ISA Registrar Blog

Getting ESD 20:20 Certification for Safer and Consistent Manufacturing

Electronics has become one of the leading industries in the world, which should not come as a surprise, given the rising popularity and ubiquity of devices such as smartphones and tablets. To meet increasing demands for these trendy devices, the OEMs that put them together and brand them will need to source their parts from even more manufacturers. If you own a manufacturing or electronic supply company, this could mean more business opportunities for you to capitalize on. Of course, manufacturers and part suppliers cannot just churn out parts with abandon; they need to ensure that they are creating components in the approved manner before sending their products over for final assembly. They need to secure permits and required certifications. Many OEMs choose to work only with suppliers who have an ESD 20:20 certification, to ensure that the parts used were manufactured with the highest quality standards. A certification like this is important in keeping the quality of all products across the board within consistent levels, among other advantages. Applying for Certification To apply for such certifications, manufacturers can seek out a certifying agency like ISA. This is because industry certification organizations, such as the ISO, only develop the guidelines, and let external certification agencies handle the actual testing. These external ISO certification bodies will audit the operations of a manufacturer and determine if the producer is meeting set standards. To the uninitiated, these auditing bodies appear to be nothing more than strict inquisitors, however those in the know understand that certifying agencies serve as valuable business partners and consultants. The assessment and advice of an auditor can help...

AS9120 Certification: Ensuring Quality Aircraft Parts for Safe Flying

Dismissed as a minor accident at first, the ultralight plane crash last April 22 that occurred in the middle of Delta Highway was recently opened for further investigation by Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB). The pilot, Paul Deane-Freeman, reportedly suffered a fractured vertebra and is still recovering from the accident. What is an ultra-light plane? The Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association of Canada (LAMAC) defines a basic ultra-light aeroplane as an aircraft that has at least two seats, with a take-off weight of 544 kg and landing configuration of 45 mph (39 knots). An ultralight aircraft is for recreation purposes only, although it may also be used for pilot trainings in conformity with the Canadian Aviation Regulations. Although manufacturers of ultra-light planes are not required to meet any standards in their products, the LAMAC recommends that they apply materials and practices accepted in general aviation. What’s the importance of being AS9120-certified? One of these safety requirements is to have an AS9120 certification from certification bodies like the International Standards Authority, Inc. (ISA) to ensure long-term benefits for both the manufacturer and their clients. Auditors and assessors from quality management system (QMS) agencies are also accredited by the Aerospace Industry Experience Auditors (AIEA) and Aerospace Experience Auditors (AEA) for value-added certification services. Below are the basic principles behind the importance of being an AS9120-certifed company. The AS9120 is one of the QMS requirements released by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) in a publication titled, “Quality Management Systems-Aerospace Requirements for Stockist Distributors,” which includes other criteria concerning the aerospace industry. The AS9120 certificate covers the following specifications: Evidence of Conformance, Splitting,...

ISO 9001 Registration Process: What Companies Need to Know Beforehand

Receiving an ISO certification is a way for companies to establish better control over their operation and management of business processes, to improve customer satisfaction, and to enhance their image. Going through the ISO registration process motivates companies to make changes to their management system and improve their business operations further. It’s not just about getting the certification, but also preparing for quality management systems. The best way to prepare for ISO is to use the standard as a guide. One of the tasks is to develop a quality management system. This is a big challenge for most companies, but with on-going commitment, it can be successful. A quality management system seeks to create policies and objectives to control the company in terms of quality. It is important that top management is fully on-board for the creation and execution of the quality management system as well as for maintaining it. Part of the registration entails reviewing the documents to determine if the requirements are met. These include the quality manual, quality policies and objectives, and documentation detailing how employees are doing their jobs. In case there are any problems found in the documentation, this will be brought to the attention of management so it can be corrected. Once the ISO 9001 certification is in place, this means that the quality management system is working and that the company is moving towards meeting the quality goals. The company will encounter fewer problems with failures in product quality or service, and better recognition when things are going wrong and what to do about it. On the other side of the coin,...

