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New Language in AS9100 Revision D

Safety, counterfeit parts, risk, and the context of the organization

Published: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 - 12:00

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For organizations within the aerospace sector, certification to the AS9100 family of standards—including AS9110 for aerospace maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) organizations; and AS9120 for aerospace warehouse and distribution operations—is a necessity for doing business. However, it’s also an opportunity to strengthen the inherent quality of the products and services that these companies offer to their customers.

With that in mind, it’s valuable to see how the language of the latest version of the standard, AS9100 Revision D (released in fall 2016) reflects changes in thinking about aerospace quality since the advent of Revision C in 2009. Let’s take a closer look.

Product safety

The importance of safety in product development and implementation has always been inherent in AS9100, but it jumps up in importance in Revision D through the addition of subclause 8.1.3—“Product Safety.” The clause reads:

“The organization shall plan, implement, and control the processes needed to assure product safety during the entire product life cycle, as appropriate to the organization and the product.

“NOTE: Examples of these processes include:
− assessment of hazards and management of associated risks (see 8.1.1);
− management of safety critical items;
− analysis and reporting of occurred events affecting safety;
− communication of these events and training of persons.”

As per this language, risks, specifically defined in this case as “hazards,” must be accounted for and managed as part of product safety, and safety itself must be accounted for throughout the entire life cycle of the product. In other words, registrants to AS9100 Revision D must understand and mitigate the risks stemming from their products, and analyze, report, and train accordingly.

Counterfeit parts

Immediately following the product safety section in AS9100 Revision D is subclause 8.1.4—“Prevention of Counterfeit Parts.” This is an issue that has increased in importance over the last decade, particularly in Asia, and thus the new version of the standard states:

“The organization shall plan, implement, and control processes, appropriate to the organization and the product, for the prevention of counterfeit or suspect counterfeit part use and their inclusion in product(s) delivered to the customer.

“NOTE: Counterfeit part 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.”

Again, training is mentioned specifically as a tactic to prevent or overcome this issue, along with the establishment of various procedures and processes to control, detect, verify, monitor, quarantine, and report any suspect or proven counterfeit parts.

Risk-based thinking and context of the organization

For the first time, AS9100 Revision D fully incorporates the language of ISO 9001:2015, which means that aerospace organizations must understand and demonstrate competency with risk-based thinking as well as an appreciation of the context under which the operation exists.

In practical terms, the injection of risk and context into AS9100 Revision D allows an aerospace enterprise to consider the specific mission of its business and take steps to improve outcomes for all stakeholders. Doing so means demonstrating an understanding of the various inputs, outputs, constraints, and opportunities under which the company operates. No two organizations will approach this in the same way, and that’s the point: The context under which the company operates is unique and will therefore dictate how and why the organization mitigates its specific risks.

Next steps

Now that you understand some of the basic changes in the language of AS9100 Revision D, you’ll want to learn about transition planning and timelines. Click here to find out more, or read a general overview of that standard here.

For further details about AS9100 Revision D and the opportunity to ask questions of a quality professional with extensive experience in this sector, be sure to check out Intertek’s AS9100 Revision D Update Webinar with presenter Gene Morrison, to be held Sept. 14, 2017, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern / 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Pacific. Register here to attend.


About The Author

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Intertek goes beyond testing, inspecting, and certifying products. Intertek provides a systemic approach to supporting its customers’ quality assurance efforts in each of the areas of their operations including R&D, raw materials sourcing, components suppliers, manufacturing, transportation, distribution and retail channels, and consumer management. Intetek’s network of more than 40,000 employees in 1,000 laboratories and offices in 100 countries provides quality and safety solutions to a wide range of industries.