Manufacturing Controls

First Article Inspection

A First Article Inspection (FAI) of one part, randomly selected from the first manufacturing lot of each part number, is conducted and documented by the supplier. The actual value of each drawing attribute is recorded, including drawing notes, as applicable. The inspection acceptance stamp impression of the individual performing the FAI is affixed to the completed FAI checklist, to attest to the accuracy of the data entered thereon.

Identification / Serialization

Parts and assemblies are identified and serialized as specified by the BHT Engineering Drawing or ODS / MEPI.


Identification, of parts and/or assemblies, includes the part number, physical change number (when applicable), serial number (when applicable), calendar date of manufacture, (month, day, year) and inspection acceptance stamps. It is recommended the date of manufacture coincide with the date of final acceptance.


(P/N with physical change number)
  (Date of manufacture)
  (Serial number)


Application of the final inspection acceptance stamp, identifying both the supplier and the individual inspector on finished parts, is evidence that all required in-process inspections, hardness testing, nondestructive testing, identification, and final inspection were satisfactorily accomplished. Records of performance and acceptance are maintained, subject to examination upon request. The supplier maintains serial number accountability records to provide for non-duplication of sequentially issued serial numbers, including date of serial number assignment.

Process Control

BHT prepares Bell Process Specifications (BPS) containing the procedures and requirements that apply to BHT designed items. BPS's are applicable as stated by the drawing and purchase order. The Outside Data Sheet (ODS) from Fort Worth or Manufacturing Engineering Process Instructions (MEPI) from Canada identifies the applicable documents and revisions.

Facility Approval

BPS's that require BHT facility approval prior to processing production parts are identified on the BPS cover sheet and in the supplier's procedure manual. QPS 101 includes a listing of such approved process sources. When specified, the supplier shall use only these sources.

Variation Requests

Requests for variation from BPS requirements are forwarded to the cognizant BHT Buyer. The Process Specifications Request For Variation Approval is utilized for this purpose.

Statistical Process Control

If statistical inspection is utilized, sampling plans must be in accordance with "Zero Acceptance Number Sampling Plans" by Nicholas L. Squeglia, AQL 1.0, or equivalent plan approved by BHT. Sampling plans permitting acceptance of defectives are not allowed. Statistical Process Control (SPC) is used to supplement the manufacturing process. The use of SPC does not relieve the supplier of responsibility to assure conformance of the end item. When a statistical sampling inspection plan is submitted by a supplier as a proposed alternate to 100 percent (%) inspection of Critical Characteristic(s) for BHT Frozen Planning Review Board consideration, the method(s) of attribute and/or process control must be clearly detailed by the supplier, such as rationale for sample size, XR control charts for larger sizes, proposed attribute charts for smaller sample sizes, etc.

Stamp Control

The supplier establishes and maintains a documented inspection stamp control system providing traceability both to the supplier and individual inspector. Stamps are kept secure to prevent unauthorized use.

Personnel Training / Certification

Personnel are trained and qualified, commensurate with the tasks being performed. When required by the governing specification, personnel are formally certified prior to performing tasks required by the specification. Supplier personnel working with aircraft parts and assemblies require the documented training per basic requirements of International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9000 and/or International Aerospace Quality Standard (IAQS) 9000.

Records / Documentation

Objective evidence of compliance with requirements, including records of inspection, tests, nonconforming material and corrective action, engineering change incorporation, supplier surveys/approvals, and other Quality Assurance activities, must be maintained and available for review by BHT Product Assurance upon request.


Traceability of parts and assemblies must be of sufficient detail to assure compliance to applicable engineering requirements. Certification of raw material, processing, manufacture, etc., must be available for review upon request. Critical Parts when identified by Design Engineering require traceability backward to a specific lot of material and forward to the shipping document or installation into an assembly.

Control of Tooling

The supplier must have a documented program outlining the control and storage of tooling used in manufacture of products. Any tools, furnished by BHT that are calibrated without special master tools, fall under the re-calibration cycle of the supplier. Records of receipt and recalibration cycles are maintained. Tooling used as a media of inspection is placed under control of the supplier's calibration system.

Measurement and Test Equipment

Selection of all Measurement and Test Equipment (M&TE), including test software, takes into account inherent measurement certainty and is consistent with required measurement capability. Where required, all M&TE is traceable to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) or other nationally recognized standard.

Calibration Controls

A calibration program meeting the requirements of MIL-STD-45662, or section 4.11 of ISO 9000 and 9002 (or equivalent industry standard) is maintained and applies to both company and employee owned measurement and test equipment. Tooling used as inspection media are placed under the control of the supplier's calibration system.

Handling, Storage, and Packaging

Parts and assemblies are identified and serialized as specified by the BHT Engineering Drawing or ODS/MEPI. Procedures must provide for the handling, storage, and control of parts and materials from receipt through all manufacturing operations, to delivery of the final product.

Special Controls Applicable to Classified Parts

To be qualified as a supplier of Primary, Critical, or Flight Safety Parts each supplier is surveyed and approved for each applicable classification specification. Suppliers must exhibit a demonstrated capability to manufacture such parts and have the ability to comply with the applicable portions of the program criteria. The supplier implements the requirements contained by way of written procedures outlining specific controls applicable to the specific Parts Program. These procedures are submitted to the BHT SPA for review and approval, as part of the qualification process, and prior to production of any parts. Any program plan changes must be incorporated and submitted to BHT SPA for review and approval. To be qualified as a supplier of Primary, Critical, or Flight Safety parts, each supplier is surveyed and approved to the appropriate sections of Bell's Quality Procurement Specifications.

Subcontracting Classified Parts

Subcontracting for either complete manufacture or a manufacturing operation involving a Significant or a Critical characteristic is permissible, provided the subcontractor is another BHT approved Critical or FSP Supplier and applicable requirements are imposed on the subcontractor. Approved processors are identified within the Approved Processor Listing, QPS 101.

Source Approval Required for Non-BPS Processors

Processes controlled by specifications other than a BPS, such as MIL-Specs, involving a "Critical Characteristic" require BHT approval of the source. Request for survey of such.