beyond customers to include all stakeholders. This could include employees, suppliers, regulatory officials, and a myriad of other groups. This change ensures that the needs and interests of all involved parties are considered during the processes and management systems of the organization.
There are many benefits from adhering to the AS9100D standards that extend beyond retaining certification. The standards are intended to improve quality, safety, and reliability from manufacturing advanced processes and best practices. Generally, these lead to higher customer satisfaction and, consequently, customer relationships.
Continuous improvement, as pushed by these standards, serves to improve the manufacturer’s systems, products, and ultimately, customer experience. Specifically, these new requirements streamline supply chain documentation and should result in fewer unique customer documentation requirements.
Though the benefits are broad and extensive, it is important to note that after September 2018, the AS9100C standards will no longer be accepted. Those organizations wishing to continue working in the aerospace and defense industries will do well to make the suggested improvements to stay accredited and take advantage of the process and quality improvements inherent in the standard changes.
Levison Enterprises is both AS9100D and ISO 9001:2015 certified. This is in line with our customary way of doing business. We always offer the highest quality and customer experience possible. We believe in these standards of business because we believe that our customers deserve high-quality products delivered when we say they will be delivered.
We are proud to be transitioning to all the latest standards as a way of expressing our commitment to continuous improvement, quality, and customer satisfaction. Whether your next project is aerospace, defense, or another industry, your needs will be met with the highest level certifications.
Contact Levison Enterprises to see how we can put these quality standards to work for you and your products.