The online marketplace for anything space and aerospace related.
Conformance and Traceability Documentation

Sellers are advised that in order to derive the highest revenue for the items that you are selling on SpaceExcess.com, it is in your best interest to include in your listing the Certificates of Conformance and Original Specification Requirements for the component/system you are listing. It is also beneficial to include and identify all Supply Chain Traceability Standards and Documentation pertaining to those components/systems. Parts Equivalency will also provide a potential buyer with the documentation necessary for them to evaluate whatever you list on the Site. Multiple uses will attract many more buyers, if your item(s) can be used in different ways/configurations and can be integrated into different systems.

1. Certificates of Conformance

At a minimum, Conformance Documentation should provide the following:

  • Company name and address
  • Original Purchase Order number
  • Original Part / drawing number
  • Complete Descriptions
  • Revisions (If other than Initial Release)
  • Quantity involved
  • Signatures of a responsible representatives of the original supplier
  • Representative’s Title
  • Date
  • A statement certifying to the effect that the products or services provided under the Original Purchase Orders have been manufactured, processed, inspected, and tested in accordance with the provisions of the Purchase Order and as specified in all attached or referenced documents, and are fully acceptable and in complete conformance to all Purchase Order requirements.
  • When items are serialized, serial numbers shall be listed on the certification.

The following items shall be completed when applicable:

  • Source Manufacturer’s Company Name (If different from supplier)
  • Manufacturer’s Part Number
  • Manufacturer’s Lot Number
  • Serial Number
  • Date of Manufacture
  • Date Shipped from Manufacturer

2. Inspection/Test Reports (Certificates of Analysis)

Each inspection/Test Report should show compliance with the applicable drawing and/or specification requirements and should include:

  • part number,
  • applicable drawing and/or specification number with revision letter or number, and
  • signature and title of the responsible agent of the supplier.

When serialization has been imposed by the original Purchase Order, such serialization should be a part of the inspection/test report data.

Inspection, measuring and test equipment control procedures to ensure calibration and control of all equipment used in determining conformity.

  • Chemical test data reports (if any)
  • Physical properties test data reports (if any)
  • Visual/dimensional inspection data report
  • Functional test data reports defined as operative performance, e.g. mechanical, electronic, hydraulic, salt spray testing, vibration, longevity, wind tunnel, etc.)

3. Traceability Documentation for Space and Aerospace Products

An international quality management system standard, AS 9100 builds on ISO 9001 and adds requirements specific to the aircraft, space and defense industry. For those new to this standard, it combines and harmonizes AS 9000, ISO 9001 and Europe’s prEN 9000-1 quality systems. It also defines specialized areas within an aerospace quality management system such as acquisition traceability, configuration management, product documentation and control of work performed outside the supplier’s facilities.

To satisfy quality requirements of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), suppliers must be able to trace all components of a failing part back to its origin. To do this, and ultimately hold suppliers accountable for providing reliable products, they must have the ancestry of those components on file.

At its core, AS 9100 consists of a “Plan-Do-Check-Act” cycle that focuses the organization on its key processes, planning, reviewing and continual improvement. From its inception, one of the tenets of AS 9100 has been to mandate what a quality management system must achieve, but not how to achieve it – leaving the latter up to the supplier. As a result, the way the requirements of the standard are met can vary dramatically from supplier to supplier.

To illustrate, when a part arrives, it is received into the system, which then issues a receiving transaction number that begins the process of recording all subsequent information and becomes the internal lot number for that part. When the part gets kitted and sent to production, that tracking number is recorded on the stock issue report. This tracking continues as the component becomes part of larger and larger assemblies.

The end result? A build package that includes all routing documents created throughout the process. This package now contains a very detailed “as-built” list. Even though this process is only minimally automated, the company knows which parts from which lots were used to build which products and sold to which customers, all while maintaining full traceability for each part back to its origin. Should the need arise, it also makes it possible to produce any associated certificates, test reports and other supporting documentation quickly.

For manufacturers supplying hardware that will be used in space, the requirements for “hi-rel” and space-qualification vastly exceed those of AS 9100. Considering that repairs are generally impossible for equipment orbiting the Earth, component failure is not an option. For these companies, meeting the AS 9100 standard is considerably less difficult – more like dotting i’s and crossing t’s. Companies must maintain extraordinary levels of traceability, including the serial and lot numbers for every component in an assembly. Traceability must also be maintained from the materials level through plating and a broad array of other functions that are well beyond what is required in AS 9100 as it applies to the aerospace community as a whole.

Whether or not your company is AS 9100 (D) compliant, it is in your direct interest to provide the Supply Chain Traceability Standards that you utilize to identify routing along the way of the manufacturing process. This can be through multiple ID platforms such as GTIN, Lot Numbers or Serial level Identifications. These records must be maintained for a minimum of 5 years after manufacture completion. Providing this Due Diligence Documentation should significantly raise the amount of money potential buyers will bid for your listings.