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External Feature: Aerospace Quality Depends on Strong Foundations

Smith was featured in the latest issue of Electronics Sourcing North America in an article that discusses the certifications, standards, and best practices that help us to support aerospace and defense customers’ intensive needs, from specialized testing to federal sourcing compliance. The article quotes Smith’s Chief Operating Officer, Kirk Wehby, who describes how authenticity testing and detailed documentation are vital to delivering top-quality components for use in A&D products.

Distributor Smith explains the extra steps it takes to defend component quality for its aerospace and defense customers.

The technology that underpins the aerospace and defense industry depends on reliable electronics. These mission-critical products require components that meet the most strenuous quality-assurance standards to validate that they can perform effectively under any conditions. From the parts in GPS systems that guide aircraft to those in groundbased telecommunications tools, components must be quality-tested based on rigorous industry standards.

As a distributor, Smith adheres to specific federal aerospace and defense sourcing compliances for electronic components. To better serve A&D customers’ needs, the company has also attained AS6081 and AS9120 certification and membership in the Government-Industry Data Exchange Program (GIDEP), Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT), and Importer Self-Assessment (ISA).

Focus on dependability

Establishing a product’s dependability begins with procuring components from trusted suppliers. Smith conforms to federal sourcing compliances like DFARS 252.246-7007 and DFARS 252.246-7008 when securing components for A&D customers’ specific orders. Compliance means that suppliers are thoroughly screened and audited as needed. It also means that components must be sourced from either the original manufacturer or an authorized supplier or thoroughly tested to ensure authenticity. Smith’s internal sales platform is equipped with a supplier rating system that continuously evaluates suppliers’ performance based on company background, quality systems and procedures, and on-time delivery. It can certify, locate, and sort parts by origin in order to comply with federal standards.

Key certifications AS6081 and AS9120 define the stringent testing and quality standards for components used in aerospace and defense products. These SAE Aerospace Standards outline procedures for the avoidance, mitigation, and proper disposition of counterfeit electronic components within this supply chain.

Smith’s chief operating officer, Kirk Wehby, said: “Comprehensive documentation of authenticity test reports must be kept, following AS6081 standards, and larger testing samples are also required. AS9120 compliments AS6081 and outlines the best quality practices for distributing components used in aerospace and defense products, providing customers with properly inspected product that they can trust.”Building trust

The supply-chain organizations GIDEP, C-TPAT, and ISA help safeguard components’ authenticity through their far-reaching memberships. Their focus on protecting the global supply chain helps members like Smith to offer aerospace and defense customers carefully screened product. GIDEP serves as an information repository, providing access to extensive research and records about suppliers and suppliers’ quality issues. The GIDEP database is used globally to help keep the supply chain ethical.

C-TPAT and ISA support supply chain customs adherence. As an active C-TPAT member, Smith meets customs and border security requirements, which helps aerospace and defense customers avoid delays that slow product delivery. ISA membership also supports a secure global supply chain and allows Smith to audit and surveil its own deliveries and systems. All customs requirements must be upheld, and membership can be utilized to more quickly receive acceptance of specialized products and machinery.

High-tech electronic equipment is vital to the aerospace and defense industry. Replacing outdated equipment is inevitable as technology and the industry evolve. Thus, the need for more electronic components in aerospace and defense products will continue to grow. Smith is a dependable partner in this sphere, offering specific aerospace and defense warranty programs on a caseby-case basis. Certifications like AS6081 and AS9120 and supply-chain security memberships are essential for procuring the highest-quality components. Establishing a relationship with a trusted, qualified supplier that prioritizes these measures helps ensure a secure supply of the authentic parts that tactical objectives demand.

Electronics Sourcing North America magazine, digital edition: “Aerospace quality depends on strong foundations ” (Page 14)

Contact your Smith sales representative or request a quote here to find the parts you need today.

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