CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- The Directorate of Product Assurance and the Directorate of Industrial Operations at Letterkenny Army Depot are engaging in consistent collaboration to ensure compliance to the AS9100D/AS9110C Quality Management Systems. In order to maintain compliance, DPA personnel conduct regular stand-downs with DIO employees to evaluate current processes for alignment to AS9100D and AS9100C QMSs.
The quality stand-downs begin with leadership training to ensure they can enforce the standards throughout the directorate. The bulk of the stand-down consists of quality assurance specialists and quality control inspectors going on-site to the DIO shops to observe actions and help answer questions concerning the certification requirements and implementation methods.
“With these certifications, there were some major changes with how we manage Foreign Object Damage or Debris, how we manage tools and tag and trace our parts and scrap control,” said Tyler Crotsley, director of Product Assurance at LEAD. “These stand-downs are focused on these changes so that we can ensure compliance moving forward.”
Although the methods addressed during the stand-downs will become an integral part of the depot’s routine procedures, the main objective is to drive awareness and provide DIO personnel with the opportunity to recognize areas that need special attention moving forward.
“We’re starting the stand-down focus areas on the items addressed during our initial audit for the certifications,” Crotsley said. “As we improve all of those areas, the stand-downs will continue but with the goal of keeping new processes in the forefront of their mind to execute on a daily basis.”
Letterkenny Army Depot attained AS9100D/AS9110C certifications in November 2021. AS9100D is the most recent standard for organizations designing, developing, or providing aviation, space and defense products and services, including parts, components, and assemblies. AS9110 is the standard for aviation maintenance activities and is based on AS9100 but adds specific requirements critical for commercial, private, and military aircraft maintenance.
“AS9100/AS9110 is primarily comprised of standards that were included in the ISO 9001 certification that we previously held,” Crotsley said. “There were additional product safety components, increased tool control, a larger emphasis on supplier performance and key performance indicators for the processes that LEAD uses.”
AS9100 standardizes quality management system requirements for the depot. AS9110 specifically targets the maintenance work LEAD executes on military aviation components.
“Identifying our core processes and then developing the key performance indicators for those was necessary for attaining these certifications,” Crotsley said. “Top management buy-in was also instrumental - not just having leadership push for the certifications, but having them interface with the employees to ensure that they understand why we’re doing it and how we’re doing it.”
The AS9100/AS9110 certifications provide benefits to the depot and customers. Efforts such as the quality stand-downs solidify that the standards embedded within those certifications are incorporated into depot processes.
“These certifications will ensure that our customers understand the product safety measures that we execute at LEAD,” said Jeff Eichenlaub, Quality Control division chief, LEAD. “It helps us show our customers that the products we’re producing at Letterkenny are better products and that the quality is to the standards our customers expect.”
Letterkenny Army Depot is the Army’s premier professional organic maintenance facility that provides overhaul, repair and modifications for tactical missile air defense and space systems, electric power generation equipment and various military vehicles, support systems and protection programs. LEAD is a subordinate of U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command and is the Air and Missile Defense and Long Range Precision Fires depot, supporting systems for the Department of Defense, foreign partners and industry. Letterkenny Army Depot was established in 1942 and is a government-owned and -operated industrial installation located in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.
For more information about LEAD, visit https://www.letterkenny.army.mil/
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