Quality Management in Aerospace Industry: What You Need to Know

Quality assurance is a fundamental goal of every business in every industry including aerospace. As competition is ever-rising, businesses that are able to demonstrate their quality culture with the best practices are usually the ones that last in the market. The aerospace industry which comprises the aviation, space and defense industry must consider quality assurance not only to surpass the competition but also to ensure the safety and consistency of their products. Quality management in aerospace industry is a much more inclusive concept than in any industry. It has its own principles, manufacturing requirements, industry-approved practices and compliance obligations.

End products of the aerospace industry i.e. airplanes, spaceships and defense craft are used to carry millions of people worldwide every day. Hence, quality management is inherently important for the manufacturers as well as distributors to ensure the safety of people. The components used in manufacturing aircraft have a service life of approximately 50 years. This means stringent quality practices must be integrated at every stage i.e. designing, manufacturing, installation/assembling, operation and repairing, so that the aircraft can withstand continuous use while ensuring absolute safety. The following section of this blog details the key aspects of quality management that aerospace manufacturers need to consider.

5 Key Aspects of Quality Management in the Aerospace Industry

If your business is in the aerospace sector, here is what you need to know about its quality management.

Process Improvement

Quality management for an aerospace manufacturing company firstly means improving the processes with industry-regulated best practices. It helps in streamlining the production processes making them consistent and timely. You can then ensure schedule deliveries of all your aircraft products which results in the satisfaction of customers which include aviation companies, space organizations, defense authorities, etc. Quality management also calls for consistent monitoring of your processes to identify improvement opportunities in them or final products. Therefore, your quality management program should include a practice of continual improvement which would lead to operational efficiency, cost savings, reduction of reworks or recalls, and increased scale of production.

Supplier Quality Management

The quality management approach in your aerospace business should not only be confined to your processes and products but should also include supplier quality management. It should have appropriate practices to manage the supplier-related processes in your business without disrupting your production schedule. Better communication with all your suppliers is essential for this. You should be able to access their workflows and performance regularly based on factors such as quality, consistency, costs and industry compliance. Effective supplier management ensures that you are ensuring quality right from the sources. After all, the quality and performance of final products directly depend on the quality of the components used.

Nonconformance Management

Needless to say, the aerospace industry is one of the heavily regulated industries. Therefore, the manufacturers need to comply with numerous regulations and quality standards imposed by the industry and different regulatory authorities like SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers). A key role of your quality management program must be ensuring compliance of your manufacturing processes, components, and products to the applicable regulations and standards. It should enable you to discover the nonconformities in your aerospace business on time and systematically address them. Quick resolutions of all noncompliance issues demonstrate the integrity of your final products and enhance your reputation in the industry.

Corrective and Preventive Actions

Quality management is essential for implementing corrective and preventive actions (CAPA) after a thorough assessment of the potential risks and quality issues in your processes or products. It is good practice to inspect the processes end to end to find out any inefficiency, errors, issues or risks in your processes. The quality management program should also provide you with proper methodologies to find out the root causes of the issues. Accordingly, you need to decide the necessary actions required for fixing the issues or stopping them from reoccurring.

Informed Decision Making

Last of all, the quality management concept should enable the aerospace manufacturers to make effective decisions based on actual facts which would benefit the growth of their business. For this, your quality management system should require you to maintain comprehensive documentation of the processes and record critical data. That data would help you in concluding the effectiveness of your processes as well as quality performance. Therefore, you are able to make informed decisions for your manufacturing operations that further enhance quality, increase customer satisfaction, and drive growth.

Final Takeaway

The aerospace industry should put utmost significance on quality practices to ensure operational safety of the products and their long service life. Quality management in aerospace sector is more complex than any industry. It should result in efficient processes, quality components and assemblies, industrial compliance, continual improvement and higher customer satisfaction. Hence, quality management should not be just regarded by the aerospace manufacturers as a mere formality to sustain in the industry. It is quite comprehensive involving numerous critical aspects and that is why the AS9100 standard was formulated. It intends to help aerospace manufacturers and distributors to adopt the best practices for ensuring quality management and the safety of consumers.

Looking for expert assistance to get a strong quality management program implemented in your aerospace manufacturing company? Get in touch with the experts of Compliancehelp Consulting LLC! We provide customized services including consultation, training and internal audits to help businesses establish a QMS complying with the standard’s requirements. Reach our team today!