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Am I required to have specifications on file of processes done by suppliers?



I work for an AS9100 REV C. Certified Machine Shop. We are manufacturing many different parts, for many different customers.
Here is my question. If we send a part to one of our approved outside vendors for say, a Nickel strike plate PER AMS-QQ-P-416 Rev. C service for example, are we required to keep the Spec (and latest revision) on file? Or is it sufficient that the approved supplier sends a cert stating the part plated per the spec and latest revision?


Quite Involved in Discussions
To my knowledge - there is no requirement for you to have a copy of every special process specs available. The supplier must have that spec unless during contract review the customer has requested that you provide the latest spec (highly unusual) but at the same time... if they do - have a nice conversation with your supplier... he could let you glance at it - in case you need to purchase one. ;)


Who make it who should have the spec on file. If they are not reliable, then you may have the spec to check. That is my thoughts
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how do you verify conformance to the spec if you dont have a copy?

for military specifications, you can pull a live copy from

just put the number of the spec (416 was referenced so insert that number) into the document number box. this way you can have access to the current spec (and some historical) without having to actually maintain them. you can also verify that the supplier is operating to the most current rev of the applicable spec.

the answer could be no though if you have a process for making suppliers dock to stock which could relieve you of performing the physical inspection. lot of risk though because you are ultimately responsible for the quaity of your parts.

Hodgy Hotsauce

Interpretation of any spec is driven by your customer. The purchase order/contract should stipulate the degree to which you will be asked to provide evidence of certification for the plating house (usually a C of C will suffice). Experience has shown to me that having, at a minimum, access to the specification is a great advantage. This was pointed out by a previous respondant very well. It must be noted that in most cases you will be held responsible for the integrity of your sub-tier suppliers. Perform you own audit of their status and conformance to requirements. I have had experience with suppliers that don't keep you up to date on their status.


Good stuff here. Many Thanks.
I was checking out the website:
looks like a good tool, however I can’t get the AMS specs from there.

I guess my biggest concern with all this, is the cost associated with keeping all these specs and current revisions, I’m constantly paying $65 to $105.00 for specs that have only been up-revved, that I only keep because I feel like I have to. I know I could get these from many online stores if I ever had to, if an issue came up. I just don’t like aimlessly purchasing them.

Hodgy Hotsauce


OOPS!! I accidentally replied to a 'DO NOT REPLY' email. So, I'll probably get flogged.

In response to your cost query; you might want to look at IHS (Information Handling Systems) as an alternative. I retired from a large aerospace company and have no idea as to the cost. Generally the old MIL and DOD standards come with the subscription but the AMSs carry a cost. As also the ASTMS and ASMEs. As part of being a 'good customer' we supplied, upon request, to our smaller suppliers the specs and standards they needed. It was all part of the flowdown of requirements to our subtiers and in some cases required by supply chain logistics. You may want to approach your customer(s).

Jan T

Just a quick note. If you are having parts plated the plater should have these on file. We only purchase the specs we need for the contracts or P.O.s we have.
The subscriptions are costly if you do not need them all. Also :notme: AMS-QQ-P-416 is for cadmium plate. Your supplier would be able to set you straight on that one.

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