Importance of Aerospace Quality Testing
Quality testing is often the final step of the product development process before launch. The data gathered during the quality testing process can help determine whether the product can withstand its service environment and perform as designed, even in harsh conditions. This is critical for designing and manufacturing a reliable aerospace product.
Additionally, quality testing is often vital for doing business in the aerospace industry. Many aircraft manufacturers will only purchase components that comply with certain aerospace quality standards, such as industry standards or their own custom specifications. Investing in comprehensive quality testing demonstrates commitment to producing quality products and can bolster a manufacturer’s reputation in the industry.
Quality Testing Processes for Aerospace Parts
Because every aerospace component has a unique and specialized role, the quality testing process will look different depending on the product being tested.
The first step to the quality testing process is to determine whether there are any specific compliance tests that need to be considered. For example, BMS 13-48 is a Boeing spec that should be considered when assessing the quality of wire and cable, and Boeing Safety Standard (BSS) 7239 might be important when testing coating, textiles, and composites. These tests are often mandated by specific manufacturers or larger governing bodies as a way to establish consistent quality standards throughout the industry and are especially vital when conducting quality testing before a product launch.
The next step is to understand what the client is seeking to achieve. Are they in the research and development (R&D) stage for a new product or seeking to learn something highly specific about a certain component? Understanding the client’s goals is vital to designing an effective aerospace quality testing plan.
The quality testing team should also endeavor to understand the product’s service environment. Aerospace components often operate in fairly extreme conditions, and quality testing can be incredibly valuable in determining whether a given component can operate as designed while withstanding an intense environment.
Once the necessary tests have been chosen, the testing team can determine the most sensible order of tests and complete any preparations that must take place before testing can start.
At this point, the testing team can execute the quality testing plan. As previously stated, the actual testing process may be very different from one component to another. A component located on the exterior of the aircraft will be subjected to very different laboratory conditions than a component that’s part of an interior system.
Data is collected throughout the quality testing process. Once testing is complete, that data can be gathered for review and analysis. Interpreting the results determines whether the component fulfilled the testing requirements and any next steps that must occur.
In some cases, completion of testing is the final task before going to market. But, depending on the goals of testing and the development stage of the product, testing data may serve as a guidepost for next steps. For example, the product may need to be refined, and the testing data can offer insight into the refinement strategy. Or data can help a manufacturer decide between multiple materials or products, so they can move forward with the stronger contender. Either way, determining what to do after testing is complete is an important part of the quality testing process.
Quality Assurance From NMG
With years of experience and deep industry insight, NMG is proud to offer a robust portfolio of quality testing services for aerospace components, products, and systems. Our testing experts can design a testing protocol that combines relevant industry standards with our insights into the additional data that will help you bring your product and your go-to-market strategy to the next level. From standardized test procedures to custom test programs, NMG has the in-house expertise and capabilities to support all of your aerospace quality testing needs.
To learn more about our testing capabilities, talk to a member of our team >