WHAT IS AS 9100?
QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS – FOR AVIATION, SPACE, AND DEFENSE ORGANIZATIONS
In October 1999 Aerospace Management System was introduced by the Society of Automotive Engineers in the Americas and the European Association of Aerospace industries in Europe. The International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG) developed the AS9100 document.
AS9100 Series Overview:
- AS9100 encompasses ISO 9001 with additional requirements for quality & safety relevant to aerospace and defines the QMS standard for the industry. All major aerospace manufacturers (OEMS) and suppliers worldwide require or endorse certification to AS91000 as a condition of doing business with them. AS9100D is the newest updated version.
- AS9110 is used specifically for Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul and is based on AS9100 which also adds requirements that are significant for the maintenance of commercial, private and military aircraft.
- AS9120 is used for Stockist Distributors, and is also based off AS9100 and adds specific requirements for organizations that procure parts, materials and assemblies. Distributors that sell these products in the aerospace industry AS9120 addresses chain of custody, tractability, control and availability of records. This is applicable for Distributors that resell, distribute, and warehouse parts found in aircraft and other aerospace components.
The AS9100 framework also provides an excellent and practical model from which to implement the additional requirements for an ISO 13485 (Medical) or ISO/TS 16949 (Automotive) QMS.
- Conformance to customer, regulatory and statutory requirements (safety & airworthiness)
- Flow down of requirements to suppliers and sub‐tier suppliers
- Risk management with consideration of special, critical and key characteristics
- Configuration Management
- Production Process Verification (First Article Inspection)
- Change control (documents, designs, processes, equipment, tooling, etc.)
AS 9100 Introduction
Some industries have been a step ahead of the crowd since the introduction of the internet and more advanced technology. I.e. the rise of the computer and the era of information. This is what’s powered industries like the aviation and aerospace market. Once, with only a select handful of competitors, the aerospace marketplace is much more robust and competitive today than it might have been imagined in its early days. When NASA successfully landed us on the moon for the first time, it might have been thought that the aerospace field would forever be controlled by governmental bodies. With the development of AS9100 in 1999, however, the path toward a different future began to emerge.
Now, with Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk both entering the aerospace industry as private companies, and other eccentric entrepreneurs with wild volumes of wealth all joining the governmental bodies in the pursuit of exploring space; the AS9100 standards have recently become a great deal of interest.
In addition to seeing higher savings, lower costs, and a boosted operational efficiency throughout the entirety of the organization, the QMS and industry standards published by AS9100 also aim to improve your organization’s sustainability movement. As a field that relies so heavily on technology and fuel, the aerospace and aviation industries are well aware of the environmental challenges that we face.
As such, putting an emphasis on the sustainability practices and policies that these organizations employ, brings these companies into a stronger balance with the environment, and therefore society as a whole.
AS 9100 Standards
The AS9100 standards are a series of standards related to the best practices and industry regulations of the aerospace industry. The most recent version of these standards is Rev D, which was published in 2016.
The AS9100 standards specifically apply to the quality management system employed by aerospace companies. The quality management system of an aerospace company is specifically important because of the high-level of risk that astronauts and engineers are putting themselves under day in and day out.
Though aerospace technology has come a long way since the days of imploding rocket-ships and crash landings, the field is still extremely dangerous – even when taking all of the necessary precautions. As such, implementing a quality management system that addresses both the quality of the processes, products, and services that your aerospace company is producing; however it also helps govern the safety protocols in place.
In turn, ensuring that safety protocols and industry regulations are all being met, the AS9100, provides employees with a higher sense of trust and ownership over their individual roles as it relates to their project as a whole. Empowering employees to have more control over their individual roles leads to an organization that runs more smoothly, and develops a culture of efficiency and continual improvement.
Continual improvement is one of the core principles that the ISO builds into all of their standards, and is an important part of any set of industry-best-practices. A culture of continual improvement is one in which each employee is well-trained and well-informed. So much so that they’re able to make evaluations on the current processes and workflows employed, and move practical suggestions up the chain of command appropriately.
