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Design Validation - Justifiable Exclusion for an Electrical Engineering Consultancy

T

tonyjj

#1
Hello everyone,

I am currently working with an electrical engineering consultancy practice.95% of their work is the production of technical reports. however 5% involved design.
the practice operates in the renewable energy sector and advices companies wishing to build wind farms and power stations how the can connect to the national grid.

The elements of the design that they do may involve such things as electrical design diagrams and specification for sizing of plant and cabling to the national grid.

My question is as follows: is validation of design a justifiable exclusion in that the scope of work provided by the practice extends only to the design itself. they do not get involved in the commissioning of the plant.

my wording of the justification for the exclusion is as follows:

"Since the product is the design itself, the customer in effect validates the design and provides feedback to the designer. Performance at the extremities of the design range may never be validated, particularly if they are based on rare occurrence or may not be validated for some time e.g. where there is a design life of many years. Thus the company views this clause to be justifiable exclusion."

Your views on our intrepretation would be greatly appreciated.:confused:
 
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BradM

Staff member
Admin
#2
Re: Design Validation - Justifiable Exclusion for an Electrical Engineering Consultan

Hello there!:bigwave:

The practice operates in the renewable energy sector and advices companies wishing to build wind farms and power stations how the can connect to the national grid.
While it's true they are not designing anything, per se. They have a process they use to advise clients of how they should connect to the grid. This process that they use should be validated, should it not?
 
T

tonyjj

#3
Re: Design Validation - Justifiable Exclusion for an Electrical Engineering Consultan

Hi Brad,

They are doing design the 5% I stated they can verify the design via calculations but cannot validate it as they are only providing the design. it is my understanding that as they are not involved in the comissioning they cannot validate the design. also all design have safety factors built into them so they may be impossible to every validate the design unless for some reason the power output exceeds the design limits correct?
Brad i am not talking about process validation I'm talking about design validation.
 

Big Jim

Super Moderator
#4
Re: Design Validation - Justifiable Exclusion for an Electrical Engineering Consultan

I believe they can validate, at least as much as possible. And they likely do.

Remember that validation is determining if it is suitable for its intended use.

Also remember that the standard requires validation for the specified application "where known".

"Design and development validation shall be performed in accordance with planned arrangements to ensure that the resulting product is capable of meeting the requirements for the specified application or intended use, where known."

It is even possible that what you are doing as verification may either actually be validation, or at least might be doing some of both.

I don't think I would try to claim an exclusion for this also because of the qualifications for exclusion.

"Where exclusions are made, claims of conformity to this international standard are not acceptable unless these exclusions are limited to requirements within clause 7, and such exclusions do not affect the organization's ability, or responsibility, to provide product that meets customer and applicable statutory requirements."

I suspect that your ability or responsibility to provide viable product would be compromised.
 

BradM

Staff member
Admin
#5
Re: Design Validation - Justifiable Exclusion for an Electrical Engineering Consultan

Hi Brad,

They are doing design the 5% I stated they can verify the design via calculations but cannot validate it as they are only providing the design. it is my understanding that as they are not involved in the commissioning they cannot validate the design. also all design have safety factors built into them so they may be impossible to every validate the design unless for some reason the power output exceeds the design limits correct?
Brad i am not talking about process validation I'm talking about design validation.
:agree1:

Good explanation. I still might suggest the design efforts can be validated. If you were designing drapes for a window:D, I would think it's no big deal. But for that line of work, I think you would want to assure the steps in designing the hookup to the grid are safe, and follow industry guidelines/ practices.

It may be as simple as assuring the calculations used produce the intended result, the calculations made are repeatable and reliable, and all various combinations in the the calculations are considered.

Tony... this is the weekend, and things are a bit slow. Hopefully next week some other folks can offer their opinions.
 

Chennaiite

Never-say-die
Trusted Information Resource
#6
Re: Design Validation - Justifiable Exclusion for an Electrical Engineering Consultan

Hi Brad,

They are doing design the 5% I stated they can verify the design via calculations but cannot validate it as they are only providing the design. it is my understanding that as they are not involved in the comissioning they cannot validate the design. also all design have safety factors built into them so they may be impossible to every validate the design unless for some reason the power output exceeds the design limits correct?
Brad i am not talking about process validation I'm talking about design validation.
Tony, just a question. If Design Validation results are not OK, who is responsible for re-Design ? I am sure it is going to be you, as a Design responsible Organization. It is really immaterial whether or not Validation is carried out by you, responsibility still remains with you.
 

harry

Super Moderator
#7
Re: Design Validation - Justifiable Exclusion for an Electrical Engineering Consultan

The act of a Professional Electrical Engineer inking his 'P. Eng Stamp' and signature on the final design drawings is 'validation'. It means that he had checked the design (including the necessary calculations) and from his professional experience and knowledge, he certifies that the design is workable and conforms with the necessary regulatory requirements. Such designs or project are still subject to adjustments and amendments (re-designs, further details, etc) at site to cope with unknowns and uncertainties in most major projects.

Also bear in mind that Consultancy is basically a service and 'design' is also applicable for the service part.
 
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harry

Super Moderator
#8
Re: Design Validation - Justifiable Exclusion for an Electrical Engineering Consultan

..............................they can verify the design via calculations but cannot validate it as they are only providing the design. it is my understanding that as they are not involved in the comissioning they cannot validate the design. ...................
If you are not familiar with practices in 'projects' type of environment, this may help you to an extent: Auditing the Design and Development Process. Read the part on Auditing Design and Development Validation (section 8, bottom part).
 
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T

tonyjj

#9
Re: Design Validation - Justifiable Exclusion for an Electrical Engineering Consultan

Hello Everyone

The feedback back by everyone has been very worth while and i really appreciate your views.:):agree1::applause:

Are we saying then that, in this case the design review verification and validation activities are the same thing. this is acknowegded as being ok in one of the foot notes within 7.3.

So then would anyone have an eample of a design review checklist to get me started?

Finally, to Marc,as always the links to other threads of a similar nature has been invaluable and comments are concurrent with replys on this trend.

:thanx:
 

Colin

Quite Involved in Discussions
#10
Re: Design Validation - Justifiable Exclusion for an Electrical Engineering Consultan

Are we saying then that, in this case the design review verification and validation activities are the same thing. this is acknowledged as being ok in one of the foot notes within 7.3
Tony, as you say, the note at the end of 7.3.1 states 'design and development review, verification and validation have distinct purposes. They can be conducted and recorded separately or in any combination, as suitable for the product and the organisation'.

So if you want to combine them to suit your situation then you can.

However, it is my understanding that validation should be done on the finished product wherever possible. So could you get evidence of the finished installation tests sent back to you in order to 'close the loop'?
 
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