What is AS9100?

What is the AS9100 Standard? Who needs to get it? Why was it developed?

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- everything RF

Mar 10, 2021

The AS9100 is a set of global standards laid out by the Society of Automotive Engineers and the European Association of Aerospace Industries. It was released in October 1999 and is based on the ISO 9001 standards. The ISO 9001 standard is used to develop an internationally accepted quality management system for products and services. Major aerospace manufacturers and suppliers engaged in aerospace-related businesses rely on the AS9100 standard.

The AS9100 is the successor of the earlier AS9000, with added improvements regarding quality and safety. AS9000 was adopted in the first place because aerospace-based organizations realized that IS0 9001 is too limited to address specific requirements of the aerospace industry. AS9100 added 55 aerospace industry-specific amplifications and requirements to ISO 9001.

The AS9100 standard lays down guidelines for continuous improvement, management responsibility, product realization, measurement, analysis and improvement. As with other certification standards, third party certifying bodies evaluate and certify companies for compliance. A certified organization will be subjected to annual or regularly scheduled audits to ensure that it is compliant to the requirements prescribed in the standard.

The AS9100 standard has had 4 revisions so far:

AS9100 Revision A (2001): AS9100A was the first revision made to the AS9100 standard in 2001. This standard tries to emphasize that all of its quality system requirements are complimentary and is not an alternative to the contractual and applicable law or regulatory requirements laid out by the public governments.

AS9100 Revision B (2004): The AS9100B was a revision made to the AS9100A standard in 2004. It incorporates various new requirements that are required by the ISO 9001:2000 standard and adds more aerospace industry specific requirements.

AS9100 Revision C (2009): The AS9100C was a revision made to the AS9100B standard in 2009. AS9100C was proposed due to the inefficiency caused by AS9100A/B in addressing repeated delivery of non-conforming products and repeated late delivery by AS9100A/B-certified suppliers. To be AS9100C-certified, organizations have to provide evidence of effectiveness of their systems and processes, instead of just clause-based compliance as with AS9100A/B.

The key changes adopted by AS9100C are as follows:

  • Greater emphasis on Risk Management
  • Introduced “Special Requirements”
  • Introduces “Critical Items”
  • Measure: Requirements conformance
  • Measure: Delivery performance
  • Adopt proven product development processes
  • Eliminate “recurring corrective actions”

AS9100 Revision D (2016): The AS9100D was a revision made to the AS9100C standard in 2016. AS9100D has included the full text of ISO 9001:2015. It was released in September 20, 2016 with a certificate transition period like that of the ISO 9001:2015 transition. The certificate transition period gives a certain period to the manufacture to complete the certification process and complete any modifications, inspections necessary to establish conformity.

The key additions to the AS9100D standard are as follows:

  • Product Safety
  • Counterfeit Parts Prevention was added in a new clause and in other areas (this was already in place in the AS9110 and AS9120 standards)
  • Increased emphasis on risks in operational processes, risk clause merged with ISO 9001 risk requirements.
  • Awareness clause: reinforced requirements for awareness of individual contribution to product and service quality and safety along with ethical behavior
  • Human Factors to be considered for non-conformity management and corrective action
  • Configuration Management was improved to address stakeholder needs