What Does Nadcap Certification Mean for an Investment Casting Manufacturer?
Impro prides itself on strict attention to quality control, and works to achieve the highest industry standards. That is why we undergo rigorous audits to obtain various Nadcap certifications:
- Nonconventional machining
- Chemical processing
- Heat treating
- Materials testing
- NDT (Non-Destructive Testing)
What is Nadcap Certification?
Nadcap is an industry accreditation that was once known as the National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program. This worldwide cooperative program is supported by government representatives and major manufacturing companies. Its goal is to achieve a consensus on quality standards, in order to promote continued improvement in the aerospace and defense industries.
Overseen by the Performance Review Institute (PRI), the purpose of Nadcap is to establish accreditation requirements, issue credentials, and define operational program requirements for manufacturers and suppliers. This results in:
- A standardized approach for quality assurance and conformity.
- Improved compliance throughout the aerospace and defense industries, as manufacturers conform to strict quality requirements.
- Reduced costs through higher levels of standardization and less redundant auditing procedures.
- Improved functionalities at each successfully audited manufacturer.
How Does an Investment Casting Manufacturer Obtain Nadcap Certification?
To receive Nadcap certification, an aerospace and defense industry supplier undergoes a rigorous technical assessment of its manufacturing processes. This assessment is conducted by qualified industry experts.
Nadcap compliance provides a high degree of comfort that the company is capable of meeting customer requirements and performing to industry standards. To assess how work is accomplished and materials are handled, an audit might include:
- Procedural audits of a manufacturer’s overall adherence to production processes.
- Material quality and allocation.
- Levels of outsourcing.
- Purchasing systems and documentation.
- Operator training and consistency.
- Equipment capabilities and maintenance systems.
- NDT audits may be specific to a particular application.
- Welding audits are based on the specific welding process.
The Performance Review Institute (PRI) administers all audits for the Nadcap certification program. Once an audit is agreed on, the Institute will assign an approved auditor for this purpose. This auditor will conduct the audit using industry-approved standards. After the audit is complete, the Institute will notify the manufacturer of any noted non-conformity issues.
The manufacturer will have an opportunity to close-out any non-conformance reports. Upon completion, the audit package is presented to a task group of industry members that will review it and vote on its acceptability for approval. Final accreditation is only granted when all non-conformance issues are fully addressed.
How Does Nadcap Affect the Investment Casting Industry?
Product quality is important for every manufacturer, but aerospace and defense applications have particularly high quality standards. This is due to the extremely rigorous conditions the parts will be expected to meet. There are human safety considerations, adverse weather extremes, and harsh operating conditions which investment castings must be able to support. Some components may even be expected to last for extremely long periods of time, while still performing adequately.
Quality in the investment casting industry is the manufacturer’s ability to consistently meet or exceed customer requirements. Some ways that quality can be measured might include:
- Raw material quality
- Supply chain consistency
- Defect rates
- Dimensional requirements
- Surface texture
- On-time delivery capabilities
What is eAuditNet?
The Performance Review Institute maintains eAuditNet, which is web-based software that is used to improve efficiency in the auditing and accreditation system. It contains a range of materials to reference during the audit process, such as information on pre-and post-audit processes, response timeframes, decreasing audit frequency, and what to do in the event of an audit failure.
The eAuditNet system is also the home of the online Qualified Manufacturers List (QML). This searchable database of accredited companies allows customers to look for supply chain and investment casting manufacturers that are able to meet the highest quality standards.
Learn More About Nadcap Certification for Investment Casting Manufacturers
At Impro, we believe that Nadcap certification allows us to remain as a trusted and competitive investment casting manufacturer for the aerospace industry. Not only do we see these certifications as representative of our ability to operate to the highest efficiency and quality standards, it also challenges us to constantly review our internal processes in order to reduce waste and remain competitively priced.
For mission-critical customers, the primary benefit of Nadcap certification is peace of mind, but all customers benefit regardless of the industry they serve. Impro is ranked among the Top 10 investment casting manufacturers in the world, according to Roland Berger’s 2019 report. Investment casting is our largest business segment and will continue to be our core business segment. If you are interested in finding more about our investment casting processes and capabilities, please contact our team of experts today.