Bowhead LogoQuality Clause BHM 8.4.3

Unless otherwise directed by the Purchase Order, the following quality system requirements apply:

1. Quality System Requirements

Supplier shall establish and maintain a Quality System acceptable to Bowhead, for the goods and/or services purchased under this purchase order. As a minimum, the supplier’s Quality System must meet the requirements of ISO9001 or better. The supplier’s loss of certification or failure to notify Bowhead of their loss of certification could result in being disapproved as a Bowhead supplier.

2. Record Retention

Suppliers shall retain quality records for a minimum of (10) years from the date of shipment unless a longer period is otherwise specified. If original records are not maintained, the method for transferring original records to electronic images shall comply with FAR 21, subpart 4.7. Quality records include the following but not an exhaustive list: Approved Certificates of Conformity, Test Reports, Raw Material Certifications, Special Process Certifications, First Article Inspection Reports (FAIR), Route Cards/Travelers, and Calibration Records. This data shall be made available to Bowhead upon request, at no extra charge. Records shall be appropriately identified in accordance with customer, regulatory and company defined requirements. Storage facilities shall provide environmental conditions to prevent deterioration or damage and to prevent loss. Records in storage shall be protected from unauthorized access. The nature of the information in the records, as well as its format, dictates the method by which they shall be destroyed. When records contain sensitive information (such as design detail, proprietary info, ITAR restricted info, etc.), they shall be disposed of by irreversible destruction methods such as shredding, or “erasure”/reformatting for electronic/magnetic media.

3. Calibration System

Calibration of measuring and test equipment used for product acceptance shall be traceable to established international or national measurement standards (e.g., BSI, NIST, UKAS, etc.). Procedures for periodic calibration, certification, maintenance of tools and equipment, and an action plan, should measuring and/or test equipment be found to be out of calibration, shall be established and followed. The action plan shall contain, as a minimum, item identification (model, manufacturer, and serial number), found condition (including span/range and accuracy), date condition found, date of the previous calibration, notification details, and any other pertinent measurement details.

4. Inspection System

Suppliers shall develop inspection procedures and maintain records of inspection. Records shall include evidence of inspection for all attributes (e.g. first article inspection, acceptance test data) of products/processes supplied to Bowhead, show the product has been inspected and/or tested during all stages of manufacturing, identify the name of the individual (i.e. with stamps, etc.) who certified the results, and where applicable include the results of the inspections and tests.

The Bowhead buyer must be notified in writing prior to any changes in product, manufacturing location, or process definition that were not requested by Bowhead, in writing. A notification shall describe the change or changes that are being proposed. Bowhead Quality reserves the right to require its approval of the product, manufacturing location or the process change before the Supplier forwards the product. The supplier is also required to submit a new full or delta first article inspection report if the change(s) affect any of the existing approved first article inspection report characteristics.

5. Travelers

Suppliers shall maintain a traveler, router, process flow sheet, or equivalent control mechanism that directs procedures appropriate for the control of quality and configuration through all stages of production.

6. Nonconforming Product

Suppliers shall ensure that non-conforming products are identified, segregated, and properly dispositioned as required per supplier’s procedures. The only product that conforms to specified requirements shall be shipped to Bowhead.

7. Non-conformances Affecting Shipped Products

Suppliers are required to notify the Bowhead Buyer within 24 business hours of discovering any nonconformance that exists or is suspected of existing on hardware that has previously been shipped to Bowhead. This notification shall include the following information:

  • Affected Part number(s), process(es) and name(s)
  • Description of the nonconforming condition and the affected requirement
  • (Both requirement and actual condition)
  • Quantities, dates, purchase orders, and destination of delivered shipments.
  • Lots, batch numbers, serial numbers or date codes as applicable to the affected lot.

8. Statistical Techniques

Suppliers are responsible for understanding and reducing variation within processes, and are encouraged to use control-charting techniques. When control charting is not performed, sample inspection of all attributes shall be performed to ANSI/ASQ Z1.4 (MIL-STD-105), Level II, 1.0 AQL, c = 0, or an equivalent plan approved by Bowhead. Suppliers using sample (incl. Bowhead approved) inspection plans are not relieved from the responsibility for all attributes on the part/assembly.

