The aerospace industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in recent decades. Many developed and emerging economies have been keen on making their strides in the aerospace niche to have their mark on the global arena. These aerospace equipment are built with various sophisticated electronic assemblies and sub-assemblies. Care has been taken to diligently choose these electrical components and, safeguarding the intellectual property of these components.
With rapid advancements spanning every field, the need for increased regulation also has arisen especially, regulations in data and file sharing. This resulted in the creation of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). The influence of ITAR has become more valuable than ever before. International Traffic and Arms Regulation (ITAR) came into existence around 1976 owing to the need of controlling the export of aerospace equipment and other related sensitive information. The enforcement of these regulations became more stringent now.
Let us understand what goes into ITAR compliance and break it down for you the major reasons why ITAR compliance is vital for aerospace companies and why it is important for you to find an ECM that ensures ITAR compliance.
What is ITAR?
International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) monitors the import and export of defense-related and space-related services and technologies in the USA. The government has made it mandatory that all the manufacturers, exporters, brokers, and whosoever is in the supply chain to make sure that these services, equipment, or any related technical data must be ITAR-compliant.
While most regulations, industry standards, and restrictions on PCBs are intended to ensure quality, worker safety, reliability, environmental safety, some regulations are intended to protect the end customer and the broader public in general. These are valid in PCBs that are used in aerospace electronics.
Importance of ITAR PCB Manufacturing compliance for Aerospace
Aerospace is a global Industry
Aerospace is an international industry and the demand for airlines has been increasing with each day. The number of airline passengers is at an all-time high currently. If are you wondering how would complying with the US guidelines like ITAR is crucial for a global industry like aerospace? Undoubtedly, the US is a global leader in the aerospace industry and some of the largest aerospace companies in the world are currently based in the US alone.
Hence both the domestic and international companies who eye on having a strong foothold in the US, try to comply with the US aerospace standards and affiliated security standards like the ITAR. Many companies strive to make their operations and products meet the basic security standards that the USA government has levied. Complying with ITAR ensures aerospace companies operate in the USA.
Safety and Security Perspective
Aerospace is one of the crucial industries of any country and it is inevitable that every aspect of it should be doubly ensured that no element ends up in unauthorized hands or used for illegitimate purposes. None wants their critical information and sensitive data to be compromised. Security breaches don’t include the theft of proprietary information alone, there would be potential loss of human lives as well. So, there is a component of human safety attached to the aerospace industry.
With rapid advances in technology, the complexities have also increased and this even led to greater automation. New technologies have also paved way for many exploitations and weaknesses as well. The threats have also increased with many hackers trying to break into the system for data breaches. Imagine the repercussions if more there is a data breach! The hackers would have more opportunities for disrupting the flights.
So, the need for strong data security measures is vital than ever before. Compliance with ITAR guidelines means more data security and safety to human lives. ITAR was designed to provide baseline data security for the aerospace industries. This centralized set of recommendations are meant to identify the potential security threats and to make sure these are adhered to.
Avoid penalties and comply with the Enforcement rules
Till now, we have been focusing on the positive business impact and data protection impact of aligning with ITAR regulations, lets now look into the consequences of non-compliance. Post 9/11, aerospace security has been bolstered with additional measures to safeguard the industry. The US government has taken every measure to bolster the security of people and the aerospace industry. So, when you fail to comply with these guidelines, being mindful of the human loss, there are non-compliance fines and penalties. This may vary from a few thousand dollars to millions. The fines of magnitude could cripple many businesses and besides fines, there would also be criminal charges in the most extreme cases.
How to ensure ITAR compliance?
Failure to comply with ITAR standards could mean putting your business existence in jeopardy. No company can afford to bear the consequences of ITAR non-compliance. You can first begin with understanding ITAR guidelines and identify where you need to make the changes. Find a PCB assembly and manufacturing company that offers solutions in line with ITAR guidelines.
Ensure equipment delivered to you is ITAR compliant which has the potential to put you ahead of your competitors. ITAR compliance is not a one-time effort. It’s an ongoing process and you should be committed to it. You can run a regular analysis or audit to make sure there are no potential breaches. Also, stay up-to-date with ITAR regulations and keep up with the emerging trends.
Not all aerospace PCB assembly and manufacturers have in-house capabilities to build ITAR-compliant aerospace PCB electronics designs.
Every OEM creating PCBs for Aerospace should ensure that the electronics contract manufacturer (ECM) adheres to ITAR. Any deviation or non-compliance can cause serious collateral damage putting not just your intellectual property at risk but also your national secrets out in the open. Smart aviation software is the key to ensure compliance with one of the most intricate regulatory systems like ITAR.
At Mer-Mar Electronics, we strictly adhere to ITAR compliance in regards to aerospace industrial applications and take extra care and attention to verify the nitty-gritty of the industrial appliances. The experienced team at Mer-Mar Electronics shows tremendous commitment to build ITAR-compliant Aerospace PCB Assembly. We at Mer-mar Electronics, we assist our customers from initial design to mass production & delivery stage; as one of the leading Aerospace electronics manufacturing service (EMS) providers.