Discovering Earth While Reaching for the Moon

On December 24, 1968 the Apollo 8 astronauts, Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders shared this iconic “Earthrise” photo during the first manned mission to the moon.  The first astronauts to orbit the moon and spend Christmas in space.

Knowing that millions of people would listen to their transmission on Christmas Eve, and as NASA’s only guidance was to do something appropriate, the astronauts decided on the book of Genesis. Lovell explained, “The first ten verses of Genesis is the foundation of many of the world’s religions, not just the Christian religion,” added Lovell. “There are more people in other religions than the Christian religion around the world, and so this would be appropriate to that and so that’s how it came to pass.”

So while orbiting above the lunar surface, the astronauts shared images of the Earth and moon and took turns reading from the book of Genesis, closing with a wish for everyone “on the good Earth.”

Seeing Earth rise beyond the barren lunar surface gave us a new perspective of our home planet and became the icon of the environmental movement. Anders has said that despite all the training and preparation for an exploration of the moon, the astronauts ended up discovering Earth.

The crew launched into orbit on December 21, and after circling the moon 10 times on Christmas Eve, prepared to return home. On Christmas morning, mission control anxiously waited to hear that Apollo 8’s engine burn had successfully propelled it outside the moon’s gravitational pull. Confirmation arrived when Lovell radioed, “Roger, please be informed there is a Santa Claus.”

In 2013 NASA recreated the historic moment when the crew first saw and photographed the Earth rising from behind the Moon. The visualization captures the view from both inside and outside the spacecraft and is synced with the onboard audio of the astronauts. Watching and listening in, you can’t help but feel their wonder and excitement.

Wherever you are on Earth, our team at simpleQuE wishes all a Merry Christmas, cherished holiday celebrations and a New Year filled with peace and the spirit of innovation and exploration!

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The Time Is Now – Preparing for a Successful IATF 16949 Transition

Automotive industry manufacture line with different metal parts

The transition to IATF 16949 has been a rough one according to industry experts.  More than 68,000 organizations certified to ISO/TS 16949:2009 (and 6,382 companies in the US) will need to undergo a transition audit to IATF 16949:2016. As of April 2017, 181 upgrade audits had been completed, resulting in an average of 5.3 nonconformities and approximately one major nonconformity (.73) per audit.

The top five nonconformities overall are “total productive maintenance” (48 nonconformities), “control plan” (38), “contingency plans” (37), “control of production service provision” (26), and “internal auditor competency” (23). Based on automotive industry datathe top-five major nonconformance clauses are customer-specific requirements (7 nonconformities), internal auditor competency (7), quality management system (QMS) audit (7), TPM (6), and management review inputs (6).

For companies that have yet to transition to IATF 16949, you do not want to wait any longer. The deadline for suppliers to transition to the new standard is your next scheduled annual audit.  All audits as of October 2017 have to be to the new IATF standard.   And note that the IATF will not be granting waivers for organizations that can’t meet the transition plan timing.

According to Russ Hopkins, head of supplier technical assistance for Ford Motor Company, “Globally, over 1,200 audits need to take place each week, which averages out to about one per week per auditor,” he said. “This is doable with the proper planning.  It’s doable as long as people do not wait until the last minute.”

This process can seem daunting to suppliers, but Hopkins notes there are several steps to a successful IATF 16949 transition:

  • Confirm dates for the transition audit with your certification body. Upgrade has to occur at your next scheduled audit.
  • Develop a work plan back from the date of the transition audit
  • Review the requirements and provide feedback regarding any concerns (suppliers contact AIAG, certification bodies contact their oversight offices, and OEM through their IATF representative)
  • Allow enough time after the transition audit to address any non-conformances. All findings must be closed in 60 days.

For those with an existing ISO/TS 16949 certificate with one or more nonconformities of the audit to IATF 16949 which are not either 100% resolved or closed within the required timeframe, the transition audit will be considered “failed” and the IATF database will be updated accordingly.  The certification decision shall be negative which means the ISO/TS 16949:2009 certificate is withdrawn and the client has to start over with an initial certification audit. (International Automotive Task Force)

For more information on transitioning to IATF 16949 visit our website.

