ISO 9000 – Case Study Leading Edge Aviation Services, Inc.

ISO 9000 Case Study – Leading Edge Aviation Services, Inc.

Goal: Reducing costs and enhancing customer satisfaction through the implementation of a quality management system that met the standards of ISO 9001 and AS9100.

Customer needs

  • Continuous improvement in the quality and effectiveness of Aircraft Painting process
  • Increased operational efficiency
  • A foundation for multi-site OEM Commercial Aircraft Painting.

Customer benefits

  • Improved product quality and reduced rework rate
  • Reliable outsource partner for aircraft painting overflow.
  • Continuous improvement in quality and painting process across a broad range of paint system and application methodologies.

Quality and reliability are critical values for the aviation industry. In an environment where the mistakes or failure of products or services can result in substantial costs to customers in the form of out of service days, it is essential for us to have strong standard processes in place to help reduce risks and continue to provide quality products and a good service to client customers.

Customer background
Leading Edge Aviation Services is one of the world’s most prolific painters of commercial and military aircraft in the MRO space. The company is proud to be an approved supplier to Boeing Aircraft Company painting their newest generation of aircraft, the 787. Formed in 1989, the company experienced a rapid rate of growth over the past few years to keep pace with the accelerated needs generated by the multiple commercial airline mergers as well as the expanding outsource market for OEM aircraft. Leading Edge Aviation Services is also licensed by the FAA as a Part 145 repair station allowing the company to provide aircraft painting and C-Check maintenance services.

Customer needs
Leading Edge Aviation Service’s aim is to be a progressive and reliable supplier to the airlines and aircraft manufacturing companies for all aircraft painting and maintenance needs. However the industry is experiencing an ever increasing with regards to regulation, paint systems and therefore the need to ensure consistent quality with repeatable cycle times has become essential.

To achieve this goal Leading Edge Aviation Services decided that the implementation of a management system based on the ISO 9001 and AS 9100 standards was the way forward to ensure a more structured and reliable approach. The robust management framework that has since been put in place has enabled the company to meet its objectives and achieve continuous improvement through better tracking and measuring of paint activities, a process to address deviations from a process and training perspective and to build trust within the painting process.

The client recognized a number of tangible benefits after implementing AS9100. Cycle times were reduced through productivity gains; elimination of non-value added processes, streamlining paint methodologies, reducing rework and increased participation by the production team in the process. The employees found a much greater sense of contribution in identifying opportunities to reduce waste, less rework and higher customer satisfaction. Improved communication with customers was vital to the growth and sustainability of the company into premier OEM programs such as Boeing 787 and Executive Transport for the Air Force.

Leading Edge introduced a number of new and improved processes into its operation since working with ISO Ready.

“The auditors from ISO Ready have been very constructive during the audit program. This has had a positive effect on our staff showing them that a quality management system is not an obstruction but a tool to be used to ensure customer and regulatory requirements are satisfied.”

“Our staff are now happy to work to set procedures and processes, although some
did not really understand the need for them initially. There are always a lot of interests by the team to performance measurements and monitoring displayed on our job boards, which is encouraged and always explained in detail. We find the more involved our staff are in our management system, the more they feel they are playing a part in the achieving its goals. Introducing a management system takes time and effort, but overall the staff in general now realize that the company would not run efficiently without the structure of the QMS system.”

Chris Harano

Why ISO Ready?

“After meeting with ISO Ready to discuss the certification process for ISO 9001 AS9100 Quality Management System, ISO Ready gave us the confidence in understanding the specific challenges in the aircraft painting process and the service the company was offering,” says Chris Harano.

“The strategic approach to auditing with an annual year plan of ‘improving our processes’, was a breath of fresh air as the emphasis was more on auditing to continually improve rather than auditing to highlight our weaknesses.“

The scope of Leading Edge Aviation Services quality management systems includes the following: Determination and validation of products required, control of production and service provision, control of maintenance equipment and tools, control of monitoring and measuring devices, control of non-conforming product and corrective action.

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