AS9100 & ISO9001

AS9100 is a widely adopted and standardized quality management system for the aerospace industry. It was released in October, 1999, by the Society of Automotive Engineers and the European Association of Aerospace Industries. AS9100 replaces the earlier AS9000 and fully incorporates the entirety of the current version of ISO 9000, while adding requirements relating to quality and safety. Major aerospace manufacturers and suppliers worldwide require compliance and/or registration to AS9100 as a condition of doing business with them.

Indeed, NASA, the Department of Defense, and most aerospace OEMs such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, GE Aviation, and many more require suppliers to be AS9100 certified. As a result, partnering with suppliers that are AS9100 certified makes sense, because the certification provides independent validation and assures companies and other organizations that suppliers are meeting verifiable standards. Those standards include all business processes covered by ISO 9001 certification set by the International Organization for Standardization, plus additional standards that are specific to the aerospace industry.

The update of AS9100 Revision C is largely to elevate the requirements for Risk Management and to make Risk Management an integrated theme throughout the standard.

A major challenge to AS9100 Revision B compliant organizations was the new AS9100 auditing standards defined in AS9101 Revision D, which eliminates the clause-based compliance checklist and requires organizations to provide evidence of effectiveness of their systems and processes.

Summary of changes for AS9100C:

  • Greater Emphasis on Risk Management
  • Introduces “Special Requirements”
  • Introduces “Critical Items”
  • Measure: Requirements conformance
  • Measure: Delivery performance
  • Adopt Proven Product Development Processes
  • Eliminate “recurring corrective actions”

AS9100 Revision C was released in January, 2009, with considerable delay in application of the new version in audits, largely due to the delay in the release of AS9101 Revision D and auditor training to the increased auditing rigor of that update.

The update of AS9100 Revision D includes the full text of ISO 9001:2015. In addition to aligning the structure of the aviation, space and defense requirements to the new structure of ISO 9001:2015, the following key changes were implemented:

  • Product Safety was added in a new clause and in other areas
  • Counterfeit Parts Prevention was added in a new clause and in other areas (this was already in place in the AS9110 and AS9120 standards)
  • Risk clause was merged with the new ISO 9001 risk requirements along with an increased emphasis on risks in operational processes
  • Awareness clause was added with reinforced requirements for awareness of individual contribution to product and service quality and safety along with ethical behavior
  • Human Factors are included as a consideration in nonconformity management and corrective action
  • Configuration Management was clarified and improved to address stakeholder needs

Acclaim has been registered as AS9100 certified supplier for its precision metal machining processes — Swiss Lathe Turning, CNC Multi-Spindle Lathe Turning, and CNC Milling including 3, 4, and 5-axis machining. The latest certification version, to be issued to Acclaim in August 2018, is AS9100 D, which is the most up-to-date set of standards.

Much like ISO standards, audits of all of these processes are conducted by independent, third-party validation registrars. Acclaim contracts with NSF Registrar, which is accredited by ANAB, the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board, a management systems certification body. It is the same auditor Acclaim uses for its ISO 9001 certification.