The Countdown Begins

Hour glass on calendar concept for time slipping away for important appointment date, schedule and deadline

By Jim Lee, President of simpleQuE

With the deadline for ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015, AS9100:2016 and IATF 16949:2016 approaching on September 14, 2018, companies have been slow to transition.  The statistics are sobering, although not unexpected.  The new ISO standards have been in effect for 2 years but only 6-20% have made the leap. (The number varies among registrars and the ANAB.) The final draft for the AS 9100 series followed a year later, but with the same deadline, and only 3% have upgraded.  Even fewer IATF companies have transitioned – and all have only 1 year left to get the upgrade completed.

What should you be doing if you’re one of these companies that has pushed out the inevitable?

  • Know that your next scheduled annual audits are the dates when you must transition to the new standards. If your next audit is a recertification and upgrade, you will need to perform the audit at least 2 months prior to your certificate expiring to give you enough time to address any potential nonconformances.
  • Review the new standard and do a gap analysis to see where there are differences in your quality (and/or environmental) management system and the changes to the standard. Generic basic checklists are available from your certification body, or detailed gap checklists with tips and explanations can be purchased from simpleQuE.  Learn more about simpleQuE’s Gap Checklist for: ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015, or IATF 16949:2016.  Note that IAQG offers a free AS9100D Gap Assessment Workbook.
  • Establish an action plan that will have you ready for your audits. Assign responsibilities and due dates to ensure you’re ready on time.
  • Train your internal auditors and perform a full system audit to make sure your system is on track and in compliance. You must have evidence of a full internal audit and subsequent management review prior to upgrading with your certification body.  If you can’t get your audits done in time you’ll need to outsource them.  (SimpleQuE can conduct an internal audit to the new standard after the implementation effort to prepare you for the external audit.)
  • Don’t expect to wing it and do nothing in preparation for these changed standards, or you will fail your next audit and lose your certification. Worst case if you aren’t ready in time, you may have to let your certification lapse and then become recertified at a later time when you’re ready.  No one wants to hear that, but it is a reality for some who haven’t started.
  • If you still aren’t sure how to proceed, work with a consulting firm (like simpleQuE) with certified experts who can provide consulting, training and customized plan to guide you through the transition.

IATF Transition Update from IAOB

Cherie Reiche of the International Automotive Oversight Board (IAOB) shared the following IATF 16949 transition update at several registrar conferences.  As of April 30th 2017:

  • 68,332 sites are ISO/TS 16949 or IATF 16949 certified worldwide
  • 181 audits were completed to IATF 16949 (0.3% upgraded)
    • To date the total NCs issued = 975 (avg 5.4 findings per audit)
      • Major NCs = 133 (16% of the findings are major)
      • Minor NCs = 842

A summary of the highest incidence of NCs (major/minor) by section is represented in the chart below.  It’s interesting to note that Customer Specific Requirements and Quality Management System Audit had the largest number of major NCs, while most minor NCs were written on Contingency and Control Plans.

2017-08-15-2

News Regarding Revision of the ASA-100 Standard

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Aviation Suppliers Association (ASA) promotes safety, regulatory compliance and ethical business practices among aviation parts suppliers throughout the aviation community. Jim Lee is a presenter and attending the ASA Annual Conference and shares news about important changes to the standard.

The ASA-100 standard is going through a revision that will require all accredited companies to add to their quality manuals.  The standard and checklist will be released October 1, 2017 and all audits afterJanuary 1, 2018 must be completed to the new 4.1 version.

  • One of the changes requires that quality manuals or specific procedures contain requirements for drop shipments direct from a supplier to a customer, bypassing the distributor who sold the part.
  • Another change follows ISO and requires that suspect and non-conforming material be addressed in a procedure. Material is to be segregated. If non-conforming material is shipped, the customer must be notified timely.
  • All changes to the quality manual must be submitted to ASA by 1/1/2018.

Over 300 companies have received accreditation to the ASA-100 Quality System Standard and FAA Advisory Circular 00-56 since 1996.

