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ARTICLE OF THE WEEK!

Addressing Nonconformities: Essential Practices Under Part 21.137

In this fifth installment of our FAA Part 21.137 series, we turn our attention to a critical aspect of quality management: handling nonconforming products. This process is vital for maintaining safety and quality in aviation manufacturing.

Identifying and Managing Nonconformities

Nonconformity in aviation manufacturing refers to any instance where a product, component, or process does not meet the specified requirements. Identifying these issues is the first step towards ensuring the integrity and safety of the final product.

Key Steps in Handling Nonconforming Products

  • Detection and Documentation: Implement mechanisms to promptly detect and document nonconformities. This could involve visual inspections, functional testing, or process reviews.¬†
  • Evaluation and Decision Making: Once identified, each nonconformity must be evaluated. Decisions must be made regarding rework, rejection, or acceptance under concession.
  • Root Cause Analysis: Understanding the cause of the nonconformity is essential for preventing recurrence. This involves thorough analysis and may require input from various departments.
  • Corrective Actions and Follow-Up: Implement corrective actions to address the root cause. It’s crucial to monitor the effectiveness of these actions and ensure that they resolve the issue.
  • Continuous Improvement: Use the insights gained from handling nonconformities to improve processes and prevent future issues. This is an integral part of the continuous improvement cycle.

Creating a Culture of Quality

Handling nonconformities effectively requires more than just processes; it demands a culture that prioritizes quality and safety. Encouraging open communication, continuous learning, and a proactive approach to problem-solving are key to achieving this.

By rigorously addressing nonconformities, aviation manufacturers can uphold the high standards required by Part 21.137, ensuring the reliability and safety of their products.

Stay tuned for our next discussion, where we’ll delve into record-keeping and internal audits under Part 21.137. As always, your experiences and insights on handling nonconformities are welcome in the comments!

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