AS9100 Control of Nonconforming Outputs - Rework Dispositions

#1
My company is looking at revising it's procedure for dealing with the disposition of non-conformances. They would like to push this onto our operators as opposed to having our Engineering Manager deal with dispositions as is our current process. If standard reworks are defined in a specification, are operators able to use these instructions to deal with a non-conformance and perform their own rework without additional authorization? I am seeing a problem with this but I am getting a lot of push back due to the cost savings this could have. The claim is that if the part hasn't been presented to Quality inspection then the part does not need to be rejected. I don't see a clear definition of a non-conformance or rework in the AS9100 document to determine if this is valid or not.

Note: Anything that does not have rework instructions defined in the specification that would need customer MRB dispositions would still be sent to the customer provided the operators understood that distinction. My company does not have design authority and is a build-to-print shop.
 
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Cari Spears

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#2
Hi, Zack - welcome to the cove.

Are you making one-off things, like non-flight hardware and ground support equipment? Or is this an approved production process for fly-away parts?
 
#3
Hi Cari - Thank you!

This is related to approved special processes such as rework to paint or reprocessing after chemical processing. My company has a wide range of areas such as Sheet Metal, heat treat, machining, bonding, chemical processing, paint and assembly. We build detail and small assemblies.

They are looking for ways to reduce the number of DMR's written and therefore reduce the amount of time the parts need to go through the approval process so they can get reworked right away.
 

Sidney Vianna

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#4
I don't see a clear definition of a non-conformance or rework in the AS9100 document to determine if this is valid or not.
AS9100 calls on ISO 9000-2015 for definitions. The definitions are also available in the ISO OBP site. For example, rework is defined as
Screenshot 2021-05-21 105658.jpg
If you are REALLY doing rework (and NOT repair), I don't understand the resistance for allowing the operators taking care of the rework operation themselves without any other function's involvement. The only issue I would have is in a case where the volume of rework is not being captured in the system, for a profitability stand point. From a product integrity/quality stand point, rework does not compromise the order.
 

Mike S.

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#5
I've been through this debate more than once and I can see and appreciate several sides.

Generally, unless there is a good reason not to, I see no harm in what your company is proposing and have seen it work well in most instances, and we do it in my current AS9100 company. Keep it as simple as you can, but no simpler.

For example, you have a guy machine a part in a lathe, then he measures it and realizes it is oversize. Why get an engineer involved and create paperwork when the operator knows what to do to rework the part and can probably do it faster than you could create the NC paperwork?

Now, if a part is out-of-spec and the operator is over his head in trying to figure out how to rework it or even if it can be reworked, then by all means, get Engineering involved.

I hope this makes sense.
 
#6
I've been through this debate more than once and I can see and appreciate several sides.

Generally, unless there is a good reason not to, I see no harm in what your company is proposing and have seen it work well in most instances, and we do it in my current AS9100 company. Keep it as simple as you can, but no simpler.

For example, you have a guy machine a part in a lathe, then he measures it and realizes it is oversize. Why get an engineer involved and create paperwork when the operator knows what to do to rework the part and can probably do it faster than you could create the NC paperwork?

Now, if a part is out-of-spec and the operator is over his head in trying to figure out how to rework it or even if it can be reworked, then by all means, get Engineering involved.

I hope this makes sense.

That does make sense and I am in agreement on that. For minor reworks that are an incomplete operation we are just going to let the operator fix their work. It is more related to what I would consider a full rework that I'm unsure of.

For example, if the parts are painted and cured and then found to have dust/dirt or a scratch in the paint, would it be acceptable to let the paint operator strip and repaint the parts without any oversight? Or would this be considered a nonconformance where a disposition would need to be from a qualified individual?
 

Mike S.

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#7
That does make sense and I am in agreement on that. For minor reworks that are an incomplete operation we are just going to let the operator fix their work. It is more related to what I would consider a full rework that I'm unsure of.

For example, if the parts are painted and cured and then found to have dust/dirt or a scratch in the paint, would it be acceptable to let the paint operator strip and repaint the parts without any oversight? Or would this be considered a nonconformance where a disposition would need to be from a qualified individual?
Like I said, IMO if the operator is over his head in trying to figure out how to rework it or even if it can be reworked, then by all means, get Engineering or the cognizant expert involved.

Like I say, there are lots of opinions on this and an infinite number of unique situations and circumstances, so one size definitely does not fit all. But in general we try to not characterize a "defect" as an official nonconformance or require formal disposition if there is no value in doing so. We let the fix take place at the easiest, fastest, most efficient place, which is often the original operator in real-time.

Some folks disagree and insist any rework at any step has to be documented.
 

John Predmore

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#8
AS9100 section 8.7.1 has highlighted text added to the ISO 9001 equivalent:
"The organization’s nonconformity control process shall be maintained as documented information including the provisions for: −
defining the responsibility and authority for the review and disposition of nonconforming outputs and the process for approving persons making these decisions;"


If the operator decides a part is non-conforming and needs rework, does this fall under this review and disposition clause? If so, his/her responsibility and authority to self-inspect and rework must be defined (in order to be auditable, this authority would have to be documented information), and there must be a process for approving this person making these decisions. What is your take on that?
 

Mike S.

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#9
Hi John,

I get it. I've had debates about it with colleagues. Where is the line? When does a product become nonconforming?

Let's say your process is cleaning. The input is dirty widgets, about 100 per day. The process is cleaning, let's say it goes into a widget washer for 1 minute then gets rinsed for 10 seconds and dried under a blower for 2 minutes. The output is clean widgets. The clean widget is an input for an inspection process and after that is a paint process.

Let's say that today widget # 56 still had a little dirt on it after cleaning, but before we sent it to the next process.

Option 1: Send it on to inspection. Inspection rejects it, writes up a NCMR, sends it to MRB, they disposition it as rework - reclean - reinspect. Elapsed time: 26 hours

Option 2: Call Engineering for a consult. Four hours later the cognizant Process Engineer stops by and says run it through again and it'll be fine. He notes this on the router. Elapsed time: about 4 hours.

Option 3: The process operator knows all he/she has to do is run it through again and it'll be clean. Sometimes this happens - maybe once or twice a week. No big deal. It goes through again, comes out clean, is moved on to inspection. Elapsed time: 4 minutes.

Did the product become officially nonconforming?

If yes, when exactly did the product become officially nonconforming?

In most cases, I would want my people operating under option 3 and I would argue we never created a nonconforming product so no review and disposition was required.
 
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