AESQ Spotlight on Rolls-Royce – November 2021

Rolls-Royce Spotlight & Testimonial – 15 November 2021



My name is Ian Riggs, and I am the Quality & HSE Executive for Rolls-Royce Global Civil Aerospace Assembly & Test Operations.

Our Civil Aerospace business has more than 30 manufacturing and assembly plants in the USA, UK, Germany & Singapore.

Our Civil Large Engine business is based in Derby and Singapore providing Trent Engines to Airbus and Boeing on key airframes including the A330, A350, A380 and the Boeing 787.

Our Business Aviation business is based near Berlin and provides corporate and regional sized engines to Gulfstream, Bombardier and Dassault.

We manage circa 1000 tier one suppliers in all regions of the world.

We employ over 15,000, and in 2019, our sales revenue was in excess of £8bn.

How long have you been involved / working with the AESQ?

I was one of the founding members of the AESQ back in 2012. Along with Sergio Loureiro of Pratt & Whitney and Bob Briggs of GE Aviation.  We explored the possibility of collaborating to raise the quality performance of our shared supply chains.

Our model was based on the Ford, General Motors and Chrysler collaboration back in the early 1990s that created the automotive industry standard QS-9000.

Our vision was to create a harmonised set of quality standards that simplified our supplier requirements and raised the threshold for quality performance.

In 2013, we formally launched the AESQ. There are now 10 voting member companies with the addition of Safran Aircraft Engines, GKN Aerospace, Honeywell, IHI, Howmet, PCC and MTU.

I was privileged to be the inaugural chairman of the group between 2013 and 2015, a role that I also repeated in 2019 – 2021.

What are the benefits or greatest value that AESQ brings to you?

For Rolls-Royce the benefit of working with our competitors and tier one suppliers in this collaborative way is to accelerate the supply chain improvement journey.

Many of our suppliers complained that differences in the various quality requirements, the terminology used created unnecessary complexity for their organisations.

Through harmonising these requirements and creating a common language for quality, we saw a way to align our supplier quality improvement journey and benefit from the synergies that this would bring.

Since 2013, we published 6 industry standards through the SAE G-22 Committee covering specific topics such as Problem Solving, Measurement Systems Analysis, Process FMEA and Process Control.

In 2021, we harmonised these even further by publishing AS13100 and its Reference Manuals to create a single supplier requirements standard.

As the leader of this writing team, I had the privilege to work with some leading industry experts from our member companies as well as key external stakeholders.

Working with the AESQ has been a great experience for me personally and one of the highlights of my career to date.

We have been able to share our best practices and learn from each other in an open and engaging way.

What AESQ tools and communications do you find the most useful?

Back in 2017, we ran our first conference style supplier forum in Singapore with around 50 suppliers from the region. The purpose of this event was to allow our suppliers to join the AESQ members to review our work and help to shape our future programs.

It also confirmed to us that what we were doing was important to the external supply chain.

We have run many more similar events since, in Europe, Asia and North America. The Supplier Forums have now developed to allow opportunities for suppliers to share their experiences of deploying the AESQ Standards. These best practice events have been a key component to the acceleration of the deployment of our standards.

What would you tell non-members about AESQ to encourage them to “get involved”?

Membership in the AESQ enables organisations to have a voice in the development of the industry requirements that they will be subjected to. It is also a great way to speak directly to the OEMs about deployment and share experiences, both positive and negative, to the group.

It does not matter what size the supplier is, all types of suppliers can benefit from becoming engaged in the work of the AESQ.

What are you looking forward to with AESQ?

The AESQ is at a pivotal stage in its development. In the first eight years, we focussed very much on writing common standards to replace the company specific requirements that were in place.

Now that AS13100 and its Reference Manuals have been published, creating a single standard for the supply chain, the focus of the AESQ moves more to the successful deployment of the standard and improving the capability of the Supply Chain.

This will involve more effort in supplier engagement, coaching, communication, and training by the OEMs.

We have created a structure of Subject Matter Interest Groups and Communities of Practice to support the effective deployment of the standards which enable greater supplier engagement.

This is a significant challenge but also a very exciting one. We have not seen this type of collaboration before in any industry, and it will make the work of the AESQ truly pioneering.

Do you have a favourite or inspiring moment from your experience with a past AESQ event or activity?

Some of my favourite moments from the AESQ have been at the Supplier Forums when suppliers get up on stage to share their experience of successfully using one or more of our standards.

In particular, the presentation made by SAM Suzhou, a Chinese supplier to Rolls-Royce, explaining how they adopted AS13004 Process FMEAs and achieved zero defects within 6 months.

I must admit that the publication of AS13100 on March 1st 2021 was an emotional milestone after 2 years of very hard work by the SAE G-22 writing team and the AESQ Steering Group members, it was great to see us publish this holistic standard. I am convinced that it will have a significant impact on bringing our AESQ vision to reality.

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