AS9100 is a quality management standard specially made up for the aerospace industry. It is designed to help organizations establish and maintain high quality and safety in their products and services.
However, despite its importance, many people are still unaware of what is AS9100 and how it can benefit organization. Also, there are many misconceptions related to this standard.
In this post, we will provide a comprehensive guide to AS9100, including its history, purpose, and benefits. We will also address some common myths surrounding AS9100 and explain why they are not true and how you can help your organization succeed in the aerospace industry.
What is AS9100?
AS9100 is an internationally recognized aerospace quality management system (QMS) standard that uses ISO 9001 as its foundation but has additional requirements specific to the aviation, space, and defense industries.
The AS9100 requirements ensure quality, safety, and consistency by addressing the areas of product conformance to requirements, process effectiveness, risk management, product configuration management, supply chain management, design verification and validation, and product monitoring and measurement.
Who would benefit from AS9100 certification, and why?
Most of the time, many suppliers and manufacturers don’t know what is AS9100 or how it can benefit them.
AS9100 certification is one of the most advantageous standards for suppliers and small businesses dealing in the aerospace industry. This certification helps create standardized tools, processes, and practices for quality improvement that are shared and used by the top businesses in the sector.
This certification also helps in reducing costs and non-value-added activities to consistently offer high-quality goods and enhance processes. This helps validate the company’s commitment to customer satisfaction. It also helps lower the risk, reduces product defect rates, emphasizes continual improvement, and provides high-quality goods and services.
According to the statistics, over 24,000 aerospace QMS certifications exist, with the Americas accounting for over 11,000 of those.
Why was AS9100 created?
The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) in America and the European Association of Aerospace Industries (now the Aerospace and Defense Industries Association of Europe) published the AS9100 quality management system standard in October 1999.
After creating this standard, organizations in Japan and Asia quickly followed this suit. The International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG) worked together to create the standard, which incorporated the requirements of the SAE AS9000 and the prEN9000-1 standards from Europe.
These older standards, also based on ISO 9001, were created by a group of prime aerospace contractors to streamline aerospace quality requirements.
IAQG comprises delegates from businesses in the Americas, Asia/Pacific, and Europe involved in aviation, space, and defense.
What are AS9100 certification steps and which should be followed?
Pre-assessment is a voluntary service made available to businesses who want to have the best understanding of their preparation before taking a certification assessment.
- Certification audit
The certification audit has two parts stage 1 and stage 2. These two audits’ main goal is to verify that your company’s Quality Management System complies with all AS9100 requirements.
- Certificate of registration
If the audit report is approved by the Certification Committee, QSR will award your certified organization a three-year Certificate of Registration and add it to its list of registered firms.
- Surveillance Audits
Every year, surveillance audits are performed to make sure the standard is being followed.
KSQA will carry out a re-certification assessment before your AS9100 certification
expires. This will evaluate the overall efficacy of your quality management system.
What are AS9100 common myths you need to understand about?
AS9100 certification is only for big aerospace suppliers.
AS9100 certification is not intended to be used only by aerospace companies. Also, this certification is not solely aimed at big businesses.
The certification standards are intentionally written to be descriptive rather than prescriptive. This means that the requirements only specify what must be done but not how to do it.
For instance, the standard may state that you need to have a system for preventing the sale of counterfeit goods, but you are free to choose how you will do this.
In this approach, whether you are a small, medium-sized, or large organization, the standard’s requirements provide the “best practices” of what your QMS has to be effective.
- Businesses need to document everything.
It’s true that some certification will be required to make sure that your QMS processes are correctly implemented. You have proof that the anticipated arrangements have been met, but not everything must be recorded in detail.
You have enough documentation for a process if you can guarantee that it will be carried out properly to fulfill your needs, and you have the records to prove it.
- AS9100 tells us how we need to do things.
As stated earlier, the standards specify what needs to be done but not how to execute it. According to AS9100 certification, you should develop, implement, and control the processes necessary to ensure the safety of your product over its entire lifecycle.
Still, it is up to you to decide how these processes will operate for your organization and product. The standard mentions that these procedures involve handling safety-critical objects and managing hazards.
- The quality department “owns” the QMS.
Although the quality department typically performs many of the QMS’s processes, including the internal audit, this does not imply that the quality department is the sole owner of the QMS.
Every process owner in the organization is a part of the QMS, which is designed to encompass every area of the business, from planning to delivery of your products and services. The QMS functions best when it is integrated into your daily operations and not just an add-on system that exists to please other people.
- The QMS needs to be right away.
The QMS is not designed to be perfect right away because one of the guiding concepts of the QMS is that a business must continuously develop over time.
Although this is not the same as perfection, the processes must be sufficiently monitored and stable to identify issues and offer corrective action.
To improve customer satisfaction and overall business performance, you must first establish the procedures required to satisfy your customers’ demands and expectations. Your QMS will eventually prove beneficial in this area.
- AS9100 costs a lot to implement and maintain.
There will undoubtedly be some upfront costs involved in putting your AS9100 certification in place, but the long-term gains should outweigh these.
You will discover that your return on investment is great and that your business is always finding cost and time savings if you are utilizing AS9100 certification as a strategy to drive improvement in your operation and work towards raising customer satisfaction.
On the other hand, you might be right that this will be a significant investment if you merely give your QMS lip service and do nothing to improve it.
AS9100 is a crucial quality management standard for the aerospace industry that helps organizations establish and maintain high quality and safety in their products and services. By implementing AS9100, organizations can ensure that they meet the strict quality and safety requirements of the aerospace industry. This can help them gain a competitive edge and improve customer satisfaction.
However, with the above mentioned point, you can now clearly understand what is AS9100, its history, purpose, benefits, and myths. By following the guidelines in this blog, you can ensure that your organization is fully prepared to succeed in the aerospace industry.
So, if you want a better understanding of what is ISO 9001, KSQA is here for you. To learn more, call us.