Archive: Aug 2021

Continental Steel & Tube Achieves AS9120:2016 Certification

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Continental Steel is happy to announce that we have earned our AS9120:2016 certification, making us an ideal provider of manufacturing services for the aerospace sector. This blog post will inform our customers of some of the insights we’ve gained about the requirements of the AS9120B standard during our certification process.

Suppliers to the aerospace sector must operate in accordance with very stringent quality practices and industry standards to ensure the safety and efficacy of mission-critical parts. The AS9100 series of standards has long been used to define the parameters of quality management systems used in aerospace and defense manufacturing environments. 

The most recent version, AS9120:2016 or AS9120B, incorporates ISO 9001:2015 quality management practices and lays out additional guidelines specific to aerospace and defense products. Holding AS9120:2016 certification demonstrates a distributor’s ability to provide services and products consistent with regulatory standards. It also showcases the organization’s dedication to continuous improvement and high levels of customer service.

AS9120 Requirements

AS9120:2016 is designated for organizations responsible for acquiring and reselling components, assemblies, and materials to companies in the defense, space, and aviation industries. This includes distributors of all sizes, including those that procure products and divide them into smaller amounts for resale. Of note, the AS9120B standard does not apply to organizations that perform repairs or maintenance on products or organizations that perform any type of work that impacts the characteristics or conformity of a product. 

The many changes that occurred between ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 9001:2015 necessitated an update to the AS9100 series of standards, at which point regulators took the opportunity to modernize the various aerospace- and defense-specific standards found in the series. The AS9120:2016/AS9120B standard includes the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 and also specifies certain other requirements, notes, and definitions for parts and equipment distributed to the defense, aviation, and space applications. 

Based on the fundamentals of ISO 9001:2015, the updated AS9120:2016 included specific requirements around:

  • Planning
  • Operation
  • Context of the organization
  • Leadership
  • Improvement
  • Performance evaluation
  • Support

Benefits of AS9120

There are several key advantages associated with the AS9120 standard. By following this standard, distributors benefit from improved efficiency, higher quality, and an ability to align products more effectively with customer needs. As a result, distributors will find it easier to meet and exceed the expectations of their customer base. In this way, AS9120B will help distributors outperform competitors and win over more customers due to the advanced quality of products and services offered.

Some other specific benefits gained through adherence to AS9120:2016 standards include:

  • More effective process performance
  • Improved ability to understand and consistently adhere to requirements in place
  • Efficient document and record handling
  • Added value considerations for processes
  • The mitigation and elimination of business risks
  • Better evaluation of information and data to further improve processes
  • The ability to identify clear opportunities for cost reduction and improvement of operations

These benefits make following AS9120:2016 standards in the best interests of distributors serving the defense, space, and aviation industries.

About Continental Steel

As an AS9120B/ISO 9001:2015-certified distributor, Continental Steel can supply and distribute numerous types of high-quality specialty metals for use in aviation, defense, and space applications. We also offer a host of value-added services, including anodizing, grinding, and polishing. These products and services enable us to serve as your one-stop shop for AS9120-compliant metal materials. 

To learn more about our broad selection of materials for aerospace and defense applications, please contact us today. We’re ready to discuss your specific needs and help you find what you require for your business.