AS9100 D transition: Risk based thinking in Heat Treatment

In addition to Nadcap and AMS2750 requirements, AS9100 is the base of the quality management system of the aerospace industry. And just like every ISO 9000 standards family,  the new revision of AS9100 (2016) has been finally released.

Revision D of AS9100 focuses only on fixing what is broken and it is very cautious in adding requirements. However the new concepts are highly relevant for our industry. When this standard is properly implemented and managed, it offers multiple benefits to the organization: Safe and reliable products, Focus on the complete supply chain and Recognition by regulatory authorities among others.

The most important revised areas of AS 9100

  • Risk management. The standard is more prescriptive about what to consider. You should ensure that your risk process is introduced at the onset of a new project (i.e. FMEA).
  • Awareness of individual contribution to product. More than ever, we need to make sure that the employees are aware of how their activities affect the safe use of the product by the end user.
  • Human Factors. It will be very important to determine if the identified competencies and the work being performed still match. You should evaluate personnel competencies periodically to see if they still describe those needed to perform tasks.

How do you apply risk based thinking in the heat treat shop?

The revised standard does not provide straight answers and it demands you to make the required analysis. However, here is a list of solutions that will help you to minimize risks in the heat treat shop.
  • Eliminate manual entry. Avoid as much manual entries in the heat treat operations. In the age of industry 4.0, it is easier to use equipment and software that records the operation automatically.
  • Automate error calculation and Pass/Fail decision.  Calculating correction factors and comparing results to acceptance limits is one of the main source of errors. This is specially true when conducting calibration and pyrometry tasks. Implement systems that make this calculation for you like C3 data (see video below)
  • Automate as much as possible. Last but not leasttry to automate your heat treat operation as much as possible because this makes the process consistent and reduces the risk of  human errors.


Victor Zacarias

Víctor Zacarías is a Metallurgical Engineer from the University of Queretaro with studies in Strategic Management from Tec de Monterrey. With over 15 years of experience in Heat Treatment Management, he is currently the Managing Director of Global Thermal Solutions México. He has conducted numerous courses, workshops and assessments in México, United States, Brazil, Argentina and Costa Rica. He has been member of the AIAG Heat Treat Work Group (CQI-9 committee) and the SAE Aerospace Materials Engineering Committee (AMS2750).

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