Although AS9100 is fairly new to the industry, making its debut in October of 1999, it is quickly becoming a mandatory staple within the aerospace industry. The AS9100 standards were designed and developed by the International Aerospace Quality Group. The AS9100 is basically an aerospace quality management system that focuses on meeting the needs of the Aerospace field in general and its users.
Aerospace Requirements in conjunction with ISO 9001
The AS9100 standard was based off of a similar set of standards known as ISO 9001. First let’s start off by describing what the ISO 9001 is; essentially ISO 9001 is part of the ISO 9000 family and is an internationally recognized standard regarding the quality management for businesses. This standard applies to all processes conducted and products created by a certified organization, and it also describes the systematic control of activities within the organization to ensure that the customers’ needs and expectations are met. Now, the aerospace requirement of AS9100 includes much of the above details of ISO 9001 but also includes an extensive amount of supplementation regarding both design and development functions specifically in the field of aerospace. This information can be further verified by supporting documentation regarding the results of various tests.
Managing Suppliers within the Aerospace Field
Since the Aerospace industry relies so heavily upon both the ISO9001 and AS9100 standards, it can make it rather difficult to find a supplier within the industry to provide such high-quality products that can be used for aerospace. Many suppliers serve industries outside of the realm of aerospace as well so it can be challenging to find a well-qualified supplier. In general, the aerospace industry usually relies upon three different methods for determining product acceptance. Such methods include: a receiving inspection, preforming an inspection within the suppliers own facilities, or even formally delegating product acceptance to the supplier. Even though not all products may be produced by the supplier, that supplier will be responsible for verifying the sources and practices of the chain of suppliers that would essentially provide any other parts used as well.
Some of the Unique Aspects of the AS9100 QMS Standard
- Detailed information on design and development is required as well as validated testing results.
- Many additional standards are in place to identify and maintain approved suppliers. It is important to note that supplier approval is only one step in this process.
- All products provided for aerospace must be managed effectively to ensure performance, product fit, lifespan, and how the product is manufactured.
- Any supplier of aerospace products or equipment must manage all of its suppliers as well as any sub-tier suppliers so as to make sure they are created within customer approved sources.
- Any organization within the AS9100 standard must document a well configured and adjusted management system.
It is evident that the AS9100 includes many pertinent and well-identified standards for the aerospace industry, but this is needed to ensure the quality of products used and for the safety of all aerospace equipment. These standards help us rest assured that all precautionary measures are accounted for and identified.