For those in the aerospace industry, A9100 is a familiar term. It is a quality management system that is used the world over to hold organizations within the industry to the same high standard. If you want to do business with movers and shakers in aerospace, you will need to be AS9100-compliant.
At EMS Solutions, we are proud to be AS9100 (RevC Certified). Rev C refers to Revision C, which was developed in 2009. To understand the revision, it’s important to look at the history of AS9100.
The standard actually started as AS9000 (Aerospace Basic Quality System Standard) back in 1997. Many of the major aerospace companies were adhering to the ISO 9001 regulations. ISO regulations are broad standards to help products and services meet quality baselines. Today, over one million organizations are ISO 9001 certified. However, in the 1990s, aerospace companies decided that the ISO guidelines were so broad in their scope that they weren’t very effective. Thus, some companies came up with their own models for ensuring quality. The result was a variety of mismatched quality management systems in the industry that weren’t necessarily in agreement. To fix the problem, a number of major aerospace organizations (Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Pratt & Whitney, GE, etc.), banded together to come up with their own quality assurance system. The result was AS9000.
AS9000 was good enough to get most companies to abandon their own benchmarks in favor of a universal quality control system. AS9000 held its own for a couple of years, but players started to feel that the standard needed to be more global in its scope. After all, a lot of the companies governed by AS9000 had international components. Thus, they developed AS9100 in 1999. Each participating country’s aerospace association published the standards separately, but the basic guidelines were consistent worldwide.
AS9100 was tweaked in the ensuing years in the form of Revisions A, B, and C. Revision C was developed in 2009 to address the problem of suppliers delivering late, faulty products. After all, what was the point of granting certifications to organizations that weren’t doing what they promised to do? The C revision put controls in place to monitor these shortcomings. It put a greater emphasis on risk management and gave more muscle to enforce requirement conformance and delivery performance.
At EMS Solutions, we are proud to have earned the AS 9100 Rev and other important certifications. By complying with industry standards, we can offer our clients in the aerospace industry on-time delivery of consistently high-quality products.