There is no room for error when an aircraft is in the air—something as seemingly small as a bolt can cause outsized consequences. To prevent catastrophes, the aerospace and defense industry is highly regulated to ensure manufacturing is a reliable, secure process. Manufacturers in the aerospace and defense supply chain may be required to obtain certifications that ensure consistent—and high quality—manufacturing standards are in place. Data protection standards are also required to protect engineering plans, national defense secrets and personal information from growing cybersecurity risks. Government projects bring additional scrutiny, with international trade requirements.
This post will review the key certifications spring manufacturers like Associated Spring need to supply to the aerospace and defense industry.
Key Certifications in the Aerospace and Defense Industry
MANUFACTURING PROCESS CERTIFICATIONS
Quality managers need to demonstrate deep understanding of very specific aerospace requirements to deliver on every point—from reviewing contracts to receiving material, all the way through production.
- AS9100 registration is the international management standard for the aircraft, space and defense industry. While AS9100 helps to ensure a product’s quality, conformity, safety, airworthiness and reliability, each manufacturer has their own processes to meet this standard with systems audited every year to ensure no gaps.
- NADCAP (National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program) is an industry-managed approach to standardizing supplier requirements. This accreditation is governed by technical experts including prime contractors, suppliers and representatives from government.
To meet stringent quality standards, Associated Spring is known for its contract review process. This involves reviewing the customer contract word by word to catch every specification. Then, when it’s time to set the production routes up, the quality manager knows that everything the customer is asking for is covered. By investing time in contract review and carefully setting up processes to meet them, springs are built correctly the first time.
DATA SECURITY CERTIFICATION & COMPLIANCE
Cybersecurity is a growing concern for all enterprise data, but it creates unique risks in the aerospace industry with top secret defense projects and aircraft intellectual property. To supply to the aerospace and defense industry, manufacturers must certify and comply that they demonstrate robust data
- CMMC (Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification) is a critical data security certification for defense contractors and anyone who supplies to the government. There are multiple levels of CMMC certification, with increasing measures for security.
- DFARS (Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement) is a set of regulations for defense contractors that prioritizes and protects the confidentiality of Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI).
In the spring manufacturing industry, Associated Spring has some of the highest data security measures in place. Our Cyber program is guided by industry standards i.e., NIST CSF, CIS, SAN20, OWASP. We have achieved Level 3 DFARS 252.204.7012 compliance which has been verified with an attestation letter from a third-party assessor. We are also pursuing Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) 2.0 certification.
To do business internationally, there are checks in place to make sure suppliers are not working with countries under sanction or that create national security risks. These checks are especially important when contracting with the government on defense projects.
- ITAR (The International Traffic in Arms Regulations) compliance means that a supplier meets the basic requirements for selling internationally, i.e. not doing business with certain countries.
- DDTC (Directorate of Defense Trade Controls) is where manufacturers must register for ITAR; it’s the part of the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs at the U.S. Department of State that implements the ITAR including the United States Munitions List (USML).
- EAR (Export Administration Regulation) is a set of regulations for dual-use items not covered by ITAR but that still applies to some defense-related items; it is administered by the Bureau of Industry and Security, which is part of the U.S. Commerce Department.
Associated Spring is a part of Barnes Group, Inc. and is registered as an ITAR manufacturer and exporter with the U.S. Department of State.
Choose a Certified Spring Manufacturer for Aerospace and Defense
To best serve the aerospace and defense industry, Associated Spring keeps all critical certifications up to date while also looking ahead to continually improve quality management processes and mitigate new risks.
To learn more about Associated Spring and our custom springs for aerospace and defense, contact us.