A Small Plant Meets MIL-Q-9858A: A Case History

Article

Gizzi, Leo R.; Reip, Robert W.   (1988, ASQC)   Hercules, Incorporated, Kenvil, NJ

Annual Quality Congress, Dallas TX    Vol. 42    No. 0
QICID: 3491    May 1988    pp. 629-631
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Article Abstract

There are many small plants doing business with the U.S. military establishment which have similar challenges with regard to quality. This is the case history of a positive response. Hercules, Kenvil Works, demonstrates how it meets MIL-Q-9858A.Hercules Incorporated is a multinational chemical company. Within its Aerospace Company, Kenvil Works makes gun propellants for both commercial and military customers. About 40% of its business is based on government contracts. Plant employment is approximately 350 people and the volume of military work does not warrant a resident government inspector.

The volume of potential government contracts can be erratic, yet the trend in contract language has been clear, and pressure is being applied for suppliers to meet ever stricter requirements. Supplying product to a military specification was sufficient in the past. Currently, the inspection system must meet MIL-I-45208A and the quality system has been directed towards meeting MIL-Q-9858A.This paper discusses the methodology used to upgrade from MIL-I-45208A to MIL-Q-9858A. A slide program made to demonstrate compliance to the higher requirement will be included in the presentation.

One advantage for this plant was the variety of resources available within the company which were familiar with the requirements. Within the previous two years, both Hercules Government-owned, Company-operated (GOCO) plants in the ordnance business had been required to upgrade to MIL-Q-9858A. Nevertheless, quality literature available to the public has many references to differences between the two requirements for the benefit of less knowledgeable companies.

While experts may tell us quality is free, small businesses without access to the resources of a large central organization may find upgrading to be an expensive proposition. Unfortunately, the above-mentioned pressures may force many small plant owners to ask, "Can we afford not to upgrade?"

Keywords

Department of Defense (DOD),Aerospace industry


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