The AS9100 certification is the most important certification for aerospace manufacturing companies to validate their quality management systems (QMS). This article explains the certification requirements and how a company should implement it.

The ISO 9001 certification focuses on a general quality management system (QMS) that applies to most businesses or services sectors. However, sectors like aerospace, medical or healthcare need a more appropriate quality certification that addresses their specific quality management aspects. The AS9100 certification is a quality-based certification meant only for aerospace businesses which assures safety, consistency and regulatory compliance of their manufactured items, parts or products.

What does the AS9100 certification mean for aerospace manufacturers?

Let’s get straight into the importance of the AS9100 certification for aerospace businesses.

It is important for manufacturers or services providers in the aerospace sector to have this certification because most users or customers of aerospace products are usually not going to buy anything from a company if it is not certified with the AS9100 quality management standard. Users or customers include aviation companies, space research centers, and defense organizations. Clearly, all of them deal with products or services used for fulfilling public or national interests. They should hence be able to assure quality and safety in whatever products or components they manufacture for their customers.

Here is what the AS9100 standard helps to assure for aerospace companies or manufacturers.

• Establishment of quality-focused leadership
• Fact-based decision making
• Development of mutually satisfactory and trusted relationships with suppliers
• Continuous improvement in the quality of products or services
• Improved quality assurance with traceability
• Bring new market opportunities or new customers at local or global level
• Effective measures for addressing customer complaints
• Improved consistency in processes that results in timely delivery of products as well as quality maintenance

While these are assured benefits of the AS9100 standard for quality assurance in aerospace manufacturing, implementing the standard is another big concept.

Steps to Implement AS9100 Standard: Simple Road Map to Follow

Here are the key steps that help businesses in the aerospace sector to get certified with the AS9100 standard.

1. Preparation: The first step involves understanding the requirements of the standard and laying out a proper plan or layout of the roadmap to certification. The roadmap should include milestones, time required and objectives to be achieved with it. Most of the times, it is recommended to consult some professional certification consultants who can educate a manufacturer on AS9100 requirements. They can also tell how a manufacturing firm should plan and involve their employees, provide training, and make the implementation of the standard possible.

2. Discovery: This step involves gathering documents related to onsite production procedures and quality management measures and doing a gap analysis. It would be useful for considering what should be done to improve the QMS. Under the gap analysis, a company needs to find out what is missing in their quality management compared to the AS9100 standard’s requirements.

3. Formalization or documentation of QMS: Once the manufacturing company is sure of what to include in their new QMS to make it compliant with the AS9100 standard, they should document it and standardize their QMS through paperwork. The documented management system is not just an essential step for certification compliance but it is also required to create accountability in the employees.

4. Implementation Training: The companies should be providing onsite training to all the employees and make them understand their roles in operating with the QMS. They should be well-trained about following the procedures as exactly mentioned in documentation for assuring complete compliance with the standard.

5. Internal Auditing- The company needs to perform an internal audit or mock audit of their QMS before registering. It ensures that their QMS is fully ready for final certification audit and to be certified by the registrar or certification body.

Conclusion

Achieving the AS9100 certification requires an aerospace manufacturing organization to follow a process-based approach for implementing a standardized QMS across their processes. It helps to validate their QMS and ensure safety, reliability, and quality compliance of the products. Apart from that, it potentially reduces efficiency and ensures process consistency, smooth products delivery, reduction in customers’ complaints, competitive advantage in international market and many other advantages.

Author's Bio: 

Damon Anderson is the managing director of a certification consultancy that assists businesses in different sectors to get certified with the management system standards including the aerospace sector. He is also a specialized consultant for AS9100 certification and assists manufacturing units to get certified with it in a simple and cost-effective way.

Contact Details:
Business Name: Compliancehelp Consulting, LLC
Email Id: info@quality-assurance.com
Phone No: 877 238 5855