ISO 9001 Certification is Important for Businesses to Ensure Quality

Business owners seek to improve every day. They want the best business processes, for everyone to understand what they do and for their business to run better overall. The ISO 9001 standard is built upon the fundamentals of quality management, and being certified ensures that the business knows what it’s doing and is being run well. The ISO 9001 is a standard for business quality management that is internationally recognized, and businesses go for it because of the benefits it brings them. Some of these benefits include customer satisfaction, cost saving, marketing aid, corporate governance and international quality recognition. There are eight fundamental principles of quality management: customer focus, leadership, involvement of people, process approach, systems approach to management, continual improvement, factual approach to decision making and mutually beneficial supplier relationships. These are all guiding principles for ISO standards, but they also serve as guidelines for management in improving their quality management program so that it is on par with the standards. An ISO 9001-certified quality management system means that the business is consistent and has a system that is understood by all. It also means that the management has good control, knows how the business is doing and knows how to recognize if things are going wrong. Getting certified enhances the image of the company which will then enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty. Whether a business is aiming for an ISO 9001 certificate or not, applying the fundamental principles of quality management will improve their organization. They will start focusing on their customers more and understand what they want and need, provide a clear direction for the business...

Preparing For an AS9100 Audit: Some Tips on Taking the Earliest Steps

The coveted AS9100 revision C aerospace standard, also known as the AS9100:2009 Revision C standard, has been out for quite some time. To date, numerous companies have undertaken the process and successfully transitioned to the new standard—having conformed to new deadlines, rules and requirements presented within. If your company is looking to get accredited and an audit is in sight, you have to prepare for the processing ahead. Here are a few pointers to help you avoid mishaps and facilitate a smoother audit process. Prior to the Stage 1 audit, you’ll have to ensure that your registrar has access to relevant information. For starters, you need to determine which percentage of your total revenue is from the aviation, space or defense industry as well as the number of your employees who work for such industries. You also have to name your top 5 customers from said industries and identify any customer specific approval status (i.e. limited approval, probation, or suspension). Aside from keeping your registrar up to speed, you also have to perform a lot more relevant in-house tasks. First and foremost, you must completely familiarize yourself with all requirements for the AS9100C (then publish such requirements as a quality policy with guidelines on implementation); perform a gap analysis to know how revision C applies to your enterprise; establish a few quality goalposts; and ensure that all changes are appropriately communicated throughout the company. As soon as the Stage 1 audit is underway, you must keep the information flowing. Providing a good, clear description of all your processes and interactions (not excluding third party processes) is one vital move....

ISO 9001 Certification: Being Officially Conferred it is Much Better

It’s not uncommon to see and learn of companies who recently earned ISO 9001 certification. Once in a while, however, some company will step in and claim that they have a self-conferred certification of sort—claiming that they themselves have assessed their inner capabilities and “officially” deemed their business compliant with the ISO 9001 certification. These self-certifying companies, however, don’t really have an idea of how things should go. While they’re technically reaping several benefits associated with an effective management system without the stiff fees of registration and company audits, the flip side is that they’re paying a price for it—all they can do is make a point that their quality management system (QMS) is on-par with traditionally certified competitors. They can’t prove that somebody else with the conventional authority to confer such certification did it for them, and can vouch for it. All in all, such companies are talking about mere compliance at the end of the day. Also known as ISO 9001 compliance, this is an alternative option to the completion of a formal 9001 ISO certification process, wherein the company’s QMS may meet customer expectations of a standard QMS based on the official ISO standard. A company vying for mere compliance can still implement a full ISO 9001 QMS but choose not to take the final step of hiring a third-party registrar to conduct a certification audit. In real life, companies are really free to self-certificate. They can implement a wide variety of policies to do so, such as a corrective and preventive action program (aimed to solve problems once, prevent them and leave them behind); document...