NSL is a trusted vendor to many top manufacturers in the aerospace industry. That trust began because NSL Analytical Services earned several quality materials testing procedure approvals. One of those materials testing certification organizations is Nadcap.
Nadcap is an accreditation program for aerospace and related industries. The accreditations ensure industry agreed standards are upheld or exceeded, and an industry agreed checklist must be completed prior to acceptance and certification. As a result, more and more industry clients require Nadcap (National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program) certifications from materials testing services.
How do Companies Receive Nadcap Accreditation?
- Requesting and scheduling an audit. The Nadcap audit process is complicated but critical to achieving a cerfication. The terms of the audits are determined by the industry which will be working with an enterprise such as NSL Analytical Services materials testing laboratory. There is a range of applicable Nadcap certification programs, and, depending on the processes involved, there may be additional checklists that must be completed. Because some of the materials testing services are provided to companies that take responsibility for the final product, extensive knowledge of the common industry standards, as well as the specific company’s requirements and specifications before the audit is conducted. Like an extra section added into a test, materials testing services like NSL Analytical had to become proficient in their prospective customer’s industry in addition to the customer’s own business specifications.
- Performing an internal audit -Each applicant must be prepared for their own internal audit- from understanding exactly what will be required, to being ready to provide past surveys, system accuracy tests, leak tests, maintenance logs and historical jobs data. When conducting this internal audit, applicants generally make reference notes for the reviewers of where in the materials testing manual to find support for the specific material testing procedures choices. All records of job audits performed must be kept in order, sometimes for years, to be accessible if required.
- Implementing corrective actions for any findings from the internal audit. Not every firm perfectly performs the internal audit the first time. In fact, there are several common process complications that arise with the internal audits. It is vital that you can separate any irregularities into either a major abnormality or a minor anomaly. A major abnormality is defined as “the absence of, or systemic breakdown of, the process control and/or quality management system,” or “any nonconformance where the effect impacts or has the potential to impact the integrity of the product”. A minor anomaly is “any single system failure or lapse in conformance with the applicable standard or audit criteria” which does not impact the product. How the firm handles these findings is important to the accreditation process.
- Undergoing an official audit. Once the official audit is scheduled and the internal audit conducted, firms seeking accreditation need to submit the required documentation prior to undergoing the official audit. Control of your processes is vital, especially for special processes that, when performed, the resulting product cannot be fully verified as meeting the specified requirements. In this situation, the process must be validated in advance to ensure these products are free of defects and meet the Aerospace industry’s high-quality standards.
- Reviewing and responding to any abnormal citings or findings. Testing Facilities must perform a root cause analysis on any abnormalities that are discovered as a result of the internal audit, and then apply specific corrective actions to cure the procedure issues now and in future testing.
- Applying corrective actions to resolve the remaining issues. To complete the internal audit, a firm must have fully implemented corrective actions to resolve the abnormality in the materials testing procedure. This must be described in a detail, including the timeline and implementation of that procedure cure.
- Receiving Nadcap accreditation. The process is long and arduous, but a firm that successfully obtains a Nadcap certification, has demonstrated it is a reliable, consistent materials testing firm, helping to ensure safe products for the Aerospace industry. NSL Analytical Services is proud to carry the Nadcap MTL AC7101 accreditation with several Aerospace firms. Find out more about NSL Analytical Accreditations by clicking here.