Supplier Quality Policy

The Bell Quality Policy - "Bell Helicopter Textron is committed to delivering superior vertical lift solutions to customers around the world. We will: Put Quality First, Focus On Our Customers, Always Strive To Improve, Partner With Our Suppliers."

Access to Supplier Facility

Suppliers grant access to authorized representatives of Bell Helicopter Textron, the U.S. Government and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), or for suppliers in Canada, the Department of Transport (DOT), to any and all areas, and records pertaining to work under any purchase order incorporating BHT Quality Procurement Specifications (QPS) by reference.

Supplier Facility Audit and Surveys

BHT reserves the right to perform both pre-award and post-award surveys / audits of supplier facilities for the purpose of determining capability and compliance with BHT Product Assurance requirements. Sources certified to applicable NADCAP processes or ISO/IAQS-9000 EN/AS/JISQ 9100 series processes shall exhibit and present a copy of the certification issued by an accredited registrar to the auditor. In the event any disparities are found during a survey or audit, each is reported on a Supplier Evaluation Report form (SER). This report requires written response of correction within the time period allotted.

Source Inspection / Process Validation

BHT and government agencies, including the FAA or the DOT, as applicable, reserve the right to conduct surveillance of the supplier's quality system, processes and inspections of products at any point in the manufacturing cycle. The supplier provides reasonable assistance and facilities to the BHT and/or Government representatives engaged in activities related to BHT procurement. The supplier notifies BHT Supplier Product Assurance (SPA) at least five (5) days in advance of the date the source inspection is to be accomplished. Final acceptance is at BHT unless otherwise specified in the purchase order.

Discrepancy Avoidance Control

Suppliers maintain system(s) for the control of quality of products or services including practices / methods / appropriate means to prevent the manufacture of multiple parts and assemblies containing the same defect(s). The preventive method(s) are utilized for the manufacture of each lot of parts and/or assemblies. An effective system precludes the necessity for rejection and Material Review Board disposition of multiple parts from the same manufacturing lot for the same reason(s).

Suppliers should also have in place a formalized program to assess the quality systems of sub-tier suppliers and subcontractors. This program should include the use of on site audits and surveys. All results should be documented and retained for review. The supplier is responsible for assuring that the products and services purchased for use in BHT products conform to all requirements. Procedures and instructions must exist to control purchased material. Procedures and instructions shall encompass sampling, documentation of inspection results, material certifications, and control of nonconforming material at a minimum. Adequate records must be maintained and available for review by BHT representatives.

Special Processes

BHT Engineering prepares Bell Process Specifications (BPS) containing procedures and requirements that apply to BHT designed items. BPS's are applicable as stated by the drawing and by purchase order. The Outside Data Sheet (ODS) furnished by BHT Manufacturing Engineering identifies the applicable documents and revision level. BPS's dealing with certain special processes and inspection methods that require BHT survey and approval of facilities prior to processing production parts are identified on the BPS cover sheet under the sub-title "Facility Approval." BHT publishes a listing of such approved process sources in QPS-101. As applicable, the supplier will use only these approved sources. BPS's dealing with routine processes stipulate that the supplier, or the processor acting for the supplier, complies with the latest revision of the applicable specification. Objective evidence of compliance is subject to review upon request. Procurement of processing operations from a processor listed in QPS-101, "Approved Process Sources," does not relieve the supplier using such process source of the responsibility for verifying the acceptability of the product or resulting condition. Being listed on the Approved Processor List means that a processor has been found capable of performing the BHT process involved. It is the supplier's responsibility to impose BHT process requirements and to exercise adequate controls over the source to assure compliance. Processes controlled by specifications other than by BPS, such as MIL-SPECS, or those involving a "Critical Characteristic" require BHT approval of the source. Any request for survey of such facilities is communicated through the BHT Buyer. Requests for variation from BPS requirements are forwarded through the cognizant BHT Buyer. The Process Specifications Request For Variation Approval is utilized for this purpose. Manufacturers with in-house approved processing capabilities submit planning for BHT review and approval for any rework conducted on a part classified as Primary, Critical, or Flight Safety Part (FSP).

Aircraft Quality Products

Aircraft quality products are reflected in their final appearance and function. In the eye of our customer, the quality of the product is reflected in its final appearance. Bell Helicopter Textron expects that products of the highest quality be furnished from suppliers. Each supplier must devote attention and effort to achieve uniform appearance on the final product. BHT reserves the right to reject and return products not meeting these high quality standards.

Material Substitution / Alteration

The material designation for use in manufacture of parts is dictated by the BHT Engineering Drawing and is applicable to all raw materials. BHT Design Standard 160-006 "Alternate Materials List for Metallic Materials" shall be referenced on applicable Outside Data Sheet (ODS) documents. Processing or machining utilized to alter the original manufactured / mill certified product, other than allowed by the Bell Helicopter Standard Document 160-006, requires prior written approval by BHT. All alternate material substitution and stock size changes are submitted to BHT through the BHT Buyer for consideration or approval utilizing the Subcontract Information / Action Request (SIAR Form 7828-55109, Appendix I). Bell Design Standard 170-001 "Suppression / Alternate Part List Change Notice" is the engineering authority to use for superseded material and parts.