E-Archive


Vol. 14
May Issue
Year 2013
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Nadcap Column


in Vol. 14 - May Issue - Year 2013
Improving Global Aerospace Quality Through Nadcap


Prior to Nadcap, aerospace companies audited their supply chain to their own quality requirements in order to verify compliance. This meant that, for example, for heat treating suppliers to Rolls-Royce plc and Airbus, there were at least two audits to accommodate, and possibly more if the supplier provided other special processes or was considered a high risk. Often, as the parts they were supplying were used in identical or similar applications, the requirements were comparable.
These duplicate audits were redundant and simply added to the supplier workload without adding value. For the primes, conducting their own audits similarly meant duplication of effort, redundant audits, unnecessary administration and ultimately, higher cost for no added value.
Nearly twenty-five years ago, however, the situation changed. In 1990, the Nadcap concept was introduced by the not-for-profit Performance Review Institute (PRI) with a mission to be 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.
Now with 54 major aerospace prime subscribers, the Nadcap program conducts nearly 5,000 audits per year across fifteen special processes/products including chemical processing, welding, heat treatment and non-destructive testing. New subscribers join on an ongoing basis: in 2012, COMAC (The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China), Embraer, Eaton and GKN became Nadcap subscribers.
Alexandre Braz Negroni, Senior Manager, Supplier Quality and Development of Embraer SA explained: “Embraer is proud to be part of a group that is striving to enhance special processes which will be the guarantee for more reliable products. Embraer strongly believes that preparing for quality is a key determiner to improve safety and reduce costs and is confident that joining efforts with Nadcap and its"partners" will make the special process supply chain stronger and more prepared for the airspace industry new demands.”
New accreditations are also added as requested by industry. At the October 2012 Nadcap meeting in Pittsburgh, the Nadcap Management Council approved Measurement & Inspection as a formal Nadcap Task Group. This means that Nadcap Subscribers and Suppliers can now formally meet to develop audit checklists. The scope of accreditation will initially cover dimensional measurement & inspection in calibration and units; product definition; inspections – planning; equipment validation; maintain & environments; and competencies.
The goal is to have checklists created and pilot audits conducted by the end of 2013, with feedback from the pilot audits reviewed and incorporated by the first quarter of 2014. The first Nadcap Measurement & Inspection audits are anticipated to take place in early 2014.

The Nadcap Accredited Supplier Perspective
Name: Eric Jacklin
Company: F. M. Callahan & Son Inc.
Location: Malden, Massachusetts, USA
Industries served: We are 80-85% aerospace, with the rest being mostly medical and automotive
“From my perspective, Nadcap provides a fantastic blueprint on how to be a successful special processor. I don’t really know how to say it except that, if I have a potential customer visit my facility who doesn’t require Nadcap, they look at the shop floor, the documentation, the process plans, our attention to detail in all those areas, and tell us that they want to work with us. I don’t think that Nadcap has generated business for us – I know it has.
“Before getting Nadcap accredited, our business was about 65% automotive. But as we all know, the market started to really struggle. By having Nadcap accreditation, we were able to shift our business plan into aerospace. We couldn’t have done that without the discipline and rigor that Nadcap gave us. In fact, it’s been so positive for us, that we have made every line follow the Nadcap standard whether our customer requires it or not because we’ve seen it improve our quality and secure us business.”

Learn more at www.pri-network.org, or contact
Joanna Leigh: joanna.leigh@pri-europe.org.uk