PRI has finally cancelled Advisory CP 20-003 after Oxebridge threatened to obtain an “emergency court order” forcing the accreditation body to do so.

CP 20-003 was issued by PRI engineer Nigel Cook in response to a Nadcap audit finding of an accredited anodize process provider. The advisory would have forced anodize processors to perform full dimensional inspection on anodized parts, rather than rely on coating thickness measurements. The ruling was met with industry-wide derision, upon claims that Cook was single-handedly rewriting a 40-year old standard, and forcing companies to invest millions in coordinate measuring machine (CMM) equipment and related training. Currently, anodize thickness is measured using low cost, yet highly accurate, handheld devices.

Even after the Navair author of the spec indicated that PRI’s interpretation was incorrect, Cook refused to budge. An emergency voting session was held on August 25th where Nadcap suppliers and subscribers voted overwhelmingly to rescind Advisory CP 20-003. Despite this, witnesses at the meeting say Cook announced his intention to ignore the vote and continue to direct Nadcap auditors to issue nonconformities based on his ruling anyway.

Despite the official vote, PRI then left Advisory CP 20-003 published on its eAuditNet portal, defying the members and ignoring the outcome of the meeting. This prompted Oxebridge to write to PRI in-house counsel Greg Bradley demanding the Advisory be removed “or face a legal challenge to have this done through an emergency court order.

The Oxebridge email was sent on September 1 to Bradley along with PRI head engineer Mike Graham, who oversees Cook, and Scott Klavon who heads up PRI’s aerospace activities.

One day later, on September 2, Cook issued a formal announcement of the cancellation of CP 20-003:

Chemical Processing Auditor Advisory, CP-20-003 Mil-A-8625 Rev F. Dimensional Inspection, has been cancelled. Task Group voted to cancel the advisory because MIL-A-8625 is being amended to remove the 100% dimensional inspection requirement as a lot test. See meeting minutes 25-Aug-2020. This advisory contained information that may have been pertinent to you as a stakeholder.

Cook’s assertion that the advisory was rescinded due to the MIL spec being amended is reported as “not factually accurate.” It tracks, however, with Cook’s emails to Oxebridge in which he insisted his ruling would stand until the spec is updated.

Navair has begun revising the MIL spec solely to undercut Cook’s interpretation, but the revised spec has not been released.

Oxebridge and industry stakeholders had contested Cook’s claim that “dimensional inspection is not thickness measurement,” despite the spec defining coating dimensions in terms of thickness. In an email to Oxebridge Cook claimed he performed a “word search” within the MIL spec to justify his decision:

Just out of interest I did a word search of MIL-A-8625 and the word “thickness” is used 43 times. Since they chose not to use the word “thickness” in the refenced sections they clearly wanted something else.

Oxebridge has called on Cook to resign, given his role in the debacle, which has been an embarrassment for PRI and the Nadcap accreditation scheme.

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