AS9100 is an international standard containing requirements for establishing and maintaining a quality management system for the aerospace industry. Its official name is AS9100 Quality Management Systems – Requirements for Aviation, Space and Defense Organizations and it is intended to be used by organizations that design, develop, and produce aviation, space, and defense products and can be applied throughout the supply chain.
This standard was published in October 1999 by the Society of Automotive Engineers and the European Association of Aerospace Industries. Its aim was to fulfill the need of a quality management system model that satisfies internal, government, and regulatory requirements applicable to the aerospace industry; something that ISO 9001 was never designed to do. AS9100 incorporates all the requirements of ISO 9001, in addition to unique quality and reliability needs of the aerospace industry.
The aerospace industry has high standards of customer satisfaction and strict laws imposed by regulatory authorities, therefore, the industry needs to produce and continuously improve products that meet these requirements. Unlike other quality management standards, which focus primarily on the final product, AS9100 focuses more on how the products are made. This standard establishes the elements that a quality management system must have in order for companies to consistently provide safe, quality products that are delivered on time.
AS9100 was reviewed in 2016 to produce AS9100D. AS9100D was developed with the support of the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG) and includes the following revisions:
- Changes made to ISO 9001:2015 requirements
- Consideration of Aviation, Space and Defense stakeholders’ needs identified since the last revision
- Clarifications to 9100 series requests issued by IAQG since the last revision
Any organization in the aerospace industry can adopt AS9100D. The design and implementation of this standard will be influenced by the size and organizational structure of the company, its needs, its particular objectives, processes and the products it provides. An organization that decides to establish and implement AS9100D will benefit by:
- Having a better performance of internal operations
- Improving their quality image
- Decreasing costs
- Gaining a competitive advantage and benefit from the improved processes and its continuous improvement
- Assuring customers that they produce, and continually improve, safe, reliable products on time
- Being listed in the Online Aerospace Supplier Information System (OASIS)
While primarily developed for the aviation, space and defense industry, this standard can also be used in other industry sectors where a quality management system with additional requirements over an ISO 9001 system is needed. Unlike many ISO standards, where compliance with them is voluntary, AS9100 compliance and/or registration is a must for many aerospace suppliers, as most major manufacturers and suppliers worldwide require AS9100 compliance for anyone doing business with them. This standard has been published around the world as EN 9100 in Europe and SJAC 9100 in the Far East.