Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), and drones make up a sector of the Aviation Industry that has become more essential in today’s world with a growing range of applications such as recreation, military, agriculture, product delivery, insurance, surveillance, public safety, and more. The increased use of UAVs and unmanned aircraft to improve our lives and the way we do business brings a need for quality assurance and regulation in the industry to ensure safety.
Quality can be difficult to manage for rapidly advancing technologies. Unmanned aerial vehicles, unmanned aircraft systems, and drone manufacturers need to ensure performance, improve operability, and control costs. An effective quality management solution provides real-time access to quality and manufacturing data for a synced view of the enterprise, ensuring operational excellence throughout the product lifecycle.
Unmanned aerial vehicles are subject to the standard ISO 21384-3. This regulation ensures safe operations for unmanned avionics. A best-in-class quality management solution can help facilitate compliance to this standard and archive the necessary documentation needed for audit. Compliance to ISO 21384-3 for UAV, UAS, and drone manufacturers is best practice and goes a long way in boosting customer confidence.
An effective quality management solution provides complete traceability that allows manufacturers to track the quality of their unmanned aircraft beginning with source inspection, through the production process, and final assembly. This traceability is critical in reducing organizational risk and ensuring overall quality.
Unmanned aerial vehicles are complex assemblies that contain many components such as transmitters, sensors, circuit boards, and landing gear that can come from varying suppliers. Often, additive manufacturing is used to save time and support the traditional manufacturing process. Oversight of these components is critical and requires stringent control of the quality inspection process. Effective quality management software provides objective evidence of compliance to industry standards, mitigates the risk of counterfeit parts, and helps UAV manufacturers effectively control their supply chains. Visibility into supplier performance alerts manufacturers to product deviations and enforces accountability for poor quality.
Ground control stations (GCS) for unmanned aerial vehicles are essential for planning and flying a successful mission. Remote communication with the aircraft and its payload allows controllers to manipulate rotors, throttle, and other flight surfaces to achieve intended parameters. Integration of quality management software with these controls ensures safety and compliance standards are met.
UAVs are revolutionizing operations in more industries than we could have ever imagined. Manufacturers of these autonomous products must be proactive about risk as they continue to innovate. FAA regulations for drones and unmanned avionics are expected to expand in the near future and will create an even bigger impact as adoption of this technology evolves. Consistent quality will be essential for these manufacturers to allow them to remain agile and accelerate time to market.
TIP Technologies has over 30 years’ experience in the Aviation, Space, and Defense Industry and is poised to support leading unmanned aerial vehicles, unmanned aircraft Systems, and drone manufacturers in effectively managing their quality operations. Contact TIP Technologies today for a demo of our fully integrated TIPQA Quality Management Solution.