AS9120 is a standard that specifies the requirements for a quality management system (QMS) for stockist distributors in the aerospace industry. This standard addresses chain of custody, traceability, control, and availability of records.
AS9120 – Quality Management Systems – Aerospace Requirements for Stockist Distributors – was developed for stockist or pass-through distributors of aerospace commodity items. This standard is part of the AS9100 series and it includes all of the ISO 9001 requirements, plus specific requirements related to aerospace distributors.
Distributors of aerospace commodity items directly impact the performance of these items if they are mishandled or traceability is lost between the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and final customer. AS9120 has been developed to help distributors minimize the occurrence of anything that could negatively affect the performance of their commodities. AS9120 also provides suppliers with a comprehensive quality system focused on areas directly impacting product safety and reliability including:
- Splitting: Specific requirements for batch splitting and lot splitting, and how conformance to specification is maintained.
- Airworthiness certificates: Defines the documents issued by cognizant civil aviation authorities that certify that parts meet the required airworthiness requirements.
- Control of records: Record requirements differ significantly for distributors of aerospace product. AS9120 defines those requirements.
- Traceability: Defines specific requirements for traceability from receipt until delivery.
- Evidence of Conformance: Specific documents are required by distributors as evidence of conformance.
Who will benefit from AS9120?
This certification is intended for organizations that procure parts, materials, and assemblies, and sell these products to a customer in the Aerospace industry. This includes organizations that procure products and split them into smaller quantities. This standard is not intended for organizations that rework or repair products.
For distributors, the AS9120 standard flows down the manufacturer’s AS9100 requirements for inventory control, lot tracing, and vendor management, ensuring manufacturers have consistency throughout their supply chain. By aligning to AS9120, an organization can establish and continuously improve an effective quality system that will enable them to consistently meet customer expectations. Organizations that comply with AS9120 will gain a competitive advantage by:
- Identifying opportunities for operational improvements and cost reduction;
- Improved audit and surveillance efficiency;
- Reduced number of customer audits required, and a corresponding reduction in needed resources;
- Enhanced supplier performance due to higher quality, waste reduction, and a customer satisfaction focus; and
- Streamlined documentation.
To the novice quality manager, ISO jargon can be extremely overwhelming. What is an NCR? What do you mean by OFI? Are we certified or accredited? But before you go and pull out your hair, let’s take a moment to go over some of the most frequently used terms and their definitions with regards to ISO and Management System Certification.