Friday, December 9, 2016

Flight "AS9100D" Has Not Departed Yet

By: Andy Nichols
     
The arrival of the latest version of the Aerospace Standard for Quality Management Systems, AS9100D, in October was highly anticipated—after all, its publication had been delayed a couple of times during 2016. Now, some organizations in the aerospace supply chain are eager to get started on the changes needed to their quality management system.

Unlike a commercial airline departure delay, organizations shouldn’t feel the need to rush to make up time because of the postponement. In fact, the publication of AS9100D is only the start of a chain of events that can alter the timeline of organizations seeking to comply – including upgrading from AS9100C – and be certified to the new version. The deadline for organizations to complete their upgrade doesn’t “expire” until September 2018. However, it’s advisable to plan for the so-called “transition audit” in 2017 or the first quarter of 2018 at the latest.

Air Traffic Control is Responsible
The registrars who provide the Certification Services are required by the aerospace oversight body, known as the IAQG (International Aerospace Quality Group) to have planned and implemented the necessary processes across their organizations to ensure that competent, qualified auditors are in place to perform the AS9100D audits.

This means that all currently qualified aerospace auditor grades (there are two) will be required to complete training and testing (based on the new AS9100D requirements) to demonstrate competency. Indications from the registrar industry are that this process may not be fully completed until March of 2017. This is, in part, due to the limitations placed on the process by the following:

• The number of available qualified aerospace auditors.
• Their availability to complete and pass 9-12 hours of required training and associated activities.
• Registrar-specific scheduling considerations and the applicable IAQG rules regarding this.

For those organizations that want to be a “first achiever,” this can be frustrating. However, it should be noted that the changes from the AS9100C to AS9100D are not very significant and can be mostly attributed to the revised format of the ISO 9001:2015 standard (on which AS9100D is based) rather than significant changes to the specific aerospace industry “adders.” The main changes relate to the requirements for:

Counterfeit Part Prevention/Control
Product Safety
Risk Management
Employee Awareness

A Smooth Landing…
For clients of the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (The Center), as well as other organizations seeking to upgrade their AQMS from AS9100C to D, it’s worth considering what might actually be needed to comply with these new requirements and how long it might take to implement them. When viewed against the current AQMS, the upgrade may not actually require an “early start,” and when factoring your timeline, it’s going to be worthwhile to ask your registrar’s management when they will have qualified auditors available to conduct your audit.


MEET OUR GUEST BLOGGER

Andy Nichols
Quality Program Manager at The Center

Andy has 40 years of expertise in a wide variety of roles and industries, with a focus on quality management systems in manufacturing organizations. In addition to his ISO 9000 Management Systems experience, he has worked extensively with ISO/TS16949, ISO/IEC 17024 and ISO/IEC 17025.

His broad practical knowledge of ‘Quality Tools’ includes: SPC, FMEA, Quality Circles, Problem Solving, Internal Auditing and Process Mapping. He has also been an IRCA and RABQSA accredited Lead Auditor.

To read Andy's full bio, visit www.the-center.org/About-The-Center/Our-Team/Quality-Team.

Since 1991, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses to successfully compete and grow. Through personalized services designed to meet the needs of clients, we develop more effective business leaders, drive product and process innovation, promote company-wide operational excellence and foster creative strategies for business growth and greater profitability. Find us at www.the-center.org.


Thursday, December 1, 2016

2016 Highlights in Manufacturing

2016 highlights in manufacturing

According to a recent report by Deloitte, the United States is expected to take over the number one position as the most competitive manufacturing nation from China by the end of the year—with Germany holding steady at number three. The United States continues to improve its ranking as technological innovation sweeps across the manufacturing landscape and new opportunities continue to arise. So, how has the United States amped its momentum in global competitiveness?
Let’s take a look at the major 2016 highlights for the United States in the manufacturing industry:
Reshoring Initiatives
“Made in USA” products have been making a major comeback, as the United States has been actively pursuing the reintroduction of domestic manufacturing back into the nation. Per the Reshoring Initiative, it has been reported that 500,000 manufacturing jobs have come back home in recent years, and 50,000 of those are directly linked to reshoring efforts. The reshoring movement has rooted from a variety of factors, including the major rise in China’s labor costs, the realization and evaluation of actual overseas costs and the advanced progression of a high-tech manufacturing base.
Overall, reshoring manufacturing back into the U.S. has contributed greatly to America’s increasing competitive advantage. For example, reshoring has allowed manufacturers to more closely analyze production processes and the quality of goods produced, granting them greater innovation capabilities, as they continue to gain momentum in perfecting, improving and advancing products.
Changing the Perception of Manufacturing
With the Millennial generation projected to make up 50% of the U.S. workforce by the year 2020, manufacturing facilities have been feverishly striving to close the skills gap and avoid the unfulfillment of millions of manufacturing jobs.
The skills gap has been generated by the prevailing perception of manufacturing as a prior generation’s career, thus creating the lack of skills and interest in learning about manufacturing. As a result, manufacturers all over America have been leveraging multiple events, learning platforms, training programs, contests and apprenticeships/internships to provide hands-on experience and opportunities to educate the future workforce on the new, exciting and innovative face of manufacturing.
Lean Manufacturing/Continuous Improvement
The concept of continuous improvement, a method for identifying opportunities for streamlining operational activity and minimizing waste, now is being used by thousands of companies around the nation to optimize productivity and daily operations. Organizations throughout the United States have been conjoining efforts and providing learning platforms/training programs to assist in helping all U.S. manufacturers adopt the concept of lean practices successfully. Continuous improvement benefits manufacturing facilities in the following ways:
·       Reducing inventory
·       Improving quality
·       Minimizing errors
·       Providing a safer working environment
·       Enhancing manufacturing flexibility
Adopting the Latest Technologies
U.S. manufacturers are getting a head start in adopting the latest and most advanced technologies hitting the industry. By incorporating new technology into their facilities, American manufacturers have enabled themselves to improve and enhance operational activities and the overall quality of their products, while saving both time and money. A few of the top technologies being adopted include:
·       Advanced Robotics
·       Advanced Materials
·       3D Printing
·       Cloud Computing
·       Internet of Things (IoT)
·       Nano Technology
Numerous programs have been implemented by organizations all over the United States to aid the manufacturing sector in connecting with educators and the public work system to educate professionals within the manufacturing sector, our nation’s youth and other manufacturing workers. The goal is to spread awareness of advanced manufacturing, and cultivate strategic plans for manufacturers to take an active approach in adopting the latest technologies.
About the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center



Since 1991, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses to successfully compete and grow. Through personalized services designed to meet the needs of clients, we develop more effective business leaders, drive product and process innovation, promote company-wide operational excellence and foster creative strategies for business growth and greater profitability. Find us at www.the-center.org.