Precision and high standards are hallmarks of the aerospace manufacturing industry. With so much on the line with every flight, there is no room for error or mistakes. Even the smallest problem could lead to substantial financial loss, or worse still, the loss of life. The manufacturers who produce the necessary components to enable safe flights are held to an extremely high standard and are heavily scrutinized as they complete their work. There are a number of different considerations that go into aerospace manufacturing, one such consideration being the qualifications and quality standards for manufacturers in the industry.
What Are the Requirements to Become a Successful Aerospace Operation?
The quality management system in aerospace manufacturing shops must meet AS9100D requirements.
In accordance with ISO 9001:2015, AS9100:2016 represents the latest edition of the international management standard for the aircraft, space, and defense industries. A product’s AS9100 certification ensures quality, conformity, safety, airworthiness, and reliability. Certified AS9100 shops meet both of these standards.
The quality management employees in an aerospace shop should know the requirements for shipping and receiving, as well as accounting. There are some nuances in the oil and gas industry, for example, such as notifications for shipping completed parts, including pre-shipping requests and approval to ship.
The quality managers must have a solid understanding of the aerospace requirements, and the machinists need to be trained in them as well. The exact way in which an inspection report is filled out is a good example.
If measurements are jotted down manually, there are some requirements for how to write them down and how to make changes. For example, you are not allowed to scratch out a number and write a new one. Instead, make a single strike-out and write your initials and the date next to the change. It’s small details like these that make all the difference in aerospace manufacturing.
What Are the Equipment Requirements for an Aerospace Manufacturing Shop?
A shop’s equipment requirements will depend on the subcategory of the industry it specializes in.
The CNC equipment necessary for a production part that goes on an airframe includes a turning center and a milling center. It is likely you will need some automation, such as a flexible manufacturing system (FMS), which is a horizontal machining center with a material handling system.
Shops that provide one-off parts using manual equipment have a good opportunity. Many military platforms lack active spare parts supply chains.
Retrofitting an A-10 [plane] may require a gadget that is no longer supported, or the company that built it is no longer operating. Some of these documents can be as old as 40 years old, and sometimes it takes a long time to develop a consensus interpretation of the drawings. Sometimes, the original materials are no longer available, so alternate materials must be approved.
Shops of this type may be awarded contracts to build brake rotors, axles, pistons, etc. It could be done on a CNC, but you could also do it with a good set of manual equipment with the help of high-class machinists.
Aerospace Manufacturing Near Me
As you can tell there is a great deal of precision and care present in the aerospace industry. Details cannot fall through the cracks with so much on the line. It’s important to find manufacturers who are qualified to take on the task at hand.
When calling aerospace manufacturers near you, feel free to ask about their certifications, as they shouldn’t shy away from the opportunity to prove to you they are capable and ready to take on your work. The AS9100
is the gold standard in aerospace certification, so if a shop has that pedigree, you can trust them to do your work.