Aerospace Manufacturing: Compliance Requirements of an AS9100 Machine Shop
Stanley Machining believes in partnerships with our customers, suppliers, and associations that advocate for the strength and sustainability of manufacturing industries. Stanley Machining is committed to continual improvement and takes our role in advancing the growth of the manufacturing community seriously. To fulfill this commitment, we have become an AS9100 certified company. Though the AS9100 standard was created for the aerospace, space, and defense industries, a CNC machine shop’s ability to be AS9100 certified shows its strength in quality, document control, equipment maintenance, and competence.
The AS9100 standard has a rich history. Customers and industry experts worked with SAE to develop the AS9100 standard, which was originally released in 1999, and this team (referred to as the International Aerospace Quality Group or IAQG) continues to work together to improve the standard. The purpose of the AS9100 standard is to ensure that, regardless of the supplier performing work, products supplied are safe, reliable, and meet or exceed customer and applicable regulatory/statutory requirements. The AS9100 standard provides requirements for process control, maintenance, calibration, document control, infrastructure, customer requirements, production control, planning, organization structure and resources, performance evaluation, improvement, and training. Registrars are tasked with auditing companies per the AS9100 standard and ensuring they meet the requirements before awarding them with AS9100 certification. Read on to learn more about how our CNC machine shop interprets and meets the requirements of Sections 1 and 3 of the AS9100D standard.
Clause 1: Understanding the Scope of a Quality Management System
A foundational understanding to interpreting the AS9100 standard is learning how to handle competing requirements for products or services. For example, a CNC machine shop may receive an order for a part that has a drawing, solid model, quality clauses, industry specifications for tolerance or finish requirements, a requirement to be AS9100 certified (and therefore follow the AS9100 standard), and relevant statutory/regulatory requirements. To prioritize and handle these requirements is a necessary skill for part manufacturers, management, designers, and buyers alike. The importance of the precedence of the competing requirements will be expressed in section one of the AS9100 standard.
Stanley Machining, an AS9100 certified woman-owned small business, is an expert in determining the order of precedence for handling competing requirements, per the AS9100 standard.
Section one of the AS9100 standard also provides when an organization needs to demonstrate that it can deliver products that meet the aforementioned requirements or when an organization desires to enhance customer satisfaction with a quality management system.
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Clause 2: Interpretation of References, Terms and Definitions
What may not be obvious to most is that the AS9100 is an expansion of the ISO 9001 standard. The AS9100 standard states that “This standard includes ISO 9001:2015 quality management system requirements and specifies additional aviation, space and defense industry requirements, definitions and notes as shown in bold, italic text.” As part of this article series on AS9100, a future release will detail the differences and demonstrate how the requirements of the AS9100 standard show that an AS9100 certified CNC machine shop is an optimal choice for your CNC manufacturing needs for all industries, including traditional aerospace, space, and defense, along with oil & gas, heavy equipment, and agricultural part manufacturing.
To further express the intent of capturing all the ISO 9001 standard within the AS9100 standard, the entirety of the ISO 9001 standard definitions also apply to the AS9100 standard. New definitions, and therefore requirements are introduced in the AS9100 standard. The following is an overview of these ‘new’ definitions and their interpretation in an AS9100 CNC machine shop, such as Stanley Machining:
Counterfeit Part: the AS9100 standard introduces a concept of counterfeit parts; counterfeit parts are imitation parts meant to deceive someone into believing they are authentic. A counterfeit part is knowingly represented as an authentic part even though it may not meet the material, labeling, serialization, or performance characteristics defined by the customer. CNC machine shops must have a sophisticated counterfeit part prevention program to ensure they only certify parts that meet all the specified requirements.
Critical Items: Parts that have a significant impact on the use or provision of products, including those found to impact safety, form, fit, function, producibility, service life, and performance. Critical items must be adequately identified and managed to ensure they are appropriately accounted for. A CNC machine shop is responsible for carrying out actions to ensure essential requirements of an item are satisfied.
Key Characteristic: some critical items may be deemed vital characteristics. A key characteristic in CNC machined parts must stay consistent (as required) because it impacts the fit, form, function, performance, service life, or producibility of the use or provision of a product. A CNC machine shop must have specific processes for controlling the variation in key characteristics. Some CNC machine shops even use key characteristics in production for statistical process control.
Product Safety: with the focus on aerospace, space, and defense, product safety came to the forefront. This term is interpreted as it sounds, the ability of a part to perform its intended purpose without causing risk or harm to persons or damage to property. CNC machine shops, like Stanley Machining, take product safety seriously and utilize world-class quality control to ensure the product safety of every single manufactured part.
Special Requirements: the AS9100 standard brought on the idea of mitigating risks, and one risk which was identified was the ability to handle requirements from the customer which are challenging to meet. The term is used to segregate those requirements such that the operational risk management process may manage them. These special requirements may be determined based on experience, production complexity, or even the industry’s capability. Since AS9100 requires risks to be mitigated, CNC machine shops are required to determine special requirements and plan to address the risks they are taking on when agreeing to meet special requirements.
Stanley Machining is proud to be your AS9100 certified machining partner. We can handle all your machining needs and as you have read above, we take our part in your company’s success seriously. We are equipped to meet all the requirements of AS9100, and our expert machinists can machine even the most complex aerospace parts.
About Stanley Machining
Since 1966 Stanley Machining has been proudly providing unsurpassed, multi-industry contract manufacturing solutions to world renowned OEM's and government entities. As a global leader in precision CNC machining, we continue to provide unsurpassed expertise and value as a true partner with our customers. OEMs rely on our superior expertise and machining processes to enable them to maintain a competitive edge. We serve commercial and industrial sectors across a range of markets including defense, power, aerospace, and oil & gas.
We take pride in our quality assurance program and we are now AS9100 certified. We continuously re-invest in state-of-the-art equipment and the highest caliber quality professionals. Stanley is a woman-owned small business with over 100 employees and 200 pieces of CNC equipment under 400,000 sq. ft. in two locations.