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Engineering Development & Qualification Testing

Product engineering & development is the process of designing and developing a device, assembly or system, including hardware and control software/firmware, that will be produced by a manufacturing process. Product engineering usually entails activity dealing with issues of performance, cost, quality/reliability, manufacturability, serviceability and environmental impact.  It includes design, development and transitioning to manufacturing of the product.

Qualification testing is intertwined with the engineering development process to assure a reliable product in an efficient manner. Quality testing is performed as early as possible on each product design element to minimize potential problems in the final Qualification tests.  Qualification testing & certification addresses operational environment, electromagnetic and safety requirements.

The engineering design process can have varying complexity with ten or more "Gate Reviews" with formal design reviews being a single gate.  Our work with engineering teams has revealed numerous engineering design processes.  We work with each group to develop and coordinate an overall project plan/schedule.  We use industry recognized project management procedures and processes (PMI).  We monitor the project's progress, inform management and update the plan as required.  We coordinate and manage cross functional activities and offer input/advise when appropriate.

A simplistic engineering design review process is outlined below.

  Requirements Review (SR)
The SR is before you start ANY design. You have to understand the requirements and have agreement with the customer with what each requirement means to either and both of you.
        * Define Engineering Requirements Specification
  Preliminary Design Review (PDR)
The PDR is when specifications to lower level assemblies have been defined and released, based on a preliminary functional decomposition of the system. PDR is the gate for detailed design.
        * Ensure that all requirements have been allocated, the requirements are complete
        * Present that the proposed design is expected to meet the functional and performance requirements
        * Show that the design is verifiable and that the risks have been identified, characterized, and mitigated
  Critical Design Review (CDR)
PDR is the review of the detailed design, wherein the customer can convinced that the design is now nearly complete and you're ready to cut metal and fabricate.
        * Ensure that the "build-to" baseline contains detailed hardware/software specifications that can meet functional and performance requirements
        * Ensure that the design has been satisfactorily audited by production, verification, operations, and other specialty engineering organizations
        * Ensure that the production processes and controls are sufficient to proceed to the fabrication stage
        * Establish planned Quality Assurance (QA) activities for verification and screening processes for producing a quality product
        * Verify that the final design fulfills the specifications established at PDR
  Production Readiness Review (PRR)
PRR determines the readiness of manufacturing to efficiently produce the required number of product. It ensures that the production plans; fabrication, assembly, and integration enabling products; and personnel are in place and ready to begin production.
  Test Readiness Review (PRR)
A TRR ensures that the test article (hardware/software), test facilities, support personnel, and test procedures are ready for testing and data acquisition and control.