Original Date: 08/10/1998
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Quality Assurance
(equipment: Giddings & Lewis’ coordinate measuring machine, Metorex’s Arc-Met 930 optical spectral emissions tester)
Previously, Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC), Lakehurst had a quality system that was modeled after MIL-Q-9858 and relied on policing methods. This quality system, typically used throughout the military and government, enlisted a standalone group that went out onto the manufacturing floor and performed quality reviews. Today, NAWC, Lakehurst employs a Quality Assurance (QA) process that integrates the quality group with the manufacturing department, and promotes a teaming approach to ensure product quality. By sharing the responsibility for QA, the quality group and the manufacturing department can detect problems early and find applicable solutions.
The QA process is comprised of quality reviews; in-process reviews; final product evaluations; first article tests and evaluations; evaluations of fleet emergencies; and partnering with contractors. The quality review is an upfront planning effort that involves drawing reviews, manufacturing orders, and detailed QA requirements, and generally makes sure that QA is present at the start of a project. The in-process review involves destructive/non-destructive testing and material analysis, as well as ensures that the product is progressing through the manufacturing process. Various tools are used in this effort. One in particular, which has been very beneficial to NAWC, Lakehurst, is the coordinate measuring machine manufactured by Giddings & Lewis. This machine has more than paid for itself by providing inspection accuracy and repeatability, and by measuring complex and irregular-shaped objects without the need for unique inspection fixturing. Another noteworthy instrument is the Arc-Met 930 optical spectral emissions tester manufactured by Metorex. NAWC, Lakehurst uses this non-destructive testing tool to perform material analysis down to the carbon composition level.
Final product evaluation involves final testing and all necessary reporting and packaging requirements. First article test and evaluation is performed on new engineering designs and first-time vendor manufactures. Along with this, production lot testing on flight critical equipment is also performed. During Fleet emergencies, the quality group works with the engineering department to investigate Fleet problems, and provides resolutions that work immediately and throughout the operational life of the product. As for contracts, NAWC, Lakehurst has partnered with industry to accomplish numerous QA functions including source selection; first article test and product evaluation; QA program reviews; data package preparation; and configuration management.
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