Published on 10/7/2016
Categories: Aerospace
Tags: Nadcap

Nadcap: becoming an accredited supplier for aerospace

Nadcap: becoming an accredited supplier for aerospace

Extremely demanding and highly technological manufacturing sectors such as the aerospace industry choose partners of globally renowned excellence, from which they expect extremely reliable and safe products. Nadcap (National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program) was created to ensure compliance with required quality standards. The program was established by aerospace prime contractors for the accreditation of special processes, including heat treatments. I will not hide from you that Nadcap is a difficult and costly certification to obtain. It's nonetheless true that it always repays the effort as Nadcap offers you more than just an accreditation... But let's see how Nadcap certification applies a quality standard to your company and why it is an opportunity not to be missed.

Why join the Nadcap program

Nadcap accreditation is the gold standard for the aerospace market. On the one hand it is a tool for controlling processes and suppliers, on the other it guarantees the quality delivered to customers. The program ensures a sector-wide approach to the assessment of conformity of special processes.

The program was originally created by the United States Department of Defense to ensure compliance with technical/quality requirements for aerospace products. Its effectiveness allowed its rapid evolution and adoption by the leading aerospace and defense contractors. Today practically all aerospace primes with the principal worldwide suppliers submit their own special processes to Nadcap accreditation.

Nadcap is an essential condition for providing certainty to contractual parties in an industry characterized by high production rates and stringent quality requirements. Full compliance with regulations allows the production of consistent series which can be repeated over time.

Nadcap accreditation allows you to demonstrate that your company knows and applies the rules of the sector and that your quality is the result of a rigorous and well organized system. Qualified experts conduct audits to evaluate the quality and robustness of your business processes and, as a result, your ability to build reliable products for use in the aerospace industry.

But let’s take a deeper look into NADCAP program to better understand why everyone achieves more with NADCAP! I know, it can be seen as a rather glib phrase... However, as I said, NADCAP is more than obtaining an accreditation and now I will tell you why Nadcap is an opportunity that cannot to be missed.

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What lies beyond Nadcap accreditation

Created in 1990 by SAE Inc., Nadcap is administered by the not-for-profit Performance Review Institute. PRI is a global provider of customer-focused solutions designed to improve process and product quality by adding value, reducing total cost and promoting collaboration among stakeholders in industries where safety and quality are shared goals. PRI works closely with industry to understand their emerging needs and offers customized solutions in response.

The need for collaboration among companies in the industry stems from the fact that products must be guaranteed to the highest quality standards. The main objective of the program is to establish accreditation requirements, provide accreditation to suppliers and define the operational specifications of the program itself. The result is a standardized approach to special processes, including heat treatments, as well as an increase in the efficiency of inspection audits.

The program, managed by the PRI with the support of numerous competing aerospace primes, is able to:

  1. Establish rigorous common standards for the industry capable of meeting the requirements of all the customers involved;
  2. Conduct audits on special processes in great detail and with a high level of technical content;
  3. Improve the quality of suppliers throughout the industry by introducing strict requirements;
  4. Reduce costs by promoting a higher level of standardization;
  5. Use expert technical evaluators (Nadcap Auditors) for each different process.

Joining the Nadcap program is not only an essential requirement for working in the aerospace industry, it is also an opportunity to improve your manufacturing processes. In addition, Nadcap accreditation is also a great opportunity to obtain higher visibility for your company. So, are you ready to operate in the aerospace industry?

Gerardo Errichiello
Aerondi S.r.l.

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