FAI Reports are Time Consuming 

If you regard your FAI documentation as just another report imposed on you without any internal benefit, you may be missing some quality inspection opportunities.  Many suppliers spend hours and days, just entering tons of data without realizing any real benefit for their own quality needs.  For many companies, the FAI is just a costly burden that is necessary to meet customer demands and nothing more.

(This is Part 2 of a 5 Part series of posts on solving your toughest quality inspection challenges. Click here and get the entire 5-Part series packaged into a single white paper.)

Successful Aerospace Suppliers

The most successful aerospace suppliers recognize the value of “on-going” characteristic accountability and verification and use this information, required by AS9102 reporting, for internal quality improvements. For example, a small aerospace supplier in Cincinnati, Ohio now develops the list of characteristic requirements early in the part production lifecycle. In addition, this company uses the same tool for ballooned characteristics for in-process quality and SPC data. This tool enables this company, already overwhelmed with orders, to be pro-active, rather than reactive.  The quality manager noted, “With this approach, Manufacturing now doesn’t have to wait for Quality to do the paperwork; it’s done within hours of receiving a completed process from Engineering. We make the FAI process work for us.”

Time Consumption Unacceptable

A supplier in Hartford, Connecticut struggled with the time it took to assemble the complete technical data package for a part.  The Quality Manager commented, “We want to make sure that we don’t miss any critical requirements so we try to organize all of the technical documents that define the part.”  When a new part shows up, they used to examine the drawing and try to identify all the pertinent specifications.  They would then look-up the specs and either print them from PDF files or pull the documents out of the filing cabinets.  This was a time-consuming process that took hours to complete.  Meanwhile, this supplier has many orders for fabricated parts that involve over 300 characteristics for each part.  It would take their quality personnel days just to identify the characteristics and setup the database of requirements.

Minutes Not Hours

This proactive supplier adopted a software tool that enables them to electronically organize the technical data package and automatically identify the part characteristics.  This company now creates the technical data package and sets up an FAI and SPC in a matter of minutes. The data, from the Bill of Materials, to specifications to purchase orders, can be accessed in this tool and later archived. When customers visit, the supplier can access all the documents from one tool and not forage file cabinets. Organized and complete, the documentation accessed from one software tool, streamlines the audits and builds confidence in the supplier’s processes.

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