Aerospace & Defense • April 26, 2017

Aerospace Standard Compliance: Adjusting to AS9100 Rev D Requirements

Shawn Maguire Shawn Maguire

Aerospace Standard Compliance: Adjusting to AS9100 Revision D

In just over a year from now, all companies must be in compliance with Aerospace Standard 9100, Revision D (or AS9100 Rev D for short). Originally planned for release in April 2014, the Aerospace Standard AS9100 Revision D was finally issued in October 2016. The late release of the standard— and the fact that companies must be in compliance by September 2018— places significant pressure on those companies transitioning to the revised standard.

9 Revisions: Ensuring Compliance with AS9100 Rev D

There are nine new and revised areas of AS9100 Rev D that should spark vigilance by Aerospace and Defense Quality professionals.

  1. Product Safety
    Product safety specifics have been added in carefully selected areas with consideration of current AS9100 requirements to ensure product safety during the entire lifecycle.
  2. Human Factors
    Human factors have been added as a consideration in the nonconformity and corrective action clause to ensure that root cause is identified and to ensure nonconformities do not recur.
  3. Risk
    Current AS9100 series (operation) risk management requirements have been merged with the new ISO 9001 requirements on risk-based thinking, which permeates the entire management system.
  4. Preventive Action
    Current clause requirements have been absorbed into risk and opportunities, and nonconformity and corrective action clauses. The International Aerospace Quality Group ASP100-series reinforced this concept with a number of additions.
  5. Counterfeit Parts
    This has been introduced in carefully selected areas to establish basic requirements appropriate to the product.
  6. Project Management
    Project management has been combined with the operation planning clause of AS9100 Rev D to address user interpretation issues.
  7. Configuration Management
    The clause has been clarified and improved to address stakeholder needs to specify requirements in more simplified terms.
  8. Post-delivery Support
    This has merged current AS9100 series requirements with the new ISO 9001 requirements.
  9. Product Realization and Planning
    Planning has been clarified and enhanced throughout the revised standard AS9100 Rev D.

AS9100 Rev D Comes with Several Adjustments to Terminology and Approach

One important terminology change is the introduction of PPV— Production Process Verification. With the revised standard, users will learn to use PPV instead of FAI.

There also is a significant increase in supplier oversight. This involves tighter compliance to the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle, and as part of that the addition of terminology regarding risk-based thinking. (Risk-based thinking enables an organization to determine the factors that could cause its processes and its quality management system to deviate from the planned results, to put in place preventive controls to minimize negative effects, and to make maximum use of opportunities as they arise.)

The standards introduction of requirements regarding counterfeit parts is significant. This is the first time that SAE is specifically calling out the management of counterfeit parts. That shouldn’t be surprising— The U.S. Federal Aviation Authority estimates that each year, 2 percent of the 26 million parts installed on airplanes are counterfeit. The total 520,000 substandard parts create a risk to the safety of aircraft.

According to AS9100 Rev D, counterfeit parts prevention processes should consider:

  • Training of appropriate persons in the awareness and prevention of counterfeit parts
  • Application of a parts obsolescence monitoring program
  • Controls for acquiring externally provided product from original or authorized manufacturers, authorized distributors, or other approved sources
  • Requirements for assuring traceability of parts and components to their original or authorized manufacturers
  • Verification and test methodologies to detect counterfeit parts
  • Monitoring of counterfeit parts reporting from external sources;
  • Quarantine and reporting of suspect or detected counterfeit parts.

[Get iBase-t’s Guide to Supplier Quality Management, essential for easy AS9100 Compliance.]

There are also new requirements to apply control for sub-suppliers. The standard states, “The organization shall require that external providers apply appropriate controls to their direct and sub-tier external providers, to ensure that requirements are met.” For OEMs, this means their suppliers have to start proving that their suppliers (i.e., the supplier’s suppliers) are providing quality product. All of this points to more oversight and management of data— and the increasingly critical role of supplier quality management in meeting AS9100 Rev. D.

AS9100 Rev D Goes Beyond Compliance to Culture

As noted in a post on the Postwaves forum, the impact of AS9100 Rev. D will go beyond technical compliance:

Whilst there are many technical differences between AS9100 Rev. C and Rev. D, these pale in comparison to the cultural impact. Rev. D encourages the entire organization to think in new terms: to consider how it delivers value to its customers, not just how its functions operate.

So whilst the required technical change may be visualized through a value chain instead of a Turtle diagram, the requirements on staff and their management will be much greater.

Staff engagement will be fundamental to the successful implementation of Rev. D. As silos vanish, their replacement will be much more complex, difficult, and lengthy, and will contain a holistic approach to value management. Staff will not only have to understand their own value, but also how their work contributes to the organization as a whole. That means working together as a coherent team. For many organizations that will be new and not necessarily welcomed with open arms.

This underscores the fact that SQM is part of a larger commitment as manufacturing and its standards evolve to meet the challenges of today’s global value chains, and ultimately this points to the digitalization of the sector— the concept of the digital thread as the source of truth that spans all systems— and this goes beyond technology to philosophy and strategy, one that the C-suite must support as their organizations move into the future and change accordingly. Those that realize this new culture of quality will be positioned to succeed.

To minimize the issues and defects that arise from quality issues, a Quality Management System (QMS) must be implemented. Guidelines for full QMS have been developed and documents over the last few decades by industry standards like ISO9001, AS91000 and ISO12485.

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