AS9100 Quality Management Software Can Help Aerospace and Defense Manufacturers Achieve Compliance
Due to the “high-risk” nature of the aerospace industry, aerospace and defense manufacturers, as well as their suppliers, are expected to comply with complex contractual requirements and regulations such as AS9100. AS9100 is the internationally recognized quality management standard specifically written for the aerospace industry; it is based on the ISO 9001 quality management system (QMS) standard. Compliance with specification is confirmed through a complex auditing and certification process. While meeting the requirements of an AS9100 QMS audit can be a daunting task, AS9100 quality management software can simplify the process.
Introduction to the MasterControl Suite of QMS Solutions
An Overview of AS9100: The Standard that Prompted the Creation of AS9100 Quality Management Software
AS9100 QMS is a quality management standard designed specifically for aviation, space, and defense companies. Prior to discussing the benefits of implementing AS9100 quality management software, let us examine the standard itself, and why it is so important.
When it comes to building aircrafts and other sophisticated aerospace equipment, there is no margin for error. Mistakes in the manufacturing process can cause the aircraft or aviation device to malfunction, which can result in product and delivery delays at best, and the loss of human life at worst. To avoid such calamities, aerospace manufacturers must ensure that all of their manufacturing processes and procedures are well documented and carried out accurately and consistently. The AS9100 quality management system standard was developed to promote and continuous product and process improvement in the aerospace supply chain, with an additional focus on ensuring on-time and on-quality deliveries.
AS9100 QMS was introduced in 1999 by the Society for Automotive Engineers (SAE). As previously mentioned, the AS standard is based on ISO 9001; however, it has been supplemented with standards specific to civil and military aerospace applications. In 2009, the AS9100 quality management system standard was revised as AS9100:2009 Revision C or AS9100C. The additions to the AS9100 can be onerous, which is why best-in-class aerospace manufactures have come to rely on automated quality management software like MasterControl to help them achieve AS9100 certification.
Business Advantages of Using AS9100 Quality Management Software
When implemented and used correctly, an automated quality management system can greatly assist aviation, space, and defense companies in achieving AS9100 QMS certification which, in turn, delivers many important business advantages. These advantages include:
AS9100 certification assures a consistent commitment to quality services and enhanced reliability.
Registration provides a company’s marketing team with a competitive advantage.
Risk management capabilities of AS9100 quality management software can help minimize production risks, which can lead to refined procedures that reduce waste and yield higher profits.
Achievement of AS9100 quality management system certification enhances company image in the eyes of customers, employees, and stakeholders.
AS9100 compliance verifies the existence of a strong QMS and qualifies the company as a reliable manufacturer to its customers, including the U.S. Government and Department of Defense.
AS9100 certification is universally recognized, which allows an AS9100 QMS certified company to gain access to worldwide markets.
An effective AS9100 quality management software system improves the manufacturer’s entire operating system.
Over the years, companies involved in the production or manufacturing of parts and products used by the aviation industry have adopted a wide range of IT solutions. As a result, they are now left with a cluster of homegrown systems and a hodgepodge of legacy products. These disconnect systems and products often result in miscommunication, lost or misplaced documents, manufacturing errors, and production delays—the very issues the AS9100 quality management system standard was designed to address.
MasterControl's AS9100 quality management software electronically organizes, archives, and controls all compliance-related documentation into one lean, paperless QMS. In addition, MasterControl’s AS9100 QMS add-on products allow users to create a unified solution for managing a wide-range of AS9100 compliance process requirements, such as audit risk management, audit management, and supplier management, across the enterprise.
Risk Management—AS9100 certification aims at eliminating production risks. MasterControl Risk™ unifies risk-related activities and documents in a single, centralized repository. The solution provides a complete and accurate picture of the AS9100 risk landscape across product lines, business processes, and business units, averting the brand and reputation damage that can result from recalls, delivery delays, and regulatory nonconformance. Effective AS9100 quality management software products like MasterControl Risk can help aerospace manufactures quickly and efficiently identify and mitigate their long-term systemic risk.
Audit Management—AS9100 certification hinges on passing a comprehensive AS9100 QMS audit. MasterControl Audit™, an integrated part of the MasterControl AS9100 quality management system software suite, enables aviation, space, and defense organizations to electronically streamline and manage all of their audit procedures, including the development of easy-to-use checklists that can be customized to address a variety of AS9100 audit types (external, internal, and supplier). These comprehensive checklists promote audit consistency, which helps to ensure that the manufacturer is in compliance with applicable guidelines. And MasterControl’s AS9100 quality management software also offers powerful online analytics and reporting tools, which allow aerospace manufacturers to spot trends of potential systemic issues and make faster, more productive critical decisions.
Supplier Management— The AS9100 quality management system standard was specifically developed to promote process improvement in the aerospace supply chain, MasterControl Supplier™ offers a single repository for accessing all supplier quality data and documentation. The solution makes it extremely easy to add and track approved suppliers. The robust AS9100 quality management software solution is also able to link approved parts, materials, and services directly to a specific supplier, and Supplier’s built-in reporting tool allows its users to filter and trend data relevant to each individual supplier.
To learn more about MasterControl’s AS9100 Quality Management Software Systems (QMS), contact a MasterControl representative.
MasterControl Inc. and its partner, i4DM, are expanding their FDA project, serving as the QMS providers for a second FDA division. The two companies have been the QMS providers for the FDA's Office of Regulatory Affairs since 2009. Now they will also serve as quality providers for the Division of Pharmaceutical Analysis, which is part of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.