Jim Lee presents at ASA’s 2017 Annual Conference

ASA Conf 170710

Aviation Suppliers Association (ASA) is a not-for-profit association that represents over 600 worldwide member companies that lead critical logistics programs, purchasing efforts, and distribution of aircraft parts globally.

The 2017 ASA Annual Conference takes place July 9-11 in Reston, VA; and is one of the largest for the aviation distributor industry. The event draws aviation professionals worldwide with a range of business development and management, quality assurance, legal/regulatory and general industry topics. The itinerary includes general sessions, workshops, exhibitors, and networking events. SimpleQuE founder Jim Lee presented at the conference on Monday, July 10 about risk management requirements for distributors that are ISO and/or AS certified.

“This is our second year to present on 3 different topics.” said Lee. “We appreciate this opportunity to network with our clients and aircraft parts distributors. Last year we had three simpleQuE attendees at the conference, and this year two. By attending these conferences, we get a lot of information and value that we share with our consulting clients and other staff members.”

Aviation Suppliers Association promotes safety, regulatory compliance and ethical business practices among aviation parts suppliers throughout the aviation community. Over 300 companies have received accreditation to the ASA-100 Quality System Standard and FAA Advisory Circular 00-56 since 1996.  ASA Certification Body also certifies companies to ISO 9001, AS9120, AS9100, and AS9110.

Risk Management for Aerospace and Defense Industries

Aerospace transport and people. Two pilots dressed in uniform flying jet airliner on sunny day sitting inside aircraft cockpit surrounded by equipment. Selective focus on captain's hand on power lever

In a business environment failure and negative consequences are the last things anyone wants to encounter.  But the reality is that risk is always present and comes from multiple sources, whether from inside the organization or from external elements. Due to the complexity of aviation, space, and defense processes, products, and services, and the severity of the potential consequences of failures, a formal process to manage operational risks is required.

The exercise of risk management is how a company proactively applies quality standards to keep a lid on risk as much as possible from creating negative ramifications in the supply chain or to production or scheduling, etc. While to some it can seem like bureaucracy or unnecessary controls, risk management pays for itself many times over with the cost avoidance it helps secure. All it takes is one bad event to see why risk management is so important, that’s assuming the company survives that event.

The elements of risk management are clear and straightforward as well. It’s an ongoing, cyclical process of identifying risks, assessing them, proactively reducing their probability of occurring by control, and mitigating those that are allowable. But just following the process alone doesn’t explain why a business should have a risk management process in the first place.

In AS9100 the operational risk management process is supported by specific requirements throughout clause 8, to drive an enhanced focus on:

  • understanding risk impacts on operational processes; and
  • making decisions on operational processes and actions to manage (e.g., prevent, mitigate, control) potential undesired effects.

Within aviation, aerospace, and defense, risk is expressed as a combination of severity and likelihood of having a potential negative impact to processes, products, services, customer, or end users. In AS9100, operational risk management must include how the company defines their risk assessment criteria (e.g., likelihood, consequences, risk acceptance), and ultimately acceptance of risks remaining after implementation of any mitigating actions. Something as simple as the example below may be the simplest way to quantify risks. More detail could be utilized with scoring.

table

The standard requires an aerospace quality management system that takes into account the identification of various risks related to organizational circumstances in regard to its needs, business objectives, product range, applied processes and the size of the organization.  Given the fact that risk can trigger catastrophic results when unmanaged, every aerospace process must have the ability to reduce the occurrences and impacts of unacceptable risks, if not eliminate them entirely. And a risk management process is the only consistent way to assess risks and quantify when they are acceptable risks or when action is required.

Benefits to companies that incorporate risk management through ISO and AS quality standards include:

  • An increased probability of meeting schedules, budgets and production objectives
  • The means of making management proactive instead of reactive to risk issues
  • An increased awareness across the organization to recognize and mitigate risk
  • Reduced warranty and field complaints
  • Reduced supply chain risks
  • An increased ability to successfully plan, manage and implement changes (whether customer, supplier or self-initiated)
  • An increased ability to comply with laws, regulations, and customer requirements
  • An enhanced capability to track financial expenditures to poor results, and
  • Improved relations with stakeholders who see the results of quality and risk management in place