Quality management systems (QMS) establish criteria to manage the flow of information and processes. A QMS forces an organization to set quality objectives, meet them, and exceed them. KLH has over 450 documents to document and satisfy quality management systems, ranging from process-level instructions to customer or job specific instructions. Through quality management, KLH is “achieving customer-valued solutions through continuous improvement.”
ISO 9001:2008 specifies requirements for a quality management system as established by the International Standards Organization (ISO). Standards are universal across all industries. Companies must establish a quality management system specific to their business, but must meet ISO requirements such as:
- Identifying all key business processes
- Monitoring non-conformances & identifying root causes
- Evaluating corrective actions for continual improvement
- Regular audits to measure conformity and effectiveness
- Documentation of all ISO requirements
KLH received ISO 9001 certification from Intertek in March 2000, and has passed every external audit since.
The AS9100 quality system is established by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International to address additional needs of quality and safety in the aerospace industry. AS9100 fully incorporates the current version of ISO 9001, and has been described as “traceability on steroids.”
In the world of AS9100, a faulty component can be traced back to the manufacturer, the process, the technician, the work center, and the machine program.
KLH provides all of the documentation necessary to satisfy the largest aerospace and aircraft manufacturers: first article inspection reports, material certifications, customer-approved control plans, certificates of conformance, and more.
As not all projects require the additional documentation, customer can select which level of quality management best suits their project. KLH applies the AS9100 standards to any parts deemed life or flight critical.
KLH received AS9100 certification from Intertek in August 2010, and has been successfully machining life and flight critical parts ever since.
Nadcap: Nonconventional Machining (EDM)
The National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program (Nadcap) is a standards-setting program for the aerospace and military industries. Unlike ISO and AS9100, Nadcap coordinates the standardization of specific processes, rather then procedural processes. KLH is Nadcap certified in non-conventional machining: EDM, including wire EDM, fast hole (small hole EDM drilling), and sinker EDM.
These standards specifically control the inputs and potential variables of the EDM process, and are designed partly to control the heat-affected zone during the EDM process.
Nadcap accreditation for non-conventional machining requires a valid quality system, certified to AS9100 or equivalent. KLH is seeking Nadcap certification by end of 2012 from Performance Review Institute, the sole accrediting body for Nadcap.
ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations)
The International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) are a set of government regulations controlling the transfer of articles, services, and information on the United States Munitions List. Established in 1976, during the Cold War, it controls the export of both physical goods (parts, assemblies) and intellectual property (e-mails, drawings, databases).
Entrance to KLH’s facilities is restricted at all times; guided tours are available. Any electronic dissemination of information is securely controlled. KLH highly recommends that visitors to the website do not send ITAR-controlled information via the online RFQ form. This is not specific to KLH Industries.com, it is a rule of thumb for ITAR and export control.
KLH will apply ITAR procedures and policies if the customer directly states, if mandated by flow down requirements, or if the make or fit of a part suggests a defense-related technology. ITAR is a matter of national security.
ITAR is a registration, not a certification, as the federal government does not certify or regularly audit companies. Although not technically a formal quality system, ITAR has been a part of KLH’s quality systems since May 2008.