Original Date: 11/12/2001
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Design Control Process
Frontier Electronic Systems developed and implemented a disciplined, structured Design Control Process which helped reduce product lead time and non-recurring engineering costs on all programs.
Previously, Frontier Electronic Systems (FES) allowed each business unit to perform design tasks under its own set of practices based on the requirements of individual contracts. This practice led to redundant efforts being expended on every project; design control implementation being inconsistent between business units and projects; and inconsistent/insufficient audit trails being established. In 1999, FES established an industry-recognized Design Control Process in accordance with the fourth element of ISO-9001.
The Design Control Process (Figure 3-1) formalizes and standardizes the design control activities for the company as a whole. This process serves as the basis from which contract-specific design control requirements can be implemented with minimal effort. In addition, the Design Control Process specifies a set of activities to ensure that requirements are met in the final design of a product; verifies those requirements as the design progresses by conducting design reviews with recorded action items; and interlocks with other company processes that were established in accordance with other ISO-9001 elements. The interlocks ensure that contractual design requirements are identified and dispensed, program activities are planned and executed, design documents are signed and controlled, and quality control records are produced and maintained.
Since implementing the Design Control Process, FES realized a significant reduction in cycle time and manufacturing scrap. One project called for a major redesign of the product because of obsolescence, reliability, and producibility issues. The original project used military-qualified components, involved a 48-month design time, and achieved a Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) of 7,500 hours. The redesigned project used industrial grade components, involved a 12-month design time, and achieved an MTBF of greater than 8,900 hours. As a result, FES reduced design time by 75%, cost by 48%, and increased MTBF by 19%. The non-recurring engineering investment payback was 7 to 1. These types of savings can readily be expected through the use of a formal and structured Design Control Process.
Figure 3-1. Design Control Process
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