A quality aluminum forging company is essential to working in aviation.

Finding a quality aluminum forging company is a crucial part of working in the aviation industry. Forged parts need to meet high standards, and anything less jeopardizes the safety and stability of your products.  

Companies making one or one million products alike rely on forging companies that are consistent and efficient. When looking for a forging company, be sure to ask how they use data-driven workflow techniques and regulations to optimize production. 

Process Control 

Process control helps aluminum forging companies ensure that your products come out safely and consistently. Without process control, your parts could be faulty, damage your final products, or injure those who use them.  

A high-quality company should monitor their process, products, and clients’ satisfaction rates tightly. Doing so involves implementing two overarching systems: 

  • A Data Acquisition System– Aluminum forging companies like Anchor Harvey use statistical process control (SPC) to verify how consistently parts are produced. Machine monitoring and process inputs throughout production also ensure that parts are made correctly. 
  • Preventative and Predictive Maintenance– Digital monitoring and critical spare part inventory help companies eliminate downtown in the production process. Although forging can take months, high-quality companies will have preventative maintenance programs that eliminate mistakes during forging production.  

Standards and Certifications  

Any company you work with should follow the highest aviation standards. Check that the forging company you chose has the correct certifications depending on the needs and safety concerns involved with developing your parts. Common standards and certifications include:  

  • AS 9100– Aerospace Standard 9110 has changed over time, but it is still the newest aerospace standard for aviation design, development, and defense production. The certification builds off general guidelines already in place to create industry-specific ones for safe development, production, and distribution of aerospace parts. It involves implementing quality management systems throughout the aerospace supply chain.  
  • ISO 900– The International Organization of Standardization created ISO 900 to explain the requirements for quality management systems (QMS) in the aviation industry. It consists of 10 sections that describe how to reach regulatory requirements. The recommended QMS includes planning your production process, implementing support and safety guidelines, evaluating your production, and implementing improvements.  
  • CQI-9– Continuous Quality Improvement creates international heat treat system assessment standards. It provides guidelines for a self-audit of your heat treat process. CQI-9 aims to ensure your workflow is continuously improved, prevents defects, and reduces waste and variations in the supply chain. It is recommended that forging companies complete a heat treat system self-audit at least once a year. 
  • ITAR– The U.S. Department of State created the International Traffic in Arms Regulations. These regulations explain what the industry needs to be compliant with the government while exporting or importing defense-related technology or services. Because most aerospace business involves trading or working with another country, ITAR requirements apply to commercial and military-based aerospace companies.  

Optimizing Workflow  

There are different ways an aluminum forging company can eliminate waste and downtime during production. An optimized workflow will save you time and money when working with a forging company to produce your aerospace parts and products.  

While there isn’t one way to achieve an optimized workflow, companies can implement many industry-standard processes at different stages in the workflow. Before settling on a company, ask them if they use the following optimization strategies:  

  • Continuous Workflow and Shipping– Efficiency throughout the workflow will save you time and money. Many forging companies break up the workflow into different steps, which can lengthen the workflow and production turnaround time. A trustworthy company will instead offer a continuous workflow that combines several production steps into one. Companies should also provide daily shipping so you can carry less inventory.  
  • Six Sigma Methodology– This methodology is a data-driven management process that aims to reduce errors in the workflow. It involves defining the project goals and targets, measuring the process performance, analyzing the causes of defects, improving the process by eliminating the defects, and controlling future performance.  
  • 3D Printing– 3D printing is a quick and efficient way to see part prototypes. Ask your forging company if they have 3D printing capabilities, which can get your forging prototype finished faster and save you time and money during the forging process.  

Data-Driven Aluminum Forging  

No matter which aluminum forging company you employ, it’s crucial to ensure they use a data-driven methodology to create your aerospace parts. Not using data can result in faulty parts, prolonged forging time, and even safety regulation violations. Be sure to ask your forging company how they create their production workflow before committing to a costly and timely production process.