B&B Airparts Inc: 50% faster creation of AS9102 first article inspection reports with InspectionXpert

Project details

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Customer benefits

50% Time saving: With the EMPB software InspectionXpert initial sample inspection reports according to AS9102 could be produced in half the time.


B&B Airparts, Inc., USA


> 130 employees



Increasing growth through optimised quality processes

B&B Airparts, Inc., located in Kansas, specialises in the manufacture of precision components for aerospace OEMs. The privately owned machine shop was founded in April 1988. With about 130 employees and annual sales of $23 million, the shop is now one of the world's leading aerospace manufacturing facilities.


Mike Terrell is the Quality Assurance Manager at B&B Airparts, a machine shop that specializes in manufacturing high precision parts for aerospace OEMs. When Mike joined B&B Airparts in 2016 the company was in a period of tremendous growth. Mike and his team were tasked with completing upwards of 350 FAIs per month, and many were new parts.

At the time first articles were done after production. A finished part would come to quality, where Mike and his team would manually bubble the drawing, measure the part, and complete the AS9102 First Article Inspection Report. On some parts, it was only 2-3 hours to complete a FAIR, but on other parts, it could take 1-2 days. This was particularly time-consuming when it came to new parts, where there were more unknowns for both manufacturing and quality teams to work through. This resulted in a backlog in quality, and Mike knew that in order for the company to continue growing, that quality would need to become more efficient in creating AS9102 FAIRs.

How the EMPB software InspectionXpert helped

Since implementing InspectionXpert, B&B Airparts has cut its FAIR time in half. Mike’s team is able to balloon the part drawing and simultaneously capture the tolerances. The software automatically applies upper and lower spec limits. This means once ballooning is done they can quickly export to an Excel FAI sheet that inspectors can fill out with dimensional data.

Mike saw another opportunity for improvement and began doing first articles as a part of their planning review for new part production. Now they balloon the part drawing and use that as a control plan to create the FAI before manufacturing a new part. As a result, the quality team is able to review the FAI and find any issues before production, such as discovering they’ll need to update tooling or measurement resources in order to produce and verify a new part.

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Results through the use of our
EMPB software InspectionXpert

Mike and his team were able to standardise their overall EMPB process and streamline the flow between teams. The changes in audit planning and audit report generation have reduced the quality team's lead time.

"Finding and fixing potential problems before production has a big impact on lead time." - Mike 

Moving the ballooning and report creation to the beginning of the process has also helped B&B Airparts reduce non-conformances:

  • Clearer Requirements - Since all requirements are stated before production, inspectors have another opportunity to review all requirements and clarify before the part goes to production.
  • Key Characteristics Identified Earlier - The ballooned part drawing doubles as a control plan to call out key characteristics for the shop. Machinists are able to check key characteristics on the floor at the point of production.

Since Mike joined B&B Airparts in 2016, the company has tripled in size. Software and process changes have allowed B&B Airparts' quality team to maintain 100 percent inspection and continue to deliver high-quality products to customers on time. "Without InspectionXpert and these process changes, we would not have been able to keep up with the growth of our business," says Mike.



Initial sample inspection report software: Balloon your part drawings and extract the characteristics in one step. Create your first article inspection report.

50% time saving in Inspection Report generation. Publish Inspection Reports according to VDA, PPAP, AS9102 or custom templates. 

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