The Nadcap Organisation
MFN always tries to inform its readers about issues which are of great concern to the industry. There is no question that companies connected to the aviation industry should be aware of Nadcap and its purpose. MFN wanted to know more details and interviewed Arshad Hafeez, Director of Global Business Operations for Industry Managed Programs, Research & Development at Performance Review Institute (PRI). PRI is administering Nadcap.
(?) MFN: What is Nadcap?
(!) A. H.: Nadcap is the leading worldwide cooperative program of major companies designed to manage a cost effective consensus approach to special processes and products and provide continuous improvement within the aerospace and automotive industries.
Nadcap is an unprecedented co-operative industry effort to improve quality, while reducing costs, for quality assurance throughout the aerospace and defense industries. Furthermore it is an industry-managed approach to conformity assessment that brings together technical experts from both industry and government in the Nadcap organisation. Prime contractors, suppliers and representatives from the government work together to establish requirements for accreditation, approve suppliers and define operational program criteria. Nadcap represents major prime contractors, suppliers and government agencies in aerospace, defence and related industries throughout the world. Nadcap is administered by PRI, which accredits subcontractors and suppliers to aerospace and defence industry consensus standards.
The following special processes and resultant products can be Nadcap accredited:
-Aerospace Quality Standards, -Coatings, -Chemical Processing, -Composites, -Distributors, -Elastomer, -Seals, -Electronics, -Fluids, -Heat Treating, -Materials Testing, -Nonconventional Machining and Surface Enhancement, -Non Destructive Testing, -Sealants, -Welding
(?) MFN: Who participates in Nadcap?
(!) A. H.: There are two different types of Nadcap participants:
1. Primes or Subscribers
These are the companies that receive the end products created by special processes. There are numerous primes worldwide that subscribe to the Nadcap program. Some of them are listed below:
-GE Aircraft Engines, -Pratt & Whitney, -The Boeing Company, -Rolls Royce plc (UK), -Rolls Royce Corporation (USA), -Cessna Aircraft Company, -Airbus SAS, -EADS, -Honeywell, -Avio SpA, -Bell Helicopter Textron, -MD Helicopters Inc., -Defence Supply Centre, -Northrop Grunman Corporation, -Raytheon Aircraft Company, -Vought Aircraft Industries Incorporated, -Hamilton Sundstrand, -MTU Aero Engines Gmbh, -Raytheon Systems Company, -Northrop Grunman Integrated Systems, -Sikorsky Aircraft
These are the companies that carry out special processes to create end products purchased by primes.
Suppliers have the ability to become involved in the Nadcap process by becoming active members in their Task Groups where they can serve as voting members and vote on non-accreditation matters. Each Task Group also has the opportunity for a supplier to become a voting member of the Nadcap Management Council.
(?) MFN: How does Nadcap function from a global perspective?
(!) A. H.: When Nadcap began in 1990, it concentrated primarily on North America. In recent years, focus has shifted to promote the benefits of the Nadcap program throughout the rest of the world. In order to support the globalisation of Nadcap, a European office has been established in London, England with multi-lingual staff in order to facilitate the development of Nadcap in Europe. Nadcap also has a strong presence in Asia, making it the next key area to consider. There are now offices in China and Japan to assist with this.
(?) MFN: What does the Performance Review Institute (PRI) do?
(!) A. H.: PRIís mission is to provide global, unbiased, independent manufacturing process and product assessments and certification services to the mobility industry for the purpose of adding value, reducing total cost, and facilitating teaming between primes and suppliers.
PRI offers two main services:
1. Special Process Quality Assessment that is consensus-based and industry controlled through the Nadcap program
2. Quality Assessment to international standards with third-party objectivity as an ISO 9000 Registrar
Once suppliers are accredited, they feature on a published Qualified Manufacturers List.
(?) MFN: How did PRI start?
(!) A. H.: In 1985, the government and industry equal partners conference recommended a consensus solution to duplication of quality assurance systems. Consequently, PRI was founded in 1990 as an affiliate of the Society of Automotive Engineers to provide quality assessment services to the mobility industry. Prior to the establishment of PRI, the responsibility for assuring subcontractor quality in the mobility industry was shouldered by individual primes. This resulted in duplication of effort, inconsistent application of standards and unnecessary costs associated with redundant audits.
PRI subscribes to the concept of harmonised quality standards for both industry and supplier groups to ensure optimum quality performance. All parties voluntarily come together to arrive at quality standards that satisfy the needs of original equipment manufacturers, suppliers and government procurers.
(?) MFN: How is PRI funded?
(!) A. H.: PRI is a non profit organisation that charges suppliers a fee for carrying out the audits in order to fund the audit itself. The audit fees are set by the Task Groups, which are made up of primes and suppliers and instigate an annual fee review in order to determine whether a reduction can be authorised. In 2002, a 5% audit fee cut was implemented, an additional 5% reduction was made in 2003 and 2004. Funding also comes from the Prime members who pay a subscription fee.
We at MFN would like to thank Mr. Arshad Hafeez for this interview.
Administered by PRI
28-32 Wellington Road
London NW8 9SP, United Kingdom
Tel. +44.207.483 9010
Fax: +44.207.483 9011