Congratulations to Meteor, FireCraft Safety, American Micro, and Pentair

Congratulations from our team at simpleQuE to the companies that have worked so hard to earn their certifications!  It was a long road, but worth all the meetings, training, internal audits, updating of procedures and documents, and conversations about quality and risk.  We’re proud to have played a part in their successful transition/implementation to these quality standards.

FireCraft Safety Products – ISO 9001:2015

Photo from left – Toni Gill, CFO; Tom Lochner, President; Tom McCoy, Director of Sales; and Don Milinkovich, simpleQuE Consultant

Meteor Sealing Systems LLC – IATF 16949:2016

Photo from left – Thorsten Conrad, Vice President – Meteor Sealing Systems LLC;  Masahiko Ito, Managing Director – Toyoda Gosei Meteor GmbH; Deanne Sparr, Vice President – SimpleQuE; Ryan Ayers, Quality Manager – Meteor Sealing Systems LLC

American Micro – AS9100:2016 and IATF 16949:2016

Photo from left –  Matt Gilbert, QE;  Evan Smartnik, QE;  Sheila Floyd, Purchasing Supervisor;  Michael Shelton, Process Engineer; Ryan Siebe, Production Manager;  Rob Berger, Production Supervisor;  John Woods, Engineering Manager;  Kevin Neal, Quality Manager;  Harold Williams, Production Supervisor;  Greg Stamper, Production Supervisor;  Rita Gragg, SQE

Pentair – ISO 9001:2015

Photo from left – Peggy Jones, Quality Manager; Gregg Swint;  Dave Christine;  Matt DeHart;  Kayla Smith; Ed Henricksen

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ASA AFRA Annual Conference 2018

The Aging Workforce and Transfer of Knowledge

At this year’s ASA/AFRA Conference, Mr. Boyd Parsons, GM Excellence of Air Canada Maintenance shared some tips on how ACM has addressed the labor shortage in the industry and efforts to attract and engage millennials.  Employee training is held to improve skills and satisfy regulatory and ISO/AS/ASA standards’ transfer of knowledge requirements. Organizations must take into account their aging workforce’s “tribal knowledge” and technological advances to effectively tailor their training programs. Companies could boost their training programs with increased industry awareness to high school students, college coop programs, apprenticeships, and internships in addition to on-the-job training knowledge transfer. A community of experience and evidence-based information sharing should prove to be effective to integrate a multi-generational workforce with advanced technology and traditional learning techniques.

Photo credits: Mr. Boyd Parsons, GM Excellence, Air Canada Maintenance

It’s Almost Here! – 2018 ASA/AFRA Conference

We are just a few days away from the 2018 Aviation Suppliers Assn. (ASA)/Aircraft Fleet Recycling Assn. (AFRA) Conference which begins Sunday, June 24th and ends Tuesday, June 26th. This conference is one of the largest for the aviation distributor industry and draws aviation professionals worldwide with a range of business development and management, quality assurance, legal/regulatory and general industry topics. We always look forward to attending this conference where we have the opportunity to interact with aviation professionals from around the world.

This year’s conference will be held at OMNI Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia and feature keynote speakers Robert Taylor, SVP Technical – Apollo Aviation, Jim Lundeen, Head of Supplier Support – Airbus Americas, and Adam Pilarski Ph.D., SVP – AVITAS. In addition to these keynote speakers, SimpleQuE President, Jim Lee, will be presenting three workshops, two for third party auditors (on Saturday prior to the conference). Topics include:

  • June 23 – Auditor Training:
    Third party aerospace and ISO auditors will learn how to understand and audit operational risks (clause 8.1.1) in the aerospace standards (AS9100D and AS9110C) versus risk management (clause 6.1) in the ISO 9001 and AS9120B standards.
  • June 23 – Auditor Training:
    This training teaches third party aerospace and ISO auditors how to audit quality objectives, which pulls in context, policy and strategic direction.
  • June 25 – Strategic Direction, Quality Policy and Quality Objectives: A Three-Course Meal of Quality Planning:
    This workshop covers the interrelationship between a company’s context, strategic direction, quality policy and quality objectives. It applies to companies trying to get certified to ISO or AS, or are trying to make their quality systems more practical.

Look for highlights from the conference next week on our social media platforms and in the coming weeks we’ll have our conference recap here on the blog where we will be sharing Jim Lee’s workshop presentations which will be available for download. Stay tuned!

Congratulations on Successful Certification!

AeroDyne WorldWide – AS9120B
Allied Motion – ISO 14001:2015
American Micro Industries, Inc. – IATF 16949:2016 and AS9100D
Arrowhead Industries Corp. – IATF 16949:2016
Asahi Forge of America Corp. – ISO 9001:2015
Batesville Products, Inc. – ISO 9001:2015
BHC (Brulin Holding Company) – ISO 9001:2015
FireCraft Safety Products– ISO 9001:2015
Harvard Steel Sales/Harvard Coil Processing – ISO 9001:2015
Hilton Software – AS9100D
Hocker Tool and Die, Inc. – ISO 9001:2015
Jasper Rubber Products, Inc. – IATF 16949:2016
Knight Ergonomics and Assembly Systems, Inc. – ISO 9001:2015
KSM Metal Fabrication – AS9100D
Materion Corp. (6 sites)   –  AS9100D
Meteor Sealing Systems, LLC – IATF 16949:2016
Robin Industries Development Center (RDC) – IATF 16949:2016
Shamrock Technologies, Inc. – ISO 9001:2015
Silfex, Inc. – ISO 9001:2015
Superior Battery Manufacturing Co. – IATF 16949:2016

When Should You Hire a Quality Management System Consultant?

business, architecture, construction, teamwork and people concept - happy group of architects with tablet pc computer discussing blueprint at office

Whether your company is in the manufacturing or service industry, if you were considering implementing a new accounting or software system, which was completely outside of your staff’s expertise, wouldn’t you consider contracting with someone considered an expert in that particular area?

