AS9100: Reliability and PCB Material Selection for Aerospace Applications

By November 13, 2019Blog, Industry News
AS9100: Reliability and PCB Material Selection for Aerospace Applications

The electronics industry has been driving the printed circuit board (PCB) evolution for many years. You can find PCBs in almost every electronic gadget. Over the last decade, High-Density Interconnect (HDI) PCBs have been gaining momentum due to their high versatility. Today, with HDI PCB designs, engineers can create electronic products that are much smaller than before and can fit anywhere as needed. They allow for more efficient and higher density transmission. For almost all applications pertaining to consumer products and electronics, HDI PCBs are not only applicable, but preferred.

In addition, HDI PCBs are perfect for hazardous conditions and extreme environments, therefore, are ideal for military and aerospace applications. HDI circuit boards fulfill the most important requirements for aerospace applications: light weight and small size.

Importance of AS9100 in Aerospace Applications

PCBs in aerospace industry must operate with minimal maintenance and require rigorous safety and quality standards. For this reason, PCB manufacturers for aerospace applications must follow a specific set of industry standards. This is to ensure higher reliability and smooth operational performance.

AS9100 certification was created by the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG) to provide a global aerospace manufacturing standard. Manufacturing for aerospace entails a long supply chain, and AS9100 helps control the quality of products and services produced for the aerospace industry.

This certification is universally implemented and is the standardized quality management system for the aerospace industry. It shares many standards outlined in ISO9001 and includes additional requirements created specifically for the aerospace industry. To qualify as an aerospace manufacturer or supplier, the PCB manufacturer must comply with the set standards and register for the AS9100 certificate.

These standards apply to both internal and subcontracted manufacturing processes. Managing all activities and related resources as processes within a coherent system brings in the desired results. Here are the five major processes:

  • Quality Management System
  • Management Responsibilities
  • Resource Management
  • Product Realization
  • Measurement, Analysis & Improvement

Risk is inherent in any business and AS9100 expects that possible risks should be identified and measures to mitigate them are taken.

Imagineering’s Approach

Imagineering’s relentless focus on the customer has led to the decision to upgrade from ISO9001 quality management system to AS9100. Customer demand is typically the driving factor for most companies to pursue the stringent and daunting AS9100 certification, however, this is not the case with Imagineering. This decision was based solely on the desire to improve the company and its customer service.

Imagineering has over 30 years of PCB manufacturing experience and has built an impressive customer list. Some of the most notable ones are HP, Sony, Whirlpool, Boeing, and NASA. The company also supports original equipment manufacturers (OEM) to accomplish their assembly goals.