For obvious reasons, highly regulated industries and agencies require a level of vigilance beyond that of a traditional manufacturer. This proficiency is most natural to spot in the form of certifications specific to the applications.
The certification process vets an organization’s skill set and guarantees a customer that a deliverable part complies with industry requirements. As attaining these certifications is time-consuming and expensive, bringing in a pre-qualified specialist to handle the welding aspects of a manufacturing process lets the client acquire the skill on-demand for the desired application.
Here are five certifications that a contract welding partner for aerospace and Department of Defense (DOD) projects should have.
- ISO 9001:2015 (QMS)
Quality Management Systems (QMS) certification designates that an organization consistently provides products and services that meet the relevant industry standards and regulations. ISO 9001 operates on the plan-do-check-act cycle. It guides the implementation of a system to record and analyze the process an organization uses to assure quality is maintained.
Aerospace and DOD-affiliated companies should look for an ISO 9001:2015 certified contract welding partner. This designation means that the hired firm conducts internal audits, employs a deliberate corrective action process, and provides the level of documentation each discipline requires.
Inclusive of ISO 9001:2015 QMS requirements, the AS9100 standard adds additional mandates specific to the aerospace industry. Similar to ISO 9001:2015, this standard outlines requirements for maintaining a comprehensive quality system for aerospace products.
Both the DOD and aerospace industries possess high levels of risk. To address that crucial aspect, AS9100 adds risk management to the ISO 9001 processes. A contract welding partner with AS9100 certification knows the risk factors associated with its process and takes appropriate steps to mitigate and reduce them.
- AWS D17.1 (TIG, resistance, laser welding), 1.1 (structural)
AWS certifications cover the welding processes. D17.1 covers material and design, fabrication, inspection, and qualification of fusion, resistance, and TIG welds. D1.1 addresses the structural integrity of stainless steel. Contract welding partners with these certifications have demonstrated in-depth knowledge of these processes through an exam administered by the AWS.
- Nadcap 1100
Participants must already be certified in AS9100 (or similar) quality management systems. Created by a collaboration between the aerospace and defense industries, Nadcap’s (National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program) charter is to improve quality while reducing costs by establishing general requirements, in-process audits, and audits of Special Processes such as Welding and NDT. For these processes, an audit would examine the organizations written procedures and documented history as evidence.
- ASTM E1417/1444
ASTM E1417 Fluorescent Dye Penetrant Inspection, or penetrant testing (PT), and E1444 Magnetic Particle Inspection, or magnetic testing (MT), standardize the application and procedure for conducting two NDT approaches that are used in aerospace and on commercial flight and defense projects. These non-destructive evaluation methods ensure the parts are in compliance with customer requirements. Working with a contract welding partner that carries these certifications provides confidence in the product leaving the manufacturing site.
These five certifications provide technical credibility for a contract welder to assemble parts for the aerospace and defense industries. By partnering with a contract welder certified for its QMS systems, design and structural robustness of the welding process, and NDT evaluation steps, you can be confident in the integrity of the final project.
Superior Joining Technologies, Inc. is ISO 9001:2015, AS9100, Nadcap 1100, AWS D17.1 and D1.1, ASTM E1417, and E1444 certified. They provide contract welding services for the aerospace and defense industries. Competencies include Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW), Laser Beam Welding (LBW), and Resistance Welding, in addition to 6-axis Laser Cutting and Laser Part Marking processes. SJTI is certified in ISO 9001:2015, Nadcap-accredited for PT, MT, GTAW and LBW, FAA Repair Station OP Spec for Fusion Welding, PT and MT.