Internal Nonconformance procedure thoughts (AS9100)


Starting to get Involved
Our current non-conformity procedure is that any claims raised by a customer is going through 8D process unless the claim is denied.
But our internal procedure is a bit more fluffy.
If non-conformity is found by final inspection -> 8D report
If non-conformity is found when doing in process measurements we evaluate the need for doing more than just registration.

Is there anyway this is conflicting with the requirements in AS9100. I don't believe it is, but a consultant who helped us out in the beginning of the transition from ISO9001 to AS9100 thought it were crucial to have the actual root cause and prevent the the re-occurence. And I believe our auditor agrees it him.

Our primary evaluation criteria is based on cost of the actual failure, the cost of preventing the failure, the risk of not finding the failure and the risk for our customers.
We do the registration because then we can track the costs of certain kind of mistakes like is it always like bad setup up of machine or high pressure pumps failing.

This way we are available to at some point to look at our high pressure pumps and see if doing something with those with minimize the amount and costs of NCs'.

We do a lot of non-aviation parts and we do a lot of mass production, so things like a broken drill or early wear on an insert does happen a lot. There is between 0-5 internal NCs a day, so doing 8D reports on everything is just a waste of resources in my oppinion.

Please share your thoughts.
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Cari Spears

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We do not initiate root cause investigation for every occurrence of nonconforming product. Our process is very much as you've described - we log nonconformances and try to track common causes that we may decide to initiate a CAR for - and sometimes something happens only once, but we initiate a CAR because it cost a lot or impacted our ability to deliver on time. We do initiate a CAR for all customer complaints or quality escapes.

Mike S.

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Doing an 8D for every nonconformity is, IMO, like going to the doctor for every injury you ever have, no matter the severity. Sometimes it's just a paper cut or a stubbed toe or slight muscle strain that doesn't need a doctor.

However, if your procedure says you shall go to the doctor for every injury you ever have, no matter the severity, you had better either follow it or revise it. I'd suggest the latter.


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...crucial to have the actual root cause and prevent the the re-occurence.
It's all about your system, and what you need to achieve your goals.

The standard says:

react to the nonconformity and, as applicable:
1. take action to control and correct it;
2. deal with the consequences;
evaluate the need for action to eliminate the cause(s) of the nonconformity, in order that it does not recur or occur elsewhere, by:
1. reviewing and analyzing the nonconformity;
2. determining the causes...
3. determining if similar nonconformities exist, or could potentially occur;

No where does it say do an 8D.

If you have a process where you already 'know' the production problem causes (pump squeaks louder and makes a high frequency sound = gasket installed backwards), then you know the cause and you don't have to determine it (again).

If there exists the need to take action to correct it, do that, else control it and deal with the consequences (rework, scrap).

I will add, if you don't log these events, you may never know how prevalent it is. Some organizations may institute a three strikes, it's a corrective action type of policy. Do what makes the process effective. You are right to push back if 8D's become the tail that wags the dog. It makes them less effective when you really need them.
As pointed out above, the standard requires that you "evaluate the need". It doesn't require root cause analysis for all cases. You get to determine when you need to go beyond correction and into corrective action.

When you always dig deep you will always be running behind and trying to catch up, and when in catch up mode you are likely to miss the critical things.
If there internal NCRs and not severe, keep them categorized as an NCR and stay away from recording them as a CAR. I'm sure there are several threads on the distinction. This will cause confusion on audits and customer calls reviewing your internal systems.
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