ISO 9001 certificate issued to Nantong Shenhai

In 2016, the FAA worked with aircraft component supplier Moog to identify suppliers who were intentionally selling Moog defective parts and falsifying test data. The two Chinese companies responsible held IAF-accredited ISO 9001 and AS9100 certificates at the time of the scandal, and those certifications have not been revoked despite the scandal. This raises yet another example of how ISO 9001 and AS9100 certified firms are, more and more, being found at the heart of data falsification and defective product reports being discovered not by auditors, but by reporters or regulators.

Reuters first broke the story in 2017, after obtaining a Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) report via the Freedom of Information Act. The 2016 report revealed that an employee within Moog suspected defective products were being sold to the company by Suzhou New Hongji Precision Parts Co Ltd. and Nantong Shenhai Industrial Technology. The latter company was found to have improperly plated aircraft parts later sold to Moog, and then falsified the test data; the parts were allegedly baked only half the required time required for cadmium plating, but the resulting production records were altered to show the parts were processed properly.

Nantong Shenhai held, and presumably continues to hold, and ISO 9001:2008 certificate issued by the China Quality Certification Centre (CQC). CQC is then accredited by the Chinese National Accreditation Service (CNAS) which is an IAF signatory. The current President of the IAF is Xiao Jianhua, the Secretary-General of CNAS. The certificate granted to Nantong Shenhai features the logos of all three organizations: CQC, CNAS and IAF.

AS9100 certificate issued to Nantong Shenhai

According to IAQG OASIS data, Nantong Shenhai is also certified to ISO 9001 and AS9100 by ANAB-accredited registrar SAI Global, the scope which includes the cadmium plating operations. That certificate is signed by SAI’s General Manager Nicole Grantham, whose signature also appeared on an AS9100 certificate issued to Pratt Whitney despite that company having been discovered to have 41 major AS9100 nonconformities after an independent audit by the US Dept. of Defense.

Nantong Shenhai also holds Nadcap accreditation by the Performance Review Institute (PRI) for its special processes, including the cadmium plating lines involved in the scandals, per official records in PRI’s e-Audit directory:

 

PRI Nadcap listing for Nantong Shenhai’s cadmium plating process accreditation

 

Suzhou New Hongji utilized Nantong Shenhai, who claimed that Moog had failed to flow down the proper cadmium plating specifications, resulting in the defective processing, but Nadcap accredited Nantong Shenhai to AMS–QQ–P–416, which requires proper post-plating embrittlement baking of at least 23 hours. It is therefore not clear how PRI could have issued Nantong Shenhai a Nadcap accreditation if the company was not adhering to the standard it was being audited against.

AMS–QQ–P–416 embrittlement relief requirements

Despite the fact that the FAA investigation was conducted in 2016, and the Reuters report publicized the scandal in 2017, Nantong Shenhai has retained all three certificates from CQC, SAI Global and PRI.

AS9100 certificate issued to Suzhou New HongJi

The second company named in the FAA investigation, Suzhou New HongJi Precision Parts, also falsified product data, per the Reuters report. That company also held QMS certifications.

Official OASIS data shows that Suzhou New HongJi holds a current ISO9001/AS9100 certificate also issued by SAI Global, signed by Grantham and accredited by ANAB. The OASIS ledger reveals that SAI Global had originally issued the AS9100 certificate to the company in 2011, and then repeatedly re-issued it, despite the revelations of the scandal:

OASIS AS9100 history for SuZhou New HongJi

The IAF accreditation scheme is under increasing scrutiny as certificates issued by its members, including ANAB, are found to have been granted to companies later discovered to be shipping defective products as part of commercial, defense or aerospace contracts, and/or falsifying inspection records. The scandals to date include those related to Takata airbags, Kobe steel inspection falsifications, and QMS nonconformities at Pratt Whitney, SpaceX, United Launch Alliance (ULA) and Aerojet Rocketdyne. Oxebridge reported recently that gun part manufacturer L3 EOTech is in settlements after a multi-million dollar class action suit revealed they had intentionally shipped defective products to law enforcement and military personnel, despite holding an ANAB accredited certificate from NSF-ISR.

Oxebridge is working with the US Dept. of Defense’s Inspector General’s office to root out waste, fraud, and abuse in the IAF certification scheme, by providing information on the scandals to date.