9. Special Processes

Bowhead shall pre-approve the use of the special process by the supplier. The use of a Bowhead approved special process does not relieve the supplier from responsibility to furnish acceptable supplies. The following are considered special processing, as a minimum: Plating operations, Chemical processing, Chemical cleaning, Nondestructive Testing, Welding/Brazing, CARC painting, other specialty coatings. When Bowhead’s customer’s or Mil-Spec processes are called out in the drawings, a seller shall use processors that are currently QPL approved/certified or by the end customer and, in that case, the processor need not also be Bowhead approved.

10. Supplier Control

Suppliers, including dealers and distributors, are responsible for ensuring that the applicable requirements of this purchase order are imposed on lower tier procurements for raw material, components or process services being used in the manufacture of products or services being provided.

11. Prohibited Sources

Bowhead suppliers and/or sub-tier suppliers are prohibited from using any source listed on the US government Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) (ref. in the production of products to be delivered to Bowhead.

12. Counterfeit Parts Prevention

The supplier shall have a program in place to prevent the delivery of counterfeit parts and materials to Bowhead. All parts, materials, and assemblies (electrical, mechanical, raw material) included in the hardware delivered to Bowhead shall be procured directly from the Original Component Manufacturer (OCM) / Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEMs), or from the OCM/OEM authorized-distributor. If it is determined in a specific instance that this is not possible,  a nonconformance shall be submitted to the Bowhead buyer within (5) working days of this determination. The supplier is responsible for the flow down of this requirement to its sub-tier contractors and their compliance to it. Further guidance on counterfeit parts avoidance can be found in SAE documents AS5553 (Electronics) and AS6174 (Material) (

13. Right of Entry

Representatives of Bowhead, Bowhead’s customer, and other regulatory authorities shall have access to supplier’s facility and all other facilities involved in the fulfillment of the Purchase Order, where they shall have access to all procedures, practices, processes, associated documents, and records related to quality assurance, quality control, and configuration control. The supplier shall notify the Bowhead Buyer in writing to any significant facility or organizational changes such as company name, location, or senior quality management. Any change of location by the supplier shall require a full first article inspection of these parts. Bowhead reserves the right to determine and verify the quality of work, records, and material. Such visits shall not preclude subsequent rejection of product and do not absolve the supplier of its product integrity responsibilities. Bowhead reserves the right to audit for compliance with all requirements.

14. Traceability & Product Identification

Supplier shall ensure that individual articles and materials and lots thereof are identified and segregated from all other articles, materials, and lots at all times. Records for articles shall indicate the part number, revision level, lot number and if applicable the serial number and associated detailed information. Records for materials shall indicate type, applicable serial numbers, lot numbers, heat numbers, batch, date code, cure date, etc. Material or articles furnished by Bowhead for outside operations must remain identifiable by the Bowhead supplied lot or serial number. This number must be recorded on all applicable supplier paperwork.

15. Certificate of Compliance

The Certificate of Compliance shall be shipped with the product to Bowhead. The Certificate of Compliance is a quality record that shall include Bowhead part number and drawing revision, Military, Federal, or Industry specification number, Purchase Order number, quantity, serial numbers ( if applicable), date shipped, manufacturer’s name and authorized representative signature. In addition, the supplier shall be able to furnish information on their source(s) of supply that could include items such as serial numbers, lot numbers, heat numbers, batch, date code and cure dates and Qualified Products List approval status as applicable.

16. Responsibility for Conformance

Acceptance of product shall not be used as evidence of effective control of quality by the supplier, and shall not absolve the supplier of responsibility for acceptable products or preclude subsequent rejection by Bowhead customers.

17. Industry Specifications and Standards

For all Military, Federal, and Industry specifications and standards, the supplier shall comply with the revision in effect at the time the Bowhead purchase order is issued. Bowhead reserves the right to request a different revision that would be specified on the purchase order.

18. Training

Suppliers shall ensure that all personnel performing activities on Bowhead product affecting quality have been suitably trained per supplier procedures or to Industry standards if applicable. Personnel performing assigned tasks must be qualified on the basis of appropriate education, training, and/or experience. The supplier shall ensure that training records are maintained and available upon request.

19. Handling, Packing, & Preservation

It is the responsibility of the supplier to ensure that the packaging is adequate to protect the components during transportation, handling, and storage. Packaging containers shall be appropriate for the size, weight, and fragility of the components being packed.

20. Bowhead reserves the right to require and request evidence of ensuring supplier personnel are aware of:

  • their contribution to product or service conformity
  • their contribution to product safety
  • the importance of ethical behavior