AeroCision Speeds ISO Quality Recertification
Background: Aerospace Machining Company with Sharp Quality Focus
AeroCision is an Aerospace-quality machining company with several accreditations including ISO 9001:2008, AS 9100, and NADCAP. Having been in business for over 54 years, AeroCision produces complex aerospace parts involving exotic metals, and specializes in complex rings, seal assemblies, castings, and multi-level assemblies. The company keeps a structured production process and schedule in place to ensure customers receive the best quality products at the lowest costs, as quickly as possible.
“Our mission statement is very simple. It is 100% on time delivery, 100% quality, and the lowest possible unit acquisition costs for our customers,” explains the company’s CEO, Andrew Gibson. “I know this sounds like simple stuff, but every person here lives by those rules and every investment we make has this mission in mind, that’s why we are continually successful. We are all average people who work together to do amazing things.”
Issues: Upgrading ISO Certification
For an organization that exclusively produces products for one industry, every effort is strategically directed towards maintaining or growing industry position. AeroCision had just come off a year in which they doubled profits, aided by the large increase in export sales. Over the past four years, the company had been implementing a cultural overhaul to become an A+ company living and delivering on the company’s mission statement day in and day out.
For AeroCision, a heightened focus was placed on their quality management system and upgrading their AS 9100 registration by the end of 2011.
Driven by a philosophy to be the best in the industry, rectifying to the B revision by the 2011 year-end deadline and updating their AS 9100B registration to the C revision was imperative to retaining their competitive edge – and they only had a few weeks to pull it off. To ensure AeroCision would meet the 2011 end of year deadline for updating their AS 9100B registration to the C revision, CONNSTEP was brought on board to ensure all was in place so the upgrade went smoothly. Many things could have gone wrong when upgrading to the revised registration grade, so with CONNSTEP overseeing every step of the way, AeroCision knew they were in good hands and had no doubts that they’d meet the revision deadline.
“Most companies faced with a task of this size would have opted to recertify to rev B and reschedule the upgrade, but not AeroCision. We pulled in everything we needed to make it happen and that included the additional resources of CONNSTEP” explains AeroCision’s Quality Improvement Director, Christina Lazarin. “Being up to date with our registration well in advance of the requirement deadline shows our customers that we’re dedicated to putting the initiative in ahead of time to do what we know is right.”
Solutions: Upgrade Mentoring for Zero Non-Conformances
CONNSTEP implemented an Upgrade Mentoring program customized to AeroCision’s needs, which included Lean tools training, Value Stream Mapping, Six Sigma, and set-up reduction. An initial assessment was conducted, followed by a series of steps which helped AeroCision prepare for the Upgrade Audit, including essential training and document preparation. AeroCision obtained the AS9100C upgrade, with a project completion netting zero non-conformances, and has since reaped the benefits of being current on their certification.
- Certifications obtained with zero non-conformances
- Expected increase in sales by almost 20% due to initiatives like early completion of the AS9100 revision upgrade, their recently-obtained NADCAP Wire EDM certification, and current investments in technological upgrades.
- Plans to add 5 more employees stemming from the upgrade of the certification
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