As a part of their 20th anniversary, PRI wanted to assess the benefit of the program to those who are involved. A survey was created that looked at Nadcap benefits in general and specifically for those involved in heat-treatment audits. This article reports the findings.

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Fig. 1. Survey of perceived Nadcap impact


Nadcap is the leading worldwide cooperative program of major companies designed to manage a cost-effective consensus approach to special processes and products and provide continuous improvement within the aerospace and automotive industries. Nadcap is administered by the not-for-profit Performance Review Institute (PRI).

Heat Treating is one of the special process and product programs operating within Nadcap. The Heat Treating program has seen significant growth since its launch. In fact, in the last decade, the number of audits conducted annually has grown from 157 in 1996 to 741 in 2009. The first European heat-treating audit was conducted in November 2002 in the U.K., and the first Asian heat-treating audit took place in China in August 2004.

The Heat Treating program now accounts for almost 17% of all Nadcap audits conducted each year, with Nadcap heat-treating audits taking place in 37 countries.

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Fig. 2. In your experience, to what extent has Nadcap affected your scrap rates?
Fig. 3. In your experience, to what extent has Nadcap affected your rework rates?
Fig. 4. In your experience, to what extent has Nadcap affected your escape rates?
Fig. 5. In your experience, to what extent has Nadcap affected sales and/or ability to attract new business?

The Survey

During the month of June 2010, PRI invited Nadcap stakeholders to respond to a survey to evaluate the perceived impact of the program on Nadcap-accredited suppliers. The survey attracted 1,151 respondents – a 15.4% participation rate. Of these, 477 were involved with heat treating (41.4%).

A comparison of the heat-treating and total responses is given in Figs. 2-5. The survey indicates that, in some instances, the suppliers involved with heat treating have seen greater benefits from Nadcap accreditation. They have significantly reduced their scrap rates, rework rates and escape rates while maintaining or increasing their business. Of those surveyed, 39% have reduced their scrap rates compared with 35% of all respondents, 43% reduced their rework rates compared with 41% of all respondents and 44% reduced their escape rates (same as all respondents).

In the same survey, half (50%) of the heat-treating suppliers reported that their sales and/or ability to attract new business had increased (slightly less than the overall response of 54%).

One Nadcap heat-treating-accredited respondent commented: “Our Nadcap accreditation is value added for our company. It has assisted in standardization, increased profits and increased quality. All companies are looking for value-added programs in this day and age. Nadcap is one that should not be overlooked.” IH

SIDEBAR: Global Aerospace-Industry Poll Suggests Tentative Economic Recovery

In July 2010, a PRI web poll posed the question, “Is the economy affecting your business?” Of the 151 respondents, 83% confirmed that it is affecting their business.

This is down from July 2009 when the same question was posed. At that time, 238 responses were received and 91% felt that the economy was affecting their business. The question was also asked in July 2008, when 70% of the 153 respondents agreed that the economy was affecting their business.

This shows that the situation, at least in the minds of aerospace workers, is getting better, although it is not yet back to how it was two years ago.