Aerospace Parts not Evaluated Properly by Trained Person

JeantheBigone

Quite Involved in Discussions
#1
Covers, I'd like your input regarding a situation that was described to me by a friend and business associate. I've changed the names of individuals and companies involved.

Acme Aerospace Widgets supplies Customer Y and Customer X with welded components and other parts requiring destructive metallographic inspection. Customer Y requires Acme to have a qualified employee sign off on lab reports for weld evaluations and certain fabrication procedures. My friend, whom I'll call Greg, owns and operates a NADCAP approved testing lab. He was hired as a part-time employee by Acme Aerospace Widgets three years ago to train Sam, Acme's new hire, to run their in-house lab. Sam was a level III NDT operator but did not have met lab experience.

For 1-1/2 years, Greg worked mornings at Acme doing the lab work shoulder to shoulder with Sam. Lab reports were signed jointly by Greg and Sam. Customer Y audited on site quarterly. After 1-1/2 years, Customer Y permitted Sam to sign off on the reports alone, and Greg cut back his hours at Acme to nearly zero.

One year later, in the summer of 2011, Sam quit Acme but offered to stay on part-time to train another new hire, Alvin, to replace him. Alvin was also a NDT level III. Note that Greg was not aware that Sam had quit. Alvin came to Greg's lab with samples which according to Greg he had no idea how to prep or evaluate. Greg was under the impression that Sam was still at Acme signing off on reports and training Alvin.

Last month, Acme sent a lab report via email to Customer X that had Greg's signature and cc'd Greg in on it. Greg was surprised to say the least and responded to Acme that he had had nothing to do with the lab work and asking why his electronic signature was attached to it. Acme replied that Customer Y was coming on-site and that he needed Greg to prepare proficiency samples to show that Alvin was qualified to rate welds.

Greg prepared the proficiency samples and met with Alvin at Acme a week later, getting there early before the Customer Y auditors. When Greg got there, this was when he learned that Sam had quit and had NOT trained Alvin. Alvin was not even remotely qualified to prep or evaluate the samples. He also learned that Alvin had replaced Sam's signature in all NDT reports with his own, and had replaced Sam's signature in all met lab reports with Greg's. Then the Customer Y auditors arrived and pulled two jobs at random from a few months back. Greg evaluated one then and there and saw a crack in the weld. The report however, filed with Greg's signature (without his knowledge) stated that the weld was sound. The other was unratable due to improper sample prep by Alvin.

Alvin admitted to Customer Y that he had been putting Greg's name on all lab reports even though Greg had no involvement with the lab work.
Customer Y claims to have well over 50 reports from Acme "signed" by Greg that Greg had nothing to do with. Alvin had rated each and every part as "acceptable." Acme clearly sent out flawed parts that had lab reports stating that they were good. (Greg tells me that the reject rate was about 30 % when he was actively working part-time at Acme).

Since Acme also supplies Customer X, Greg took it upon himself to get in touch with them and inform them that any reports they got with his signature in that time frame do not reflect his work. (Acme claims that Customer X "doesn't care whose name is on the report." (My comment: if this is the case, why even use an electronic signature at all? )

Greg is concerned because there are evidently reports out there in front of big name aerospace giants that bear his name with shoddy work. Presumably there are other customers that Acme has supplied to and sent reports with his signature, but they will not tell him who their additional customers are. Again, he runs his own NADCAP certified lab and has his own business relationships with some of them, so having junk reports out there with his name can be hugely damaging.

Acme asked Greg to come in and "re-evaluate" samples and issue new reports. Greg refused, saying that this could be construed as him "correcting" errors that were made on "his" reports.

Customer Y is not accepting any in-house reports from Acme and is requiring them to get tests done by an outside NADCAP accredited lab.

Greg terminated his employee relationship with Acme, but only after he got it from them in writing that they had been sending out met lab reports with his electronic signature that he had nothing to do with which specified the time frame over which it occurred.

He has also retained an attorney.

Does anyone here have experience with something like this? If so, where is it likely to go?

Is Acme not obligated to inform ALL of their customers that an unqualified person sent out reports claiming that parts were "acceptable" when in fact they may not have been?

What about the fact that Acme may have supplied flawed parts to their customers? The Customer Y parts were supposedly not critical but some of the Customer Y ones are.

What advice if any would you have for Greg?

Thanks in advance for any insight and my apologies if I garbled some of the terminology, what I know about formal quality requirements would fill a one page brochure. I do know that you don't put someone else's name on a report that they had nothing to do with(!).
 
Last edited:
Elsmar Forum Sponsor

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#2
Because of potential issues, I have exchanged the "large" company names with Customer X and Customer Y in the first post (above).
 

Wes Bucey

Quite Involved in Discussions
#6
I am pleased to see "an" attorney is involved. I would be much more comfortable if I knew an experienced product liability attorney and experienced personal liability attorney were involved. This is the kind of event that can either be a windfall for an attorney or a pool of quicksand, depending on how deep the pockets at "Acme" are.

