I am now doing Incoming Inspection of parts from outside suppliers. My inspection area was in a separate room and after I verified the parts they were booked into secured Stores. Last week they moved incoming inspection into the Stores area.
My question is: Is it alright to have unverified parts in the secured Stores area?
- Anonymous Quality Manager in an AS9100 organization in the Aerospace industry
I understand your concern and do wonder if there have been any procedural changes to validate the change to the identification/traceability/incoming inspection process?
For ISO 14001, and ISO 9001, as long as the uninspected items are kept physically separate from the inspected items, this may be acceptable. Geographic location can only be used as an inspection status identifier in those two standards. Obviously, the best method is to use separate rooms. Co-location significantly increases the potential of co-mingling acceptable and potentially unacceptable product.
For AS 9100, this move greatly increases the risk. I am not sure of the products involved, but hardware is bound to be part of the component mix. There have been enough instances of fraudulent hardware infiltrating the aerospace supply system that specific measures have been taken to preclude that occurrence, especially in military applications. Specific labelling, marking and segregation requirements exist. There is special emphasis on the completion of planned inspection activity prior to issue of material for use. There is also extra control defined for the control of non-conforming product – all un-inspected product is, by definition, suspected non-conforming until proven otherwise, and must be kept separate until and unless all inspection arrangements are complete. Those arrangements can include dock-to-stock, but only by specially qualified suppliers, with special monitoring.
With limited information, it’s difficult to provide much more than an educated opinion. As an ex-Dept. National Defense QAM, if I had incoming, uninspected material sitting alongside ready-to-use product, someone would not be getting their release documents signed. As an ISO 9001 auditor, I would be raising at least an opportunity for improvement, and watching for any sign of co-mingling to raise a major CAR. Depending on the products involved, an AS 9100 auditor may hit the roof.
- Ted Uffen, BRC Quality Consultant