We’re so busy here at STC, that we barely have time for congratulating ourselves for our accomplishments before moving on to the next big thing. That most recent accomplishment is our successful upgrade to Revision D of AS9100.
As I sit before a vertical mill test-running a new CNC program for a Sikorsky part, I take a little time to brag to the world that we’ve just completed our AS9100 upgrade audit to Revision D, with no negative findings, only congratulations, and a job-well-done from our registrar. That’s what we want to hear. Thanks to our whole staff who made this happen, and a shout out to Rick Litts at LQT for a stellar job in helping us in our transition.
To give a brief description of the changes required to satisfy Revision D in a QMS (Quality Management system) you will see the following elements requiring more focus:
- Risk management: A risk is simply the possibility of something happening that you didn’t expect. Most new companies that fail do so because they failed to understand or provide for risks. A mature company as ours has developed a solid understanding of day-to-day risk. It’s when something new is introduced to a company that real risks crop up (new equipment, new workforce, new management and new technology). A good example would be implementing new processes such as transition from drawing based parts to digital model parts, as we recently did. Clearly a big change for a small shop, and not identifying risk can cost dearly. But change in an organization is not only inevitable, it is required by the AS9100 standard.
- Constant improvement: As stated above, you are required to improve your QMS constantly. If you fail to do so an auditor can write a non-conformance.
- Interested parties: Not only are you required to maintain focus on your internal systems, you must identify and take into consideration all entities substantially impacted by your performance: Suppliers, Employees, community, neighbors, and yes customers. It is a very comprehensive focus you must maintain beyond your plant walls.