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Supporting Hyde Aero products to gain Nadcap accreditation

The need

The National Aerospace and Defence Contractors Accreditation Program (Nadcap) is a global industry-led effort to improve quality and efficiency in the aerospace and defence industries. It brings together prime contractors, such as Boeing, Airbus, Safran, GE Aviation, Rolls Royce, Pratt and Whitney and GKN, all of whom support Nadcap as the widely accepted industry standard. Nadcap accreditation for measurement and inspection processes are recognised by leading aerospace companies as a guarantee of product quality.

In 2017, new criteria were included in Measurement and Inspection Task Group (M&I) accreditation and suppliers to the aerospace industry are being mandated to achieve this accreditation. The M&I Task Group conducts audits based on the AC7130 accreditation standard which includes a series of checklists on:

  • Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM)
  • Laser trackers
  • Articulating arms
  • Mass airflow
  • General Inspections.

Hyde Group is a leading engineering service provider that specialises in design and manufacture solutions within safety critical industries.  Hyde Aero Products is made up of several companies making components and assemblies for aerospace, four of which had been mandated by the aerospace primes to become accredited to the Nadcap M&I standard. This was essential in order to continue to supply parts and bid for future work packages in the aerospace sector.

The solution

The Sharing in Growth (SiG) programme supports UK aerospace companies to increase productivity and competitiveness so they can win global business. The intense four-year SiG training and development programme is focused on leadership, culture and operational excellence delivered by SiG's own 100 strong team of lean coaches as well as a bank of experts including NPL. The main funding support for this ambitious and innovative programme has come from the Regional Growth Fund and industry.

As part of the Sharing in Growth programme, NPL assessed Hyde Aero Products’ ability to meet the Nadcap AC7130 accreditation standard. The gap analysis covered the current state of the business and NPL mentored quality representatives from Hyde Aero on how to conduct self-assessments and understand the requirements. Hyde Aero quality representatives then used the training to evaluate their other three businesses that needed accreditation to produce a summary of each business’ needs against the standard.

The central quality management system and procedures were further enhanced to meet the requirements of the standard using the skills experience and expertise of the NPL team. NPL reviewed the data and summarised the issues into areas to focus on and defined priorities. They also created a project plan and delivered support and mentoring projects to close the highest priority gaps

The support activity was delivered in two defined projects

Project 1 addressed and developed:

  • Environmental control parameters for measurement areas, including sourcing and set up of appropriate monitoring equipment
  • Co-efficient of thermal expansion processes to demonstrate the effects of temperature and remove risk
  • CMM monitoring and control procedures to provide demonstrable evidence that the equipment is fit for purpose
  • First principle over check procedure and standard operating procedures (SOP) in line with standard requirements
  • Quality management systems around CMM reports and results, operator training, calibration and good practice around housekeeping and inspection planning

Project 2 addressed:

  • Completion of official pre audit requirements that needed to be submitted to Nadcap
  • Completion of capability studies for CMM and portable arm as evidence of measurement capability
  • Development of a group level Measurement Systems Analysis (MSA) procedure in line with standard requirements
  • Provision of good practice training mentoring and SOP creation around the portable arm equipment
  • Establishing a skills matrix and preventative maintenance schedule for portable arm equipment
  • Mentoring and set up of procedures around the use of data to provide demonstrable control
  • CMM good practice advice to address issues found in pre-audit

The impact

All four companies within Hyde Aero passed the Nadcap M&I audit and are now accredited. This means that they can continue to supply the aerospace primes, including Airbus.  At present only nine UK companies have approval for Nadcap M&I, 4 of which are part of Hyde Aero and were supported on this project. Hyde Precision Components (HPC) are the only UK company who have achieved Nadcap accreditation for use of a portable measurement arm.  

The general training and upskilling carried out by NPL during this project will benefit the companies in other areas of quality control, not just Nadcap. This work not only helped achieve accreditation but became the basis for a longer-term working relationship between NPL and Hyde. Geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) and calibration training has been delivered to other Hyde businesses and further training is being discussed.

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