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Puerto Rico Manufacturing Extension

Innovation

Partnering With PRiMEX for AS9100D Certification and QMS Improvements

Aerospace supplier achieved certification and new hires in five months with help from its local MEP

Published: Thursday, June 11, 2020 - 11:02

El-Com Systems Corp. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of El-COM Systems Solutions based in California. The local company has been in Puerto Rico since 2016 operating in Caguas. The company is dedicated to manufacturing complex electromechanical subsystems and assemblies for the global aerospace and defense industries. The company has 62 employees including operational and administrative personnel.

El-Com Systems was required to implement and certify its quality management system in accordance with the international standards of AS9100D for the aerospace sector. The challenge was not only to achieve the ISO certification, but also to achieve it simultaneously with an accelerated growth process, which required the hiring of additional employees for new production lines. Puerto Rico Manufacturing Extension, Inc. (PRiMEX), part of the MEP National Network, was recommended to provide support in this process.

PRiMEX first performed an AS9100D review (gap analysis) of El-Com’s quality management system and developed a working plan with all the actions, roles, and responsibilities to successfully achieve the ISO certification audit. El-Com proposed a five-month aggressive schedule to become AS9100D certified to meet one of its defense customer’s requirements. PRIMEX played a critical role in helping navigate the requirements to meet El-Com’s and the customer’s due date.

PRiMEX provided quality management trainings, reviewed operating procedures and the required documentation, and served as a lead auditor in support of the quality management system. The corrective action process was also reviewed, which facilitated weekly status reports of the actions completed and in progress for the certification.

A final internal audit was made to ensure compliance to standards and supported the company in selecting a third-party auditor. Minor issues were found by the auditor, and corrective actions were completed and approved, allowing for El COM’s certification within the required time frame. PRiMEX’s support throughout the process provided the knowledge and capabilities needed for El-Com to become AS9100D-certified.

Results
• Achieved AS9100D certification in five months
• 62 jobs retained, 10 jobs created
• $3 million in retained sales
• $1.5 million in increased sales
• Two new defense customers after the certification

Could your company benefit from assistance with becoming AS9100D certified? Connect with your local MEP Center for more information.

First published May 8, 2020, on NIST's Manufacturing Innovation Blog.

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Puerto Rico Manufacturing Extension

Puerto Rico Manufacturing Extension (PRiMEX) is a private nonprofit organization, organized in 1996 through the initiative of Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company (PRIDCO) and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), a program under the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). As part of a national network, PRiMEX supports the needs of all Puerto Rico’s small and medium enterprises (SME’s) by providing services to improve their business processes.