Advanced Air AS9100 and ISO 9001 Case Study
For more than 35 years, Advanced Air of West Palm Beach, Inc. has been fabricating custom replacement aircraft bushings, sleeves and out-of-scope nuts to support the landing gear overhaul industry. Their customers include a wide range of military and commercial aircraft covering Boeing and Airbus platforms and many more including F-15, Boeing 787, and Airbus A380. With an extensive and complete inventory of aerospace quality materials, their state-of-the-art facility can provide rapid turnaround, accuracy, and cost-effective fabrication of specialized bushing for aircraft of any size.
As an added service Advanced Air also offers, Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) per A.S.T.M. specifications and is certified to perform fluorescent penetrant inspection, as well as magnetic particle inspection for all ferrous and non-ferrous metals.
The company’s quality management system has been developed in accordance with AS9100 and ISO 9001 standards, FAA regulations, and applicable customer requirements.
Although Advanced Air has always maintained the requirements of compliance, they lacked the structure required to efficiently streamline their efforts. The main challenge was a lack of manpower to invest in an overhaul of their systems. Bringing in simpleQuE’s aerospace quality experts provided an opportunity to improve their Quality Management System (QMS) and stay ahead of the compliance requirements of their customers.
When simpleQuE began working with Advanced Air in the Fall of 2018, they were already ISO 9001 compliant, but needed a gap analysis and guidance for AS9100. They chose simpleQuE for its customized approach and full-service option of compliance support since they didn’t have the manpower to dedicate to strengthening their system.
Consultants Deanne Sparr and Doreen Everett worked through the action plan, providing consulting, internal audits and AS9100 Overview training. Where needed, their implementation support included modifying or development of: key processes, risk management process, QMS and procedures, documented information, change control, safety, control processes for counterfeit parts, scrap, and a range of services.
The support also ensured a strategic planning process was conducted and documented to meet the requirements of AS9100:2016, including appropriate risk management, action plans, goals and objectives, and ongoing monitoring of performance.
When asked what process the team at Advanced Air used to overcome any obstacles and what were the lessons learned, Mike Taft, Quality Control Manager responded, “We were able to form a strong team and unite our strengths to overcome our obstacles. We learned to assess our risks and approach each issue with a simple yet effective format.”
In October of 2021, a simpleQuE auditor performed an AS9100 compliance audit to evaluate Advanced Air’s quality management system (QMS) requirements for conformance to AS9100:2016 and ISO 9001:2015 standards, assessing all core processes, management and supporting processes. There were only two findings which were then addressed and corrective actions taken, and Advanced Air was issued a Letter of Compliance by simpleQuE.
“Advanced Air’s commitment to quality is demonstrated throughout the organization and this team deserves to be proud of its’ transformation over the last several years,” noted Doreen Everett, simpleQuE Consultant and Internal Auditor.
What improvements occurred due to implementing your AS9100 QMS?
“Receiving our Compliance/Certification has positioned our company to be a world leader in the aviation sector. With developing/consolidating our QMS to a manageable document we are able to ensure we are providing our customers with the highest level of quality in all facets of our organization, coupled by the added benefits of implementing continual improvement opportunities throughout the facility, this has become a culture that has been adopted by all of our staff members.” – Marty Hatcher, General Manager Advanced Air of West Palm Beach, Inc.
“SimpleQuE helped our company to realize, improve; On-Time Delivery, Quality, and Customer Service. We also gained a leadership perspective that helped us come together as a management team to identify and achieve company objectives. The lessons that we learned from your approach have forever impacted our company in a positive way”. – Mike Taft, Quality Control Manager, Advanced Air of West Palm Beach, Inc.
What was the value received from simpleQuE’s services?
“What I found to be the most valuable was the in-depth knowledge and experience of our Consultant, Deanne Sparr. From our initial request for quote, to receiving our Letter of Compliance, SimpleQue operated in a very professional manner and provided the necessary resources to achieve our success. We are a small manufacturing facility and needed a lot of the heavy lifting provided for us and this is their forte. Ultimate customer satisfaction, regardless of time and/or commitment level, is something SimpleQue should be recognized for. They were very flexible with a tremendous understanding of our unique company dynamic allowing for small setbacks, while helping us maintain focus on the end goal. The degree of confidence we now have in our QMS Manual is a direct result of the commitment by the entire staff of SimpleQue.” – Marty Hatcher, General Manager, Advanced Air of West Palm Beach, Inc.