Project Details

Helping create the platform for safer airplanes – Tracking airplane components to maximize safety.

By providing manufacturing and fulfillment services, we have formed a partnership with one of the world’s largest aerospace and defense suppliers. This fostered the development of a process for tracking material date codes on each assembly serial number to meet traceability requirements set by the customer and governing bodies including the FAA and IAQC.

CHALLENGE

This aerospace and defense customer selected our team to build board assemblies for mission critical technologies and products used on aircraft around the world. The boards incorporate smart technology to monitor and track crucial functions including air speed, stall detection, ice detection, angle of attack, warning systems, and fuel management systems on both commercial and military aircraft.

With the safety of millions of people dependent on this technology, it is essential that the customer know the location of all of the manufactured and delivered products. Regulatory bodies, like the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG) require this type of tracking. With safety as a top priority, it was crucial to implement a tracking system that adheres to regulatory standards.

SOLUTION

We collaborated with the customer to employ a date code/loT code traceability system that was designed around specific regulatory standards. The system allows for all parts to be tracked individually from the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) to end of life. The system itself would require a numerical code to be added to all parts and finished products. With an accompanying database, the system would track the date code of all parts on a range of serial numbers built against a Job number. If there was an issue with a part used on an assembly, our team could easily identify the serial numbers of the assemblies where those particular parts were used. This enables the rapid communication of potential issues over the course of the entire product lifecycle

The traceability system also employs specific documentation protocols under IAQC standards. These documentation standards require a method of approving, controlling and distributing documents. The process implements a software inventory spreadsheet, document change request form, and document revision checklist. Our regular internal audits ensure that all processes are being followed and completed.

Additionally, in order to adhere to Quality Management Standards, we improved supplier flow and monitoring activities. This enabled tracking parts coming from different suppliers to ensure that all the material is real and can be traced back to the OEM before being used in production. The process helps ensure that no counterfeit material is being used in the manufacturing process and improves component traceability. Implementing these processes was part of the disciplines required to receive an AS9100 certification for CES.

RESULTS

Our process has been tested and successfully executed numerous times in audits and real life scenarios. The response time has always met the stringent safety regulations set by governing bodies and the customer. This and other processes created jointly with this customer contributed to CES being awarded the “Outstanding Achievement in Continuous Improvement Award” in 2007. The companies have been working together for over 12 years and the customer has grown their business with CES. Over the course of our relationship the customer increased their business over tenfold.

CUSTOMER PROFILE

This Fortune 500 customer is one of the largest global suppliers of aerospace and defense products and has a reputation for delivering safe and secure products. The company provides aircraft products and components as well as design and manufacturing services worldwide.

 

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  • Project Name Regulatory Tracking System
  • Client GLOBAL AEROSPACE AND DEFENSE SUPPLIER