FOD: how to prevent them?


In an industrial activity like ours and especially in the aircraft industry, the presence of a foreign object in a component, an assemblage, a system or even an aircraft, like a lost or forgotten tool for example, can have serious consequences.

We are constantly looking for ways to avoid this "Foreign Object Damage" or "Foreign Object Debris", more commonly known as FOD, which as well represent the damage caused by a foreign object as the object itself.

FOD can cause a number of problems in terms of security but also of productivity.

The "National Aerospace FOD prevention" considers that FOD, during assembly or maintenance activities, represent, every year, 30% of the civil incidents and a cost of $4 billion for all the aerospace and space industry.

Indeed, FOD may result in delays in manufacturing and assembling, non-conformities, a loss of activities, and even, injuries and worse accidents.

FOD occur in all forms and all sizes.

Here are some examples, carried out for this article

Air Support - Aircraft component Maintenance - test bench FOD

A work zone poorly organized,
uncleaned metallic chips on the work surface,
non-installed protections on the equipment,

are many situations which encourage FOD.

Air Support - Aircraft component Maintenance - FOD component

Air Support - Aircraft component Maintenance - FOD

In order to prevent the risk of FOD, measures are continuously put in place.

Some of them, common to the industrial activity, are to be reminded in internal training made when an employee is hired and renewed following the established training plan.

At Air Support, identified zones and storage tools are dedicated to the FOD: racks, protections and toolboxes specific, colored conditioning bins allowing the storage of "good" and "bad" parts during reassembling and dismantling, etc.

We also give the procedures to follow and to systematically control in the documents provided at each operation and we encourage the famous method "Clean as you go" which is to keep clean and tidy workplace.

Our Technical Assistance' team is directly trained to the FOD' prevention on the customers' site and keep a summary of the training at the place of the mission.

Moreover, we make small bags available to them to place FOD, anywhere and at any time of their activity.

In any case, each loss of object must be announced and the work must be stopped as long as the object was not found or that a suitable action was established.

Indeed, each person must be conscious and concerned by the risk of FOD.

During our trainings, our quality department insists on everyone's responsibility to recognize them and avoid them, and is always looking for new measures to improve our FOD approach.