AS9100D 8.5.1.3 First Article

#1
We are a distributor of Alloys and are moving from AS9120 to AS9100 due to our processes involving outside operations and special processes.

Our orders are for barstock and blanks. We are rarely given a drawing from our customers. Most of our orders involve something like
20 bars of 2" Round 17-4 H900. Sometimes we can purchase it to size and condition, sometimes we have it heat treated and ground to size based on vendor availabilty.

Since this is not a "Part" or an "Assembly" are we required to perform a production process verification (FAI) on the first production run?
If so, would an FAI or Verification just be report showing the Material Grade, Condition and Sizes are correct per the customer's PO Requirements?
 
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Sidney Vianna

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#2
Some requirements have always to be "interpreted". Many spacecraft (plural) are one-offs, a single product, never to be built again. The requirement for FAI would be equivalent to a full inspection. In your case, records of batch conformity to specs should be deemed equivalent to a "FAI", in my assessment.

Good luck.
 
#3
I'm sure that others would disagree, but I believe you could claim 8.5.1.3 as non-applicable.

One of the main differences between AS9100 and AS9120 is that AS9120 did not have a requirement for First Article Inspection. Even though you wish to (or have a customer pushing you to) having closer scrutiny over special processes you are still a distributorship. There really is no place for First Article Inspection in distributorships.

I suggest you have a discussion with your certification body about excluding FAI.
 

darkopsghost

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#4
I guess I am confused if you are supplying material and not a finished product. Your material would appear on someone else's FAI in the Product Accountability portion and it would list your C of C, if you were Approved, and if it involved a Special Process.

How could you ever fill out the Part Number Accountability page requiring Part Number or Serial / Log Number? The Part Revision, the Drawing Number, or the Drawing Revision?

Unless you are building a material to a drawing, how could you fill out the Characteristic Accountability and list Requirements on a plate, bar, rod, or sheet?

Your involvement would end with you Certs Package...where you purchased the material from, Heat Treat Certs, etc. Makes no sense to me for COTS items to be subject to FAI, only part of someone else's.
 

Randall Beck

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#5
As a commercial heat treater we Rarely if ever perform FAI on our customers parts that we heat treat and send back to them. The special heat treat process is part of the manufacturing and engineering verification activities during their FAI validation.

FAI would really not apply (or rarely) to steel distributors IMO.

However if you are supplying or having material heat treated to meet a customers order, that material should be verified to meet the material certifications IMO. How else would we know if the heat treater processed 17/4PH to H900 instead of H1150?

This is no different than us subletting out a heat treatment process because our furnace was down for some reason. We would verify hardness, case depth, metallurgical properties or whatever to verify the special process someone else performed meets our customers requirements before shipping them. I believe this would fall under clause 8.4.1 and not FAI for Dcookqms and us. Even though we did not perform the heat treat process, we are the middle man and still are responsible for meeting the customers requirements if you are AS9100 its required.

At least 2 or 3 times a year we run into issues where we heat treat products and get completely random abnormal final results on our customers parts. They are rightfully not happy with us of course until I send out a sample for chemical analysis and tell them the 12 tons of certified 8620 steel they purchased was actually 4140.

They then take it up with their steel distributor and remake the parts which then turn out perfectly fine 2 months later.
 

JDJohnson

Starting to get Involved
#7
I work in contract manufacturing machining parts and we purchase material that we have to heat treat under a secondary process in the raw bar form and we are not required under any of our certifications to do an FAI. Although our product is not the stock material in any aspect but our suppliers do not do a FAI on the raw material or raw material secondary processes, the only thing we get is the material certs. We do complete a basic receiving inspection and document the diameters, lengths, widths, and material condition but it isn't in any type of a FAI format.
 

Randall Beck

Involved In Discussions
#8
I work in contract manufacturing machining parts and we purchase material that we have to heat treat under a secondary process in the raw bar form and we are not required under any of our certifications to do an FAI. Although our product is not the stock material in any aspect but our suppliers do not do a FAI on the raw material or raw material secondary processes, the only thing we get is the material certs. We do complete a basic receiving inspection and document the diameters, lengths, widths, and material condition but it isn't in any type of a FAI format.
I believe that is all the norm. For our NADCAP, special process heat treatment is generally controlled by an industry or written specification I'll write for the customer detailing parameters, and then they add it to their print/PO which later becomes referenced on someone's first article inspection down the line. This is verified separately by accreditation bodies like NADCAP (PRI) at the heat treater or by the prime themselves annually. That's why they are called special processes I believe and require additional controls. There is rarely a formal FAI performed on them I believe. (Maybe a plater, welder or other special process person could chime in here to verify it is like this for their process as well.)

In commercial, and for aerospace manufacturing companies that do not require NADCAP controls in place, the ISO9001 / AS9100 auditor should be verifying the in house heat treat process is controlled somehow in your ISO9001/AS9100 QMS to an acceptable RISK level. Your customer would than drive if you need a FAI (rare if ever) or if you need to use a NADCAP accredited heat treater.

It all comes down to the end user, as to how tightly the entire manufacturing process is controlled. Is it a widget for the airplane lavatory or airplane jet turbine blade?

I agree that it is completely normal for manufacturers to not verify, independently at least quarterly, that material suppliers are providing the correct material....until there is a problem that is.
 

JDJohnson

Starting to get Involved
#10
No problem.

On a side note when you are dealing with certain industries (medical for example ISO13485, mainly on implants) depending on the level of work you are doing material samples sometimes have to be verified or validated by a lab or a scanner may have to be used to determine the exact composition of the minerals in the material but even that doesn't require a FAI.
 
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