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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A Look at the AS9100D Transition Data

With the transition to AS9100:2016 well under way, what can we interpret about the data from the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG)? Overall, aerospace and defense organizations are transitioning to plan, and exhibiting preparedness with the new requirements.

Some organizations still struggle with Process Identification, but Production Controls and Purchasing make up the highest nonconformities. Here are the top 9 by clause:

The Advantages of Outsourcing Internal Audits

Business concept. Business people discussing the charts and graphs showing the results of their successful teamwork.

If your organization is certified to ISO 9001 or a standard that is aligned with it, like AS9100 or IATF 16949, and you perform audits internally, then you should know this:

This means that Certification Bodies are scrutinizing internal auditors and their competency, especially when it involves IATF.  That’s why many companies are choosing to outsource their internal audits to a 2nd party like simpleQuE whose auditors are qualified, certified, competent and are experts on the standards and customer specific requirements. In addition, many are current or former 3rd party auditors and bring valuable insight because of that knowledge gained from auditing for certification bodies.

Here are more reasons to outsource internal audits from our very own team of auditors (who have seen it all):

Why audits should not be done internally:

  • Without proper training and experience, internal auditors don’t fulfil the competency requirements
  • Lack of time to perform the audits and write reports
  • Reports with limited or no findings or objective evidence
  • No demonstration of the process approach or risk based thinking
  • Timeliness of management in responding to findings/report
  • Internal turnover resulting in too much variation in reporting/focus and overall quality of audits

Advantages to outsourcing internal audits

  • Fresh set of eyes from outside the organization that are objective and unbiased
  • Reduces company’s investment in continual training on changing requirements
  • Professional and timely reports
  • More cost and time effective, freeing up internal resources
  • Management gives greater attention to an outside expert, especially when there are sensitive issues that an inside auditor may be hesitant to address
  • Better internal response and acceptance of findings and opportunities for improvement
  • More content, findings, comments, opportunities for improvement and observations for added value
  • Our auditors have:
    • In depth knowledge of the standard’s requirements,
    • Experience in the field and can share best practices,
    • An understanding of the process approach and risk based thinking
    • The ability to provide consulting while auditing
    • Compliance to ISO 19011 on auditing management systems

All solid reasons for turning your audits over to the experts.  Contact us at 740-305-0868 or [email protected] for more information.

SimpleQuE on the Go and in the Know


This week, while Vice President, Deanne Sparr, is attending AIAG’s 2018 Southern Automotive Quality Summit in Birmingham, AL,  President, Jim Lee, has immersed himself in everything space and defense at ASQ’s Collaboration on Quality in the Space and Defense Industries conference and NASA’s Quality Leadership Forum.

These types of industry conferences and training keeps us at the forefront of the latest rules, regulations, trends and best practices to share with our consultants and clients across the aerospace, defense and automotive industries.

For example: At the NQA Global session, it was reported that as of mid-February only 29 percent of aerospace businesses had transitioned to the AS9100:2016 standard, however, as of last week it was up to 41% with a target of 50% by the end of March.  Deadline for all to transition is September 14, 2018.

From Exploring Space – Is It Safe? presented by Astronaut Bill McArthur, to NASA conducted Counterfeit Parts Awareness and Inspection Training, quality is the topic interwoven throughout the conference and the critical piece that all in the industry rely on to launch us into space.  Check back for more news as we process all of the great information we’ve gathered from the sessions.

Reaching New Heights at NASA’s Quality Leadership Forum

Image of aerospace refuel

Sustaining a Quality Foundation in Challenging Times

SimpleQuE president, Jim Lee, eagerly anticipates attending the Collaboration on Quality in the Space and Defense Industries conference then taking part in the informational NASA Quality Leadership Forum that follows. He’s set to join others in the industry who are focused on sustaining a quality foundation at the conference and forum, running March 12-15 in Cape Canaveral, Florida, not far from simpleQuE’s Space Coast office.

The American Society for Quality has designed the conference specifically for those working with organizations in the space and defense industries. Government and industry leaders representing NASA, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman will discuss the latest policies and practices.

For SimpleQuE, the conference will provide invaluable information, trends and best practices to share with our clients, allowing us to become even more effective when consulting with manufacturers and suppliers in the aerospace industry.

In the days following the conference, the NASA Quality Leadership Forum will offer a great mix of speakers who will provide the NASA assurance context, delve deeply into specific quality management issues, find issue resonance across agency lines, and a refreshed understanding of quality sub-discipline areas.

Forum topics will include lessons learned, emerging trends, quality threats and risk mitigation techniques of particular relevance in today’s rapidly evolving and cost-constrained environment. Of particular interest is the Counterfeit Parts Awareness and Inspection Training that Jim and simpleQuE aerospace consultant, Doreen Everett will be attending.

Attendees can look forward to hearing about the work of industry leaders and strengthening their network. More importantly, the forum offers a chance to meet colleagues face to face, with the potential to build and strengthen relationships. It’s an excellent opportunity to keep the quality management community vibrant and looking toward the future.

SimpleQuE is an ISO 9001:2015 certified company that provides consulting, training and auditing services for the AS9100 series of standards to assist organizations in successfully meeting transition and implementation targets.

Quality + Certification = Success!

SimpleQuE congratulates the following companies on their successful certification and commitment to quality.

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SimpleQuE (an ISO 9001:2015 certified company) assists organizations with implementation, improvement or transition of these standards by providing customized consulting, training and internal auditing services and solutions. Contact us for more information.

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.

The History of AS9100

Once again, the IAQGs AS9100 standard has undergone a new revision. The latest version of this standard adds requirements for product safety, counterfeit parts, formal processes for operational risks, awareness, and ethics and human factors. Read more about the journey this pivotal standard has taken over the years.
SQ_Infographic_AS9100

 

Don’t forget, June 15, 2018 is the final transition audit deadline for the new AS9100 standard. Learn more by viewing our transition timeline.

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.

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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