AS 9100 BENEFITS
The AS9100 quality management standards apply specifically to the aviation and aerospace fields. As such, they address issues and practices that are related to those fields individually. Unlike other industry-wide standards, the AS9100 is able to address industry-issues and organizational improvements in a slightly more specific manner.
Considering the nature of the aviation and aerospace fields, the emergence of a standardized quality management system, and industry-wide regulations was inevitable. However, bringing your organization up to the standards set forth by AS9100 yields in a myriad of benefits that your organization experiences.
Employing the quality management system and best practices as published by AS9100, your organization will see an increased level of operational efficiency, and a boost in other significant business metrics as well. Efficiency is one of the most sought-after-traits in an organization’s management. Business leaders and decision makers all over the country are constantly looking for new ways to improve efficiency, save time, and add hours back into their weekly schedule.
The same is true in the aviation and aerospace field. As one of the most technological-dependent fields in the market, having an emphasis on efficiency and time management is integral to edging out the competition, especially as more competitors emerge. The value of a single minute, or a single hour, in the context of a business-week in the industry of aerospace and aviation is exponential, and as such – optimizing your quality management systems, processes, and procedures leads to incredible returns in the sense of time.
AS 9100 Certification
AS 9100 is a certification based on a standard published by the Society of Automotive Engineers in the Americas (SAE). Initially released in October 1999 by the Society of Automotive Engineers in the Americas and the European Association of Aerospace Industries in Europe, and shortly thereafter by standards organizations in Japan and Asia, AS 9100 was a cooperative effort of the International Aerospace Quality Group. As such, it combines and harmonizes requirements outlined in the SAE’s AS 9000’s and Europe’s prEN9000-1 standards.
HOW ARE REVISIONS MADE?
SAE International is a global association of more than 128,000 engineers and related technical experts in the aerospace, automotive and commercial-vehicle industries. Our core competencies are life-long learning and voluntary consensus standards development. Much like ISO and other standard development bodies, they rely on technical committees. The Technical Committees are responsible for the preparation, development and maintenance of all relevant technical reports within their scope. Technical Committees consist of experts from government, industry, regulatory agencies and academia.
CURRENT AS 9100 VERSION
Revision D to AS 9100 was released in October 2016, with a September 15, 2018 transition deadline. 9100 is built upon ISO 9001:2015, which also has a September 15, 2018 deadline; with a few additional requirements. Simultaneous certification to ISO 9001 is NOT required for certification for AS 9100, but by certifying it you will have met all requirements for ISO 9001 certification so it is up to you to decide whether to proceed with auditing and certifying to both standards or not.
AS 9100 COMPARED TO ISO 9001
An excellent breakdown by Quality Digest summarizes how the two standards compare. There are many similarities between ISO 9001 and AS 9100, including leadership focused on quality, continual improvement, enhanced customer focus, and involving people in the process.
The differences between the standards, per Quality Digest, include:
- Planning for Product Realization – emphasizing risk assessment and risk mitigation
- Design & Development – verification and validation, as well as requirements for documentation and testing of these stages
- Purchasing & Purchased Product – focusing on supplier control including vendors
- Product Monitoring & Measurements – rules governing quality measuring capacities including criteria for rejection and non-conformity processes
There is a ton of information in and about AS9100. As the leading international standards for the aerospace and aviation field, the AS9100 standards are designed to improve your organization from the inside-out.
Adhering to the AS9100 standards doesn’t only improve the operational efficiency internal to your organization, but also stems externally, and improves aspects of your company like sustainability and quality management.
The process for becoming AS9100 certified is relatively quick, however. It can take anywhere from 4-7 months to earn certification, and can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $3,600. However, it is highly suggested that you make use of an ISO consultant in your AS9100 certification pursuit. There are many benefits to making use of an ISO consultant, as they have access to information and resources that will ease the process from start to finish.
There is a wide variety of benefits to implementing the standards set forth by AS9100. For more information on AS9100, visit Glacier Consulting today and get in touch with an expert ISO consultant ready to manage all of your industry-standard needs.
