4 min

Flying ahead in aerospace certification

As Turkey’s aerospace and defense industry expands, Kiwa Turkey has seen rapid growth in the area of aerospace certification. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic negatively effecting the aerospace industry, aerospace certification is still an important area of interest for Kiwa Turkey.

Since 2012, the firm has been investing in the necessary training and experience. Thanks to local Turkish auditors and experience in the field, Kiwa Turkey is the country’s leading provider of the AS/EN 9100 industry standard certification and has a market share over 35 %.

The standard for this industry is very complex, therefore having the right certification is a must, explains Kiwa’s Gökhan Yücel. “Big Maintenance and Repair Organizations (MROs) require their suppliers to comply with their standards: those who fail to are out of business. Kiwa helps suppliers meet these demands and keep up with the game.”

The focal point in this area is AS/EN 9100 Aerospace Quality Management certification, a family of standards developed and managed by IAQG (International Aerospace Quality Group). It focuses on quality, safety and technology throughout the aerospace industry, and up and down the supply chain.

“Pleased with Kiwa’s experience”

FEMSAN Electric Motors is one of the many businesses that have partnered with Kiwa Turkey for an AS 9100 audit. Quality Manager Elif Ak has worked in quality management roles for over 15 years and explains that Kiwa’s experience was an important factor. “The first big national MRO to get an AS 9100 certification did it through Kiwa. Another major organization, for which I previously worked, also carried out the certification process with Kiwa Turkey,” she explains. FEMSAN has obtained their AS 9100 certification.  Elif Ak comments: “Our auditor, Gökhan Yücel, conveyed his report clearly and in detail. We are very pleased with the certification service we have received and look forward to working together as the process continues.”

Reaping the rewards of investment

With such a tough standard, auditing the supply chain requires rigorous training and experience. Audits can take from two days to as long as two weeks, depending on the supplier. Kiwa Turkey first began developing this area in 2012 with the help of Kiwa Italy. “We owe our success partly to Kiwa Italy and Filippo Anglani,” says Yücel. “He and his team helped us break into this niche market.” Kiwa Turkey offers the certification under the umbrella of Kiwa Italy, while doing the work with its own local auditors.

Yücel explains: “Having local auditors is one of the things customers appreciate about Kiwa. Our investments in HR – that is, in hiring excellent auditors – are reflected in the high levels of operational excellence and the quick responses offered by our dedicated Customer Service Division.”

Customer Elif Ak of FEMSAN Electric Motors clearly agrees. “The presence of Turkish auditors was an important factor in choosing to work with Kiwa Turkey. For one thing, it meant we could avoid any language barriers.”

Overcoming turbulence ahead

Yücel fully intends to continue along this line. “At the moment we have four auditors, but we hope to expand to eight by 2020,” he says. He does expect some challenges. For example, it is hard to find qualified auditors offering the excellence Kiwa seeks. Also the competition grows. Yet Yücel remains confident Kiwa Turkey will be in a good position to keep serving its growing customer base in aerospace and other sectors. “Although there is already increasing competition in aerospace certification, we are still number one. I am sure this market will continue to grow and Kiwa Turkey will be able to keep in step through healthy growth.”

Not just surviving, but thriving

Kiwa Turkey has grown steadily over the last years, despite the economic crisis that hit Turkey in 2018. This growth spurt began in 2013, when Kiwa took over a well-established TIC company in the country called MEYER, initially continuing as Kiwa MEYER and later changing the name to Kiwa Turkey. The Turkish branch of Kiwa now has three offices in the country with 120 staff. Country Manager Gökhan Yücel attributes this stable growth to the excellence Kiwa delivers and the diversity of sectors and customers the team serves. “We have around 5,000 customers and we continue to expand by investing in growing markets.”

Aerospace, medical devices and more

Aerospace, then, is just one of the industries in which Kiwa Turkey is at home. Accounting for 30% of the team’s work is Medical Devices, a sector in which our Turkish colleagues service manufacturers not only within their own borders but as far afield as Malaysia, the USA, South Korea, Brazil and numerous EU countries. Other strong sectors include System Certification, Energy, Retail, Food and Construction, while the team has also branched out into new areas, such as Calibration and Personnel Certification.