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Key to Quality: AS9100C - Driven by Globalization, Required for Success

January 8, 2009
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AS9100C changes are reviewed in depth.

The obvious changes to the newly minted AS9100C standard are rooted in ISO 9001:2008. Because ISO 9001 is the foundation for AS9100, along with ISO/TS16949, each standard shares the rationale of the AS9100C, as summarized here: globalization, evolving business models and what I like to call “outsource-mania,” has produced vulnerable organizations through product liability. Just think back to the toy recalls of 2007, and you will know exactly what I mean.

I have reviewed the AS9100C changes in depth, and I would first like to note that the globalization of industry, coupled with the diversity of regional and national requirements, have complicated our objective to meet or exceed customer expectations and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements. Compounding the problem is the transition of the United States from an industrial nation to a service-driven nation during the past 10 years.

As a result, look around and you will find that today’s manufacturing organizations face many challenges-such as language barriers and lack of tribal knowledge-when it comes to purchasing products from their global supplier bases. On the flip side, these supplier bases face many of the same difficulties when it comes to delivering products to multiple customers, each with varying quality standards.

To understand the intent of AS9100C, it is important to gain an understanding of the essential terms and definitions that make up the body of the standard. The reality is that we cannot apply any requirement, method, principle or acceptance unless we communicate in the same language with our manufacturers and supplies, and AS9100C can help in this endeavor.

During the last several decades, my experiences as a quality management and NDT professional in the U.S. Navy and the private sector have taught me that it is very important to develop and nurture tribal knowledge, and organizations that let it slip through their fingers are doomed to failure. Unfortunately, in most cases of corporate restructuring, the loss of tribal knowledge is collateral damage, traded for “Lean Principles” without long-term thinking.

Today we have the opportunity to embrace the AS9100C standard, which I truly believe will strengthen our ability to deliver products across all industry sectors that are high in quality and meet or exceed customer expectations. Don’t get left behind; make sure your organization is on board with AS9100C.
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Tribal Knowledge vs Lean Principals

Steve Lund
February 17, 2009
The reliance on "Tribal Knowledge" rather than documented procedures and work instructions is one of the reasons companies continue to make mistakes that effect product quality and don't know why. It's like finding the cause but not the root cause and going along about your business until the quality issue comes up again. Then it's shoot from the hip with the "Tribal Knowledge" instead of utilizing "Lean Principals" like cause and effect analysis, 8D problem solving, 5 why, etc. This old school thinking of utilizing Tribal Knowledge is one of the reasons that American big 3 auto Manufacturing is going down the tubes. They can't compete because the quality of their cars is so much inferior to foreign manufacturers EG. Toyota, Honda, Volkswagon, etc. The "lean principals" the these manufacturers use is why they have taken over the auto industry and why the reliance on "Tribal Knowledge" will continue doom companies to the mistakes of eons past.


Tony Dumbill
February 23, 2009
we are looking at 9100b to ensure military and aerospace work , have i been mislead as i have also read that 9102 would be the better way to go . regards MR CONFUSED

"Tribal Knowledge"

February 25, 2009
The concept is to capture tribe knowledge to be part of the training experience to improving. The academic approach to lean usually produces Anorexic companies because the focus is on saving $$$$$ not on long term productivity.

Military Use of AS9100C

February 25, 2009
The defense department was added to the title because configuration management of the products is a must for the military or any defense organization. As a retired Navy NDT/Quality Inspector for Nuclear, Sub-Safe and Conventional Ships configuration management was a must. When you are out to sea on a ship, in Space or flying aircraft the process controls, material, design, software, and traceability must be what it was intended by the design. One of two things will happen; 1.) if you have to repair "It", and "It" may not be what it was designed to be (software, program, material,voltage,amperage, etc.!! or 2.) If there is a catastrophic failure the root cause of the failure may not be found because traceability was lost. Note: I was a Quality Assurance Specialist (GS1910)for 8 years also; and if I had a dime for every subcontractor that made or attempted to make an unauthorized change to the drawing or Statement of Work (SOW) design, material or configurations I would be a rich man. If it fly's, go into space or has to defend our country the AS9100C is the way to go. I hope the Defense Department implements this quality management system as a must, and not leave it up to there subcontractors to see if they would like to use it.




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