We talk a lot about buying from a certified and trusted electronic components distributor, but what does that actually mean? There are dozens of certifications, all specific to various sectors of business and their requirements for components. When buying from an electronic components distributor what certifications should you look for as part of their quality management system? Do they have a quality management system in place?
Counterfeit components are a dangerous risk to all industries. This risk grows higher during times of crisis. The semiconductor shortage has put a lot of pressure on manufacturers of cars, smart appliances, computers, and medical devices to keep production running. With that kind of pressure, alternative methods have been highly considered and utilized to obtain scarce components.
It is important to make certain that distributors you buy components from have the proper accreditation before risking a possible suspect purchase. Here are 5 of the most important certifications your electronic component distributor should possess.
1. AS9100D and AS9120B
Starting off with two for the price of one. AS9100D includes ISO 9001:2015, which covers quality management system requirements. It goes on to specify additional aviation, space, and defense industry requirements, definitions, and notes for organizations that design, develop, or provide aviation, space, and defense products and services.
The way a company demonstrates this is by, according to what it states on the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) site, “consistently provide products and services that meet customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.” The certification also stresses that the company with AS9100D aims to enhance customer satisfaction through the effective application of this process. Counterfeit Parts Prevention and risk clauses were added to raise awareness of service quality and safety with ethical behavior.
AS9120B, like AS9100D, includes ISO 9001:2015. quality management system requirements and specifies additional aviation, space, and defense industry requirements. This includes definitions and notes for organizations that procure parts, materials, and assemblies and resell these products to customers in the aviation, space, and defense industries. This standard is designed to improve quality, cost, and delivery performance across a global supply chain for buyers.
Both of these certifications include preventative action procedures to combat risk and counterfeit parts for industries that depend on strict standards of compliance. This is why these certifications are specified to aviation, space, and defense industries that require high levels of conformance.
2. ISO 9001:2015
The ISO 9001:2015 specifies quality management system requirements for organizations to ensure their products and services consistently meet customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements, improving customer satisfaction. This is the international standard for organizations and the most well-known certification among industries.
More than one million organizations worldwide from over 160 countries have applied for ISO 9001 standard requirements for their quality management (QMS) systems. Companies that are ISO 9001:2015 certified can prove their credibility easier by showing customers the steps taken to ensure proper quality management. Since ISO 9001:2015 lays out the process in a structured and documented way.
When purchasing from a distributor that is ISO 9001:2015 certified, customers are able to, quite literally, see part of the process.
The AS6081 provides requirements, practices, or methods to identify reliable sources to procure parts by building on AS9100 and AS9120 standards. This certification provides instructions for assessment and mitigation for the risk of distributing fraudulent/counterfeit parts, control suspect or confirmed fraudulent/counterfeit parts. Lastly, AS6081 sets up proper reporting for suspect counterfeit and counterfeit parts to other potential users and authority that has jurisdiction.
Due to the increasing amount of suspect and counterfeit, the SAE developed an international standard of uniform requirements for higher protection. Specifically, this set of regulations was for electronic parts within the defense and aerospace industries. For companies purchasing from distributors that are AS6081, it is extremely advantageous.
Simply because the compliance testing for electronic components under AS6081 guidelines is also intended for commercial and industrial use. What does this mean? That when you buy parts from these distributors they have the latest and greatest counterfeit mitigation techniques in place.
That’s worth a lot in peace of mind.
4. ANSI/ESD S20.20-2014
This certification covers the requirements necessary to design, establish, implement, and maintain an Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) Control Program. This is to protect electrical or electronic parts assemblies and equipment susceptible to damage by electrostatic discharge greater than or equal to 100 volts Human Body Model (HBM), 200 volts Charged Device Model (CDM), and 35 volts on isolated conductors.
So what does that mean? It means distributors and other electronic parts suppliers that have this certification have controls in place to protect equipment prone to electrostatic discharge. In order to protect equipment and technicians working on such equipment, grounded areas and protection are held to this standard.
It is a multi-industry standard for the development of ESD control and reduction of damage. It’s become the replacement for MIL-STD 1686. Industries that prefer ANSI/ESD S20.20 are commercial electronic, telecommunication, automotive, and medical device industries. According to the NQA, a global certification body, “the telecommunication industry-standard TL9000 references S20.20 as a best practice for meeting ESD control needs.”
5. FAA AC 00-56B
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Advisory Circular 00-56B is an accreditation that “assures that the parts a customer receives are of the quality stated, the appropriate documentation is on file at the distributor’s place of business, and the distributor is able to maintain the quality system.” The FAA strongly endorses those that participate in this accreditation program to help establish eligibility of parts.
While this is a voluntary program and certification is not mandatory, it is highly recommended to participate. Being AC 00-56B certified distributors alleviate the lack of proper documentation within the industry and improve traceability of electronic components. For buyers, you’ll be able to confirm that parts are certified and acceptable for installation in aerospace products.
In the end, it’s more of a question of why wouldn’t a distributor be part of this program?
Special Certification: DLA Land and Maritime QSLD Program
Have six certifications for the price of five!
The Qualified Suppliers List of Distributors (QSLD) pre-qualifies suppliers and distributors of commercial and military-grade Federal Stock Classes 5961 (Semiconductors) and 5962 (Microcircuits) based on their process controls. The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) manages the program to ensure readily available, authentic electronic components to the U.S Armed Forces that conform to strict specifications and contractual requirements.
Since this program is issued and overseen by the Department of Defense (DoD) in the United States, the requirements are strict. The distributors on the list are few, making those that are on it a league on their own.
Area51 Electronics is Your Choice for Certified Distributor
Buying from a distributor with some of these certifications helps protect your business. But buying from a distributor with all six is even better. Area51 Electronics not only possesses each certification but is a member of SAE G-19D committee member. A committee that is dedicated and formed to develop and maintain AS6081 to establish practices to mitigate the risk of counterfeit parts.
If safety is important to your company, if the quality is important, if traceability and documentation are important then Area51 Electronics has you covered.