Aerospace engine manufacturers are leading the way to create a safer, more prosperous industry with the rollout of the new AS13100 standard. This new standard will boost efficiency in manufacturing and the overall safety of parts. By collaborating closely with Paulo and other suppliers, the AIA, and other governing organizations, manufacturers are pushing the industry to an unprecedented level of standardization.
What is AS13100?
The AS13100 standard is a set of guidelines that has been developed by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and the National Aerospace Standard (NAS) to provide a comprehensive framework for the production of aerospace components. The standard covers everything from the design and manufacturing processes to the testing and quality control procedures that must be followed to produce components that meet the stringent requirements of the aerospace industry.
One of the key benefits of the AS13100 standard is that it provides a unified set of guidelines that can be used by manufacturers around the world. This means that regardless of where an aerospace component is produced, it will meet the same high standards of quality and safety. This level of standardization is particularly important given the global nature of the aerospace industry, where components may be manufactured in one country and assembled in another.
Standards for Advanced Manufacturing Techniques
The AS13100 standard also places a strong emphasis on the use of advanced manufacturing techniques, such as additive manufacturing and electron beam melting. These techniques have revolutionized the aerospace industry in recent years, allowing manufacturers to produce components with greater accuracy and precision than ever before. By incorporating these techniques into the standard, the AIA and NAS ensure that aerospace manufacturers stay at the forefront of technological innovation.
Another important aspect of the AS13100 standard is its focus on sustainability. Aerospace manufacturing can be a resource-intensive process, and the standard aims to reduce the environmental impact of production by encouraging manufacturers to use sustainable materials and processes wherever possible. This includes the use of recycled materials and reducing waste during the manufacturing process.
Testing & Quality Control
Of course, ensuring the quality and safety of aerospace components is paramount. The AS13100 standard includes rigorous testing and quality control procedures that must be followed to ensure that each component meets the required standards. This includes everything from visual inspections to non-destructive testing techniques such as X-ray, ultrasonic, and magnetic particle testing.
One of the key benefits of the AS13100 standard is that it promotes a culture of continuous improvement. Manufacturers are encouraged to regularly review their processes and procedures to identify areas for improvement and implement changes as necessary. This helps to ensure that the standard remains relevant and up-to-date as new technologies and techniques emerge.
So, what does the AS13100 standard mean for aerospace manufacturing? In short, it means greater efficiency, higher quality, and increased safety. By providing a comprehensive set of guidelines, the standard helps to streamline the manufacturing process, reducing the risk of errors, and ensuring that components are produced to the highest standards.
It also means that manufacturers can use the latest advanced manufacturing techniques, such as additive manufacturing, safely knowing that they meet the industry’s stringent requirements. And by focusing on sustainability, the standard helps to ensure that aerospace manufacturing remains viable for years to come.
Perhaps most importantly, the AS13100 standard gives customers and end-users the confidence that they are getting a high-quality, safe, and reliable product. In the aerospace industry, there can be no compromise on safety, and the AS13100 standard helps to ensure that every component that goes into an aircraft meets the highest standards.
Collaborating with Engine Manufacturers to Refine AS13100
Engine manufacturers recognized there were several industry gaps in the way information was communicated between suppliers and heat treaters, it was not only clear that they needed a new standard for quality and safety, but that they needed input from industry partners to make adoption successful.
Paulo was the first heat treater to collaborate with AIA, Nadcap, and engine manufacturers to address key challenges in AS13100 and help move toward industry-wide adoption.
A total of five suppliers were consulted in the making of AS13100, with Paulo being the only heat treater. “The ability to bring heat treating challenges directly to the AIA closes a huge industry gap when it comes to interpreting and implementing new standards like AS13100. We have the huge responsibility of being that voice for heat treaters around the world,” says Chad Simpson, Corporate Director of Quality at Paulo and direct liaison between the AIA and heat treating industry. “Our continued collaboration with AIA, AESQ, Nadcap, and other industry-leading boards is ultimately helping to ensure supply chain alignment and standardization.”
Taking Inspiration from Automotive: APQP and Core Tools
For years, the global automotive supply chain has relied on standards known as Advanced Product Quality Planning APQP and Core Tools to minimize risk and maximize safety and efficiency at every point of production. Aerospace manufacturers adopted these tried-and-true standards as part of the new AS13100 to drive the same results and make adoption easier for suppliers who also work in automotive and already incorporate APQP and Core Tools in their standard process for some customers.
At Paulo, implementing APQP and Core Tools has been essential in reaching the quality standards of many of our automotive customers and we’ve already extended this practice to our aerospace customers as part of the AS13100 rollout. However, our commitment to quality goes far beyond this.
The Human Factor in Heat Treating
Along with APQP and Core Tools, there’s an additional component of AS13100 that makes it what it is today: minimizing human error. Mitigating human risk wherever possible is a huge focus for this new standard and one that requires continuous process analysis and improvement no matter where you fall in the supply chain.
Through advanced process automation and part tracking, we not only limit the human factor, but have controls in place to monitor processes and automatically adjust temperature and other heat treating factors to ensure that parts are delivered in spec. These advanced controls are already in place in every Paulo facility, across every process and equipment type, and for every customer—no matter the industry. Chad Simpson adds, “Our commitment to quality not only makes us a strong supply chain partner for all customers, but also a trusted voice in creating new aerospace standards that go beyond engine manufacturing.”
Creating a More Predictable Supply Chain
APQP, Core Tools, and process automation are already standard practice at Paulo and we continue to push beyond to deliver greater efficiencies and product quality to customers. As part of this new initiative, we’ve begun rolling out SAE industry-specific training to be completed by heat treating teams to ensure proper implementation for the new standard, meet customer-specific requirements, and lead the way for other heat treating around the world.New standards like AS13100 fuel innovation by creating a more predictable supply chain and allow aerospace OEMs to continue pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. Check out our Comprehensive Guide to Aerospace Thermal Processing to learn more about what’s happening in aerospace heat treating today.