Frequently Asked Question
ISO certification follows the same process, regardless of the ISO standard you are seeking:
- Establish, implement and verify your ISO management system
- Stage 1 audit – Documentation Review
- Stage 2 audit – Full system audit
- Closure of any findings
The standards that best suit your company vary by the industry you are in. In order to identify the standards that will provide your company with the greatest benefits, we recommend the following:
- Talk to your customers – many of them may require certain ISO standards.
- Evaluate your companies risks – see where your companies great liabilities are what needs to be controlled (e.g. quality, environmental aspects, health & safety hazards, IT security, etc.).
- Be proactive and identify new business opportunities – evaluate new areas / industries you want to grow your business. Often times, these new industries may require some sort of certification in order to enter. Certification takes time, so being proactive and having the certifications before bidding on projects can put you ahead of your competition.
The time to become ISO certified really depends on a few different factors:
- The resources you have available to support the ISO process
- Your own internal timeframe that you need / want to be certified by
- The standard’s requirement for how much evidence you need to support certification
Certification requires you to show through objective evidence that you have an effective ISO management system in place. In order to do this, you need to show that you have sufficient evidence available to support this claim. At a minimum, most standards will require 3 months of evidence of implementing your management system in order to be certified.
Some standards, such as IATF 16949, may require a minimum of one year of evidence to support certification.
The cost for certification can vary greatly from one company to another. There are typically several factors that go into the costs for certification:
- Certification body fees
- Certification body audit day rates
- Auditor travel costs
- Standard license fees (e.g. R2, RIOS, eStewards license fees)
- Consulting Fees
Audit time and consulting time is typically based on the following factors:
- Number of employees
- Number of processes and the risks associated with those processes
- Number of locations
We have the experience to help you navigate the certification body costs and possible discounts they can offer.
ISO certification shows your customers that you follow industry best practices and that your business is well structured and ready for growth.
Each ISO standard has its own benefits, for example:
- ISO 9001 – Ensures you provide your customers with a quality product or service
- ISO 27001 – Protects your information, data and reputation
- ISO 14001 – Reduces your environmental impact
- ISO 45001 – Protects your workers
- Responsible Recycling (R2) – ensures responsible management of used electronics
Common benefits across all ISO standard include:
- Increased efficiency
- Reduced costs
- Improved customer satisfaction
- More engaged employees
- Reduced risks
- Reduced insurance premiums
- Helps with project bidding
By achieving and maintaining an ISO certification, you are showing your company’s commitment to achieving your objectives, improving your business and increasing the credibility and customer confidence in your product or service.
Yes. We have been providing remote auditing and consulting services for years. We have found remote auditing and consulting to be just as effective as on-site. We use a variety of tools to ensure we are thorough in our remote services, while saving you time and money.
The great thing about working with Glacier consulting is that you don’t need anything in place to get started. We will work with you ever step of the way to ensure you have everything you need to get certified.
Most companies have far more in place than they realize. Just because it may not be documented, doesn’t mean you don’t have processes in place. We will work with your team to improve, streamline and formalize these processes.
One of the most common questions we get is how much time and effort does it take to get and maintain certification. The bulk of the effort should be at the beginning to get your management system established and implemented. To do this, we take what you already do and formalize it to meet the standard requirements. There may be some minor tweaking done, but this typically only improves and streamlines your process.
Once your ISO management system is in place, maintaining it should be as easy as breathing because it should become part of your culture and everyday operations. At the end of the day, you shouldn’t think of it as your ISO system, you should think of it as simply your way of operating your company.
We work with countless ISO standards. We’ve only listed the most common ISO standards typically sought after. We have a diverse team with tremendous knowledge in many of the ISO standards. Contact us and let us know what standard you are interested in. If we don’t offer that service, we can find you someone who can.
We can tailor a service specific to your needs to help you along your ISO journey. We can provide basic guidance to full “White Glove” support. If it’s business or ISO related, we’ve got you covered. A few of our services include:
- General ISO Consulting
- Documentation Prep
Contact us with any questions you have or for services not listed here.