AS9120 Metal Suppliers: Certification and Its Value

AS9120 Metal Suppliers: Certification and Its Value

Published in Diversified Specialty Metals

AS9120 metal suppliers develop and follow a superior quality management system as they supply raw material to companies within aviation, space, and defense industries.

Those who meet AS9120 standards follow specific rules that regulate how they work within the chain of supply providing custody of products/materials, maintaining records, controlling distribution, and tracing materials.

This certification is crucial for helping metal suppliers provide quality customer care and manage metal products well. Meeting the standards set by the AS9120 is challenging but valuable for ensuring high-quality metal supplies and customer service.

The Aerospace Manufacturing Market in Canada

Canada is a significant player in aerospace manufacturing both at home and around the world. As such, ensuring quality materials and service is important for the sector’s continued success in the country.

The Significance of the Canadian Aerospace Manufacturing Sector

The Canadian Aerospace manufacturing sector is a crucial piece of Canada’s economy. Over 200,000 Canadians are employed in the aerospace manufacturing sector in Canada, contributing more than $25 billion to the Canadian economy.

Canada’s aerospace industry is one of the first in the world. In fact, it leads global aerospace engineering in civil flight simulator production and small aircraft production. It also ranks third in civil engine and fourth in civil aircraft production.

Since the beginning of the Canadian aerospace sector, Quebec specifically has played an important role as home to multiple enterprises (Bombardier, Airbus, and CAE, to name a few) and the birthplace of both commercial and bush aviation in Canada.

Since Canada is such a critical player in the world’s aerospace production, ensuring that its metal suppliers have the AS9120 certification is an important aspect of providing the best possible supply chain management and customer service in Canadian aerospace enterprises.

What Is the AS9120 Certification?

The AS9120 certification is designated for companies that produce materials for aerospace enterprises. It is designed to help those companies maintain high-quality standards for their manufacturing and distribution processes.

AS9120 Certification

If you’re familiar with aerospace manufacturing, you may have heard of the AS9100 certification. This certification is officially the “AS9100 Quality Management Systems – Requirements for Aviation, Space and Defense Organizations.” It outlines best practices for organizations that design, create, and produce products used in the aerospace sector.

The AS9120 certification is a little different. This certification is officially the “Quality Management Systems-Aerospace Requirements for Stockist Distributors.” It outlines the quality management that organizations must employ as they procure materials and parts for aerospace creations and distribute those parts to manufacturers.

Basically, the AS9120 is specifically designed to regulate companies that distribute the building blocks of aerospace engines and creations. By following a meticulous process for the appropriate care and distribution of steel, aluminum, and other materials, companies can be AS9120 certified and therefore become trusted resources for aerospace manufacturers.

Uses for Metal Produced by Companies with AS9120 Certification

The main users of metal produced by companies with the AS9120 certification are in the aerospace field. Generally, the metals will be used in the development of specialized parts of aircraft.

For example, coils, sheets, and extrusions are used to make the aircraft strong and sturdy yet still tensile and lightweight. These smaller pieces of metal produced by companies with an AS9120 certification are used in creating the “building block” pieces of large aircraft that travel through air and space.

How a Company Becomes AS9120 Certified

A company must create an effective quality management system to become AS9120 certified. There are a few challenging but simple steps to this process.

AS9120 Certification Eligibility

If you were to compare the AS9100 versus AS9120, you would find that the key difference is in the niche audience. AS9120 mirrors the AS9100 standards, but an AS9120 quality management system is specific to distribution centers for products used in aerospace engineering.

Companies that are eligible to receive this certification must create and distribute raw material such as aluminum, stainless steel, sheet metal, and various other types of metal products. Companies that rework, repair, or develop “value-added” products do not fall under the AS9120 authority.

AS9120 Certification Requirements

The requirements for AS9120 certification are found in eight sections, as follows:

  • Section 1 emphasizes that companies must have in place regulatory procedures for products and services and processes for continual improvement.
  • Section 2 outlines the vocabulary and fundamental issues in an AS9120 quality management system.
  • Section 3 defines specific terms.
  • Section 4 outlines the requirements for developing a quality manual; implementing required procedures, forms, and records; the control of forms and documents.
  • Section 5 outlines the place of management in maintaining policies, satisfying customers, and reviewing products/processes.
  • Section 6 defines the requirements for personnel, training, and resource management.
  • Section 7 explains the relevant requirements for producing, planning, designing, distributing, purchasing, and processing the product.
  • Section 8 outlines requirements for monitoring process, ensuring customer satisfaction, performing internal audits, and fixing inconsistencies or mistakes.

In summary, the requirements for AS9120 include:

  • Managing careful record control.
  • ● Obtaining airworthiness certificates for products.
  • ● Maintaining traceability from receipt of products until delivery to a new company.
  • ● Conforming to requirements for splitting materials.
  • Providing necessary documents to prove conformance.

To ensure that your company meets these standards, you must complete a certification process. Auditors will be sent to your company to view your practices and determine that you meet all certification requirements. To maintain certification, you must be reevaluated by a certifying body each year.

Reasons to Work with an Accredited AS9120 Metal Distributor

If you design and develop aerospace products, it is recommended that you work with an accredited AS9120 metal distributor to ensure the quality of your products and your customer support.

The Value of AS9120 Certification

The AS9120 certification is not necessary, but it is highly recommended. Companies who meet this standard must maintain high-quality procedures for both the creation and distribution of their products as well as how they interact with customers.

Unlike an accreditation that merely manages the quality of a product, the AS9120 certification manages the quality of the company’s procedures and interactions, affecting the management of the entire supply line and process.

Accredited and Nonaccredited Distributors

Working with an accredited distributor of aluminum, steel, and any other industry staple you use ensures that you are working with a company that understands and meets the aerospace standards explained in the AS9120.

Nonaccredited distributors have no strict requirements to maintain quality procedures or develop industry-leading standards for a healthy customer supply chain. Conversely, accredited distributors hold themselves to a higher standard by seeking out this unnecessary but incredibly valuable certification.

AS9120 Metal Supplier

The AS9120 certification is a valuable asset to any company looking to provide quality metals and services to aerospace companies in Canada and worldwide. Companies that meet the standards of an AS9120 certification are scarce but important in the aerospace sector. Diversified Specialty Metals is a proud AS9120B certified producer of stainless steel, aluminum, and other relevant metals needed by aerospace manufacturers.

If you’re looking for a company that provides you the aerospace supplies you need on time and with the highest quality processes, check out our inventory and get a free quote today.

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