ABSL Inc and ABSL Ltd are both able to prime space contracts using the other as a major subcontractor to make the most effective use of two production facilities. Either under stand alone or subcontract, ABSL Inc and Ltd use their own proven quality management systems during programs. The ABSL Inc and Ltd Quality Management Systems (QMS) have been set up with the needs of US and European customers specifically in mind. For example, the ABSL Inc system is compliant to NASA standards whereas the ABSL Ltd system references are geared to those of ESA.
ABSL Quality Assurance Plan
ABSL is qualified to the requirements of ISO 9001:2000, by Lloyds Registry Quality Assurance, UK (certification number LRQ 0944198/D4). The ABSL QMS has been developed over many years of contracts in the space industry, and has underpinned these successful contracts through compliance and minimization of risk. This system allows ABSL to provide fully conforming hardware throughout the phase of design, manufacture, test and delivery. The system is also applied to Ground Support Equipment (GSE) and items that directly interface with flight quality hardware such as jigs and fixtures.
The standard QA process is outlined in the ABSL Standard Product Assurance Plan (QA-SYS-PL-4102). All parts of the QA system are open to assessment on-site at any time, with reasonable notice. The quality system contains a set of workmanship standards based on European and American standards. Full training is given to personnel to fulfil these standards, such as soldering and crimping operations and other electronic assembly standards. Established processes also exist for contamination control, cleaning, handling and packaging of hardware and control of materials, processes and EEE parts.
To control document baseline, ABSL runs a configuration management system that traces all issues of documents and drawings, both generated internally and customer supplied, and assesses the technical and contractual impact of changes to the established baseline. Discrepancies to the requirements shall be controlled through waivers or deviations. Anomalies and failures are controlled through a comprehensive non-conformance system, which includes full reporting and failure analysis and allows feedback into corrective actions and continuous improvement to minimize reoccurrence. Non-conformances shall be reported within 24 hours of occurrence, and regularly as part of progress reporting.