The titanium and aluminium investment casting specialist TITAL GmbH has been certified by Airbus according to General Requirements for Aerostructure and Material Suppliers (GRAMS).
TITAL has met all the requirements in its first attempt to become a supplier for the new Airbus passenger plane A350XWB.
Berthold Busch, head of quality management at TITAL, says that the initial certification was necessary in order to get on the shortlist of suppliers. “If we are going to produce castings for the A350 in the future, further audits in the production and business processes will follow, ” he adds. “However, any subsequent audits will be relatively easy compared to the success that has now been achieved.”
According to the auditors, the certification was completed with above-average results for an initial audit. “This is very uncommon,” says Busch.
The GRAMS audit and certification is a new procedure developed from an Airbus standard that is to be applied worldwide in the cooperation of aerospace manufacturers and their suppliers. GRAMS manages the business process requirements between Airbus and their suppliers with regard to contract review, order acceptance, component processing and production, final inspection and delivery. The initial audit lasted three days and was carried out by several accredited Airbus auditors.
IAQG and NADCAP certifications
Only a few weeks ago TITAL was re-certified according to the EN/AS9100 standard developed by the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG). With this recertification TITAL is one of only two investment casting specialists worldwide since 2001 which have been certified and audited according to the strict rules of the National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program (NADCAP) as well as of the IAQG. The re-certification is valid until September 2012 and is monitored on an annual basis by an auditor.
NADCAP certifications concentrate exclusively on the accreditation of special processes in production and quality control. At TITAL five of these processes exist. A special process is a work step where the technological or physical properties of a material are changed, which is not directly recognisable and can only be determined by means of special measurements and analyses. A typical special process would be the heat treatment of investment castings.
TITAL supplies industry-leading companies around the world in the fields of aerospace, defence, motor sport and industrial systems with sophisticated aluminium and titanium investment casting products using the lost wax process. TITAL was founded in 1974 and in 2006 the management took over the company with the support of DZ Equity Partner GmbH – an investment company of the DZ Bank AG of Frankfurt. Today the company employs 400 people, with a 2009 revenue of €48m ($63m).