Linear Mold & Engineering, a premier mold manufacturer and early adopter of additive manufacturing (AM) technology for the production of end-use parts for the aerospace industry, has achieved its AS9100 certification. The AS9100 certification was established and is administered by the International Aerospace Group. It is intended to bring the same process-based quality assessment as the ISO 9001 program to the aviation, aerospace and defense industries.
AS9100 offers guidelines and tools for companies that supply the aerospace and aviation industries that want to adhere to these quality standards that go above and beyond ISO 9001.
Dave Palmer, quality assurance manager for Linear, has extensive experience in Quality Systems, including AS9100, and was recruited by Linear about a year ago to implement the AS9100 system for certification. “The first thing required of any company is to have a good team of people in place along with the support of management and ownership,” said Palmer. “Next, there must be a good quality management system in place in order to become certified in such a short time span, such as Linear had. With many of these pieces in place, we were able to quickly accomplish this goal as a team.”
AS9100 certification covers material lot traceability, part identification procedures, management commitment, internal communication, and risk management for Linear’s additive manufacturing processes. With additive manufacturing machines, which include four EOS M270 Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) machines, one EOS M280 DMLS machine, and one Selective Laser Melting (SLM) machine, for a total of six, Linear is one of the largest manufacturers of end-use components using the DMLS/SLM technology in North America.
Linear chose to pursue and obtain its AS9100 certification for the company’s additive manufacturing division first since the majority of its customers are aerospace OEMs. Next, Linear plans to obtain its TS16949 automotive certification for their injection molding division.
Linear has developed a unique business model that offers solutions to a range of customers in a variety of markets from conformal cooling channels for the moldmaking industry to end-use parts for the aerospace industry. Linear’s expertise in both additive manufacturing and conventional mold manufacturing and molding means that Linear provides its customers with innovative solutions to their most challenging manufacturing requirements.
Palmer explained that Linear’s AS9100 certification will open doors to additional opportunities as the company continues to grow and expand its customer base in the aerospace market. “As we’ve become compliant with the various quality systems, it shows that everyone at Linear is committed to the certification requirements and the systems it takes to maintain these certifications,” he said.