Highest aerospace quality registration for CEM firm
Dorset-based contract manufacturer Electronics Technicians Ltd (ETL) has passed an arduous re-certification programme to secure the continuation of its prestigious AS9100 quality registration, which attests to aerospace level quality compliance across the business.
Those familiar with the rigours of ISO9001 certification may wish to spare a thought for the staff and management at the tier-two CEM who endured six days of intense scrutiny. In comparison to ISO, the demands of AS9100 registration are far more arduous as the audits cover every aspect of a company’s business. No stone is left unturned.
The AS9100 auditors scrutinised ETL’s business plan, quality assurance procedure, staff certification and training, sales order processes, contract reviews, marketing activities and process-driven operations function, among a host of other operational procedures. In order to pass the scrutiny, non-conformance in any function is not tolerated, and would lead to the prestigious registration being immediately withdrawn. “As we undertake top-level aerospace manufacturing for a number of customers, AS9100 is critical, so failure is not an option,” points out ETL Sales Director James Arnold.
“This certification validates our entire operation, including our external supply chain and customer support resources, so it’s great for our customers,” claims Arnold. “It’s also excellent for us as business owners as it reveals how well the business is performing,” he adds.
At the sharp end of the audit was ETL’s Quality Manager Ian Hopps. Ian steered the auditors through the business processes and the company’s sophisticated Quality Management Systems to complete the registration successfully. “It’s about much more than our manufacturing ability or product quality,” explains Ian. “It really does cover the entire business, even to the point of reviewing the company’s management team, which puts the four owners under some pressure,” he said.
ETL first secured its AS9100 registration over ten years ago. A recertification review takes place every three years, with an annual ‘surveillance’ review in between.