The end customers of Acme will be looking for some serious damages from Acme (it should have had procedures in place to prevent false names applied to documents, which would lead attorneys to look for complicity by others at Acme.) Each additional human involved at Acme adds more zeroes to the claims by Acme customers. Greg and his attorneys have two battles

  1. protecting against being named as codefendant in claims against Acme
  2. making claims against Acme and Alvin for costs of lawyers PLUS damage to reputation and loss of past, present, and future business. (With luck, the number of instances where Greg's name was falsely attached, the situation might be classified as an ongoing criminal enterprise and all claimants against Acme might be in line to receive treble damages.)
The legal fees will be humongous in sorting this out. I recall a case with similar elements where a supplier of titanium tubing to aerospace manufacturers was NEVER performing quality checks and tests, but merely Xeroxing one old test and adding new dates. There were whistleblowers involved, as well. (Google "Anco-Tech Inc.")

[FONT=Garamond-Light, serif][/FONT]
 
Last edited:
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
bryan willemot Shipping Aerospace parts without Stress certs Manufacturing and Related Processes 20
DuncanGibbons Classification of aerospace parts depending on their risk and criticality etc. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Standards and Requirements 3
bryan willemot Looking for a certified test report for aerospace parts AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 0
DuncanGibbons Documentation aerospace OEMs require with purchase of parts from manufacturers/suppliers Manufacturing and Related Processes 0
F 2 Year Part Re-Validation and FAIR Costs (Aerospace Parts) AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 3
K Marking Aerospace parts after concession/deviation & use as is dispositioning AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 30
J Selection of Standard for Scope of "Trading and Distribution of Aerospace Parts" AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 5
D Material Handling, Storage & Preservation Procedure for Aerospace Mechanical Parts AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 2
S Who can we sell Aerospace parts to? Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Standards and Requirements 11
L Small Precision Parts for Aerospace and Medical Devices - Inspection Procedures Document Control Systems, Procedures, Forms and Templates 4
S What certification needed when doing Metal Parts for Aerospace Industry? AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 4
D First Article Applicability - All parts produced or just the Aerospace parts? AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 29
DuncanGibbons Are the IQ OQ & PQ procedures applicable to the aerospace industry? AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 6
howste Aerospace Improvement Maturity Model (AIMM) AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 4
DuncanGibbons Looking for example aerospace part CAD files to be used for a case study Career and Occupation Discussions 2
C Looking for APQP Training recommendations preferably in the aerospace industry APQP and PPAP 2
DuncanGibbons Are there any aerospace specific requirements for material resource planning? AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 1
DuncanGibbons Qualification vs Certification in an Aerospace context AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 5
DuncanGibbons Are there aerospace standards for the development and manufacture of euipment and tools? AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 3
kmrcial Any advice for a young quality professional in the aerospace industry? Career and Occupation Discussions 10
R The alignments and contradiction in Quality Engineering and management between the Automotive and Aerospace industry AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 0
Sidney Vianna More allegations of unethical behavior in the Aerospace Sector AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 1
J Choosing QMS Software for Aerospace Company Quality Assurance and Compliance Software Tools and Solutions 5
DuncanGibbons Additive Manufacturing/3D printing for aerospace (certification procedure) AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 3
D AEA (Aerospace Experience Auditor) Challenges - Finding availability of AEA for witness AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 3
M Should Quality be an independent organization in aerospace company? Quality Manager and Management Related Issues 25
apestate Inexpensive Gage Blocks for small aerospace startup shop General Measurement Device and Calibration Topics 1
Sidney Vianna AS9100 News PPAP in the Aerospace Sector - What is it? AS9145 - Requirements for Advanced Product Quality Planning and Production Part Approval Process AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 10
M Specifications Aerospace - Who is responsible for providing the correct specification(s) AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 14
B Am so sorry but i am lost (Aerospace) AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 17
M Getting into biotech QA from aerospace - Is it practical? Career and Occupation Discussions 2
Sidney Vianna IAEG Guidance Document to assist Aerospace Organizations transitioning to 14001:2015 ISO 14001:2015 Specific Discussions 0
A Special Procedures for Non Aerospace Customers AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 3
Document Dame OQ, PQ Requirement for Aerospace? Recently purchased CNC AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 5
Marc AS/EN/JISQ 9100:2016 IAQG Sanctioned Aerospace Auditor Training Available (Nov 2016) AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 5
Sidney Vianna Aerospace Auditor Transition Training - November 2016 AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 1
S How to become an Aerospace Auditor guidance Training - Internal, External, Online and Distance Learning 9
S Portable Magnetic Hardness Testers - Aerospace Manufacturing and Related Processes 4
Y Outsourced aerospace work quality assurance? Supplier Quality Assurance and other Supplier Issues 6
N New company with opportunity to bid for Aerospace work AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 1
A Implementing an AS9100 Aerospace Quality System AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 9
I Material Suppliers Required for our Aerospace manufacturing company Supplier Quality Assurance and other Supplier Issues 2
WCHorn Flowdown of Aerospace record retention requirements (AS9100) AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 4
S AS9102 Aerospace First Article Requirements AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 6
I Difference between ASQR (Aerospace Supplier Quality Requirements) and AS9100 AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 20
I Aerospace Fastener FOD Program AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 5
I Introducing Titanium into Aerospace manufacturing Service Industry Specific Topics 4
M Does AS9120 (aerospace first article inspection) apply to all customers AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 2
R Re-validating revised Medical Device and Aerospace Product COTS software ISO 13485:2016 - Medical Device Quality Management Systems 2
G Any good resources or books for AS9100 Aerospace System Book, Video, Blog and Web Site Reviews and Recommendations 1
Similar threads


















































Top Bottom