Corpus Christi Army Depot meets industry standard with AS9110B

by Brigitte Rox, CCAD Public Affairs

CCAD Bldg 8

Corpus Christi Army Depot, where the U.S. Army team delivers quality helicopters, parts and services to soldiers defending the nation, renewed their globally-recognized industrial standard AS9110B, May 24, 2017. Photo by Ervey Martinez (RELEASED)

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (June 13, 2017) -- "Good enough for government work" takes on a different meaning at the Corpus Christi Army Depot where U.S. Army Civilians and contractors deliver quality helicopters, parts and services to soldiers defending the nation.

To the sheet metal workers, engineers, mechanics, helicopter specialists and other professionals at the depot, their idea of "good enough" is achieving the globally-recognized industrial standard AS9110B, which was officially renewed on May 24, 2017.

CCAD's chief of quality assurance, Dr. Fred Koch, delivered the good news to depot leaders Thursday morning on May 25.

To ensure its aviation products and services remain top-of-the-line and compatible with other service providers in the industry, the depot underwent an annual business management system audit on April 7 to validate the work site's effective use of industrial standards and business practices.

The routine inspection is required to maintain AS9110 certification, said Koch.

"This certification audit ensures the warfighter that their aircraft and components are repaired to the highest standards and delivered when needed," he said of the week-long inspection.

When customers see that we are AS9110 certified, he said, it tells them that CCAD uses industry's best practices. In other words, the depot prioritizes efficiency and safety, from their internal operations to their products and schedule.

"[The certification] lets the American public know that CCAD provides the highest quality products efficiently, making us the best value source for aircraft and aircraft components. By being the best value source, CCAD will continue to be the Army aviation depot.

In 2006, CCAD set the bar for quality when it became the first Army aviation site to achieve AS9100 certification, and in 2007 added AS9110 certification.

Certification enabled CCAD to maintain its core defense capabilities as a robust and thriving helicopter MRO center during peacetimes and drawdowns, extending its support to a broader customer-base since AS9110 qualified the depot for additional work outside of the Army.

Since then, Koch said the Army has recognized the value of the AS9110 certification. The Army now requires the certification for many of its critical programs, including CCAD's next major projected workload, the new UH-60V Black Hawk program.

It's an industry secret that's paying off for the helicopter repair facility as it becomes increasingly relevant for installation commanders to work with kings of industry.

"AS9110 has allowed us to bring in additional workload from customers such as the Boeing Company, Columbia Helicopters, AAI, and, later this year, Parker Hannifin and, just around the corner, the new UH-60V," he said.

"In today's world with original equipment manufacturers, contractors and government facilities competing for workload, program managers can demand the highest standards from potential sources of repair."

This is CCAD's final year under AS9110's Revision B.

"Now we begin the process of upgrading our business systems to the requirements of the new Revision C that we will be audited to next April," Koch said.

"This year's audit [is] the baseline to measure against when performing our upgrade next year," explained Koch.

"AS9110C is a complete rewrite of the AS9110 standard," he said. "It tightens requirements, puts a greater focus on pre-production planning, and an increased emphasis on logistics and engineering."

A team of auditors work with business management throughout the auditing process to enable process improvement.

"When a worksite receives [negative] findings during an AS9110 audit, they have 21 days to respond with a plan to correct those deficiencies," said Koch. "Then they have an additional 21 days to implement those plans."

"Because AS9110 encompasses the entire business management system, all areas of CCAD are required to asses themselves and implement any corrective or improvement initiatives before the audit," he said.

There were a total of three findings during the depot's audit last month, but none were attributed to the shop floor where aircraft and component operations occur.

The commander congratulated the workforce for their hard work and retention on quality the week after the audit:

"Thank you for all you do for CCAD and for our customers -- the soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen -- who depend on our products to accomplish their missions and bring them back safely," he said.

"By their very nature, any audit or inspection is going to be a busy and stressful event," said Koch. "The fact that AS9110 focuses as much on effectiveness and improvement as on compliance makes this audit unique. Findings from an AS audit truly drive us to become a more effective and efficient organization, which ensures CCAD not only stays viable, but makes us stand out amongst our competitors as the best value site for rotary wing repair, maintenance and overhaul.

 

Designated a Center of Industrial and Technical Excellence for rotary wing aircraft, Corpus Christi Army Depot ensures aviation readiness through overhaul, repair, modification, retrofit, testing, recapitalization, and modernization of helicopters, engines and components. This effort includes world-wide on-site field maintenance teams, analytical crash investigations and chemical material process facilities. CCAD serves as a depot training base for active duty Army, National Guard, and reserve units. CCAD, as South Texas' largest industrial employer, employs more than 5500 personnel and contractors providing an overall economic impact of more than $1.14 Billon to the local community.