The same principle applies when it comes to ISO, AS or IATF certification. Hiring a consultant to prepare your company for certification can be well worth the investment, whether you’re going through certification for the first time or transitioning to a new quality standard (for instance, changing from ISO 9001:2008 to ISO 9001:2015).

Often, business owners, and sometimes even quality managers, don’t have the time or adequate knowledge of the standard to do a gap analysis and prepare an action plan themselves. An experienced consultant has gone through the implementation process in a variety of industries, and will be able to quickly understand your company’s processes and how to most effectively recognize gaps in the requirements. Going with an experienced consultant who has a significant track record in planning, developing and implementing systems greatly increases the likelihood of a successful certification.

It’s certainly possible for a company to implement a system on its own. However, doing so can prove to be detrimental to other areas of the business as resources are often stretched too thin. The employees responsible for implementing the system could fall behind on other obligations, and these setbacks can quickly outweigh any money saved by not hiring a consultant from the start.

An often overlooked benefit to hiring a consultant is objectivity. An outside consultant can bring a fresh and unbiased perspective to your company and systems. You’ll often find that a consultant provides simple and sustainable solutions that may have been overlooked by your own team.

Additionally, by hiring a consultant you’ll ensure you’re putting the right person in charge of the project. Implementing ISO, AS or IATF standards requires a strong leader who can oversee a coordinated effort. Most consultants are natural leaders able to energize all parties involved and keep the project moving forward at a good pace. Depending on the complexity of your processes, a consultant can help you focus on only what is required for certification, often finishing the project in less time than it would take using your company’s own resources.

In seeking a consultant you’ll want to make sure they have the skills relevant to your organization and industry.  SimpleQuE  consultants have educational backgrounds and work experience that make them experts in their fields.  In addition, many are current or former 3rd party auditors and ready to serve in an advisory role or for implementation, project management, training or internal auditing. SimpleQuE can assist in first-time systems development for certification; upgrading certification to a new standard; simplifying a cumbersome quality system and documentation; defining processes and process mapping; documentation and systems implementation; internal audits and gap analysis for improving your quality or environmental management system.

No matter the size of your company or the industry, having ISO or other certification will distinguish you from the competition. Hiring a consultant can help you achieve certification with ease, after all, it’s what simpleQuE is known for – Simple Quality Excellence.

SimpleQuE has consultants throughout the Eastern U.S. that can guide you through the certification process in ISO 9001, ISO 14001, IATF 16949, and the AS9100 series of standards.

Pilgrim Harp is AS9120:2016 and ISO 9001:2015 Certified!

Pilgrim Harp 1

Pilgrim Harp, located in Avon, Ohio, provides the global and domestic sourcing of components and assemblies, handling every aspect of the sourcing process from beginning to end and ensuring the highest quality levels at all times.  Pilgrim Harp and its manufacturing partners all maintain TS, ISO and/or AS certifications.

As a manufacturing outsourcing company for the healthcare/medical, heavy industrial and aerospace industries Pilgrim Harp is a source for a wide range of products.  For aerospace, their aircraft interior products include: airplane seat legs, seat spreaders, seat backs, seat frames, seat arms, seat arm assemblies, seat tray tables, seat tracks and more.  For this customer base, Pilgrim Harp leadership recognized the need for AS9120B certification – which pertains to Quality Management System (QMS) requirements for Aviation, Space and Defense distributors. This standard includes ISO 9001:2015 QMS requirements.

SimpleQuE consultants, Jen Briese and Jim Lee began working with Pilgrim Harp in 2016 to assess where there were gaps between their current system and the new requirements.  They then worked out a customized action plan and timetable to make implementation simple and sustainable.  End result – certification was achieved in June 2017 with no findings from Eagle Certification Group!  Congratulations to the team at Pilgrim Harp!

SimpleQuE shares an important AS9100:2016 transition timeline reminder from IAQG

SQ_Infographic_AS9100Timeline Revised for Sept release

“The IAQG Other Party Management Team (OPMT) would like to remind all certificated organizations that there are two key target dates within the “International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG) Other Party Management Team (OPMT) Supplemental Rule 003 – Rules for 9100/9110/9120:2016 and 9101:2016 Transition” document that were established in order to ensure that a certified organization transition occurs prior to the 15 September 2018 end date.

The first key target has now passed. In accordance with SR003; “10.a By March 1, 2017 AQMS certified organizations shall communicate with their CB to establish an intended date for 9100/9110/9120:2016 AQMS standard transition readiness.”  We greatly appreciate the efforts that certificated organizations have taken to meet this requirement and would like to remind those that have not yet made transition plans; there is an elevated risk of not meeting the 2018 end date if you have not established and communicated the aforementioned date to your CB.

The second key target date in SR003 is 15 June 2017. In accordance with SR003; 9.g No initial, surveillance or recertification audits shall be started to the previous versions of the AQMS standards after June 15, 2017.” We must ensure that transition has a start date or Certification Bodies may face auditor resource issues in 2018 as the transition end date approaches.”

SimpleQuE is an ISO 9001:2015 certified company that provides ISO, AS and IATF consulting services from quality experts to assist organizations in successfully meeting transition targets. Contact us for more information.  IAQG also provides AS9100 D transition support materials.

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