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How to define and implement Configuration Management

B

bhavya vee

#1
Dear all,

Our organization is a Engineering service provider in product design and analysis for aerospace applications, Can anyone explain me How to define and implement configuration management in this case where there is no manufacturing being done?

Thanks,:agree:
Bhavya
 
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sagai

Quite Involved in Discussions
#2
Unless we are talking about a start up company with it is brand new and first design project, I guess you already should some kind of configuration management in place.
This configuration management kind of thing also driven by good engineering practices.
Cheers!
 

Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
#5
Dear all,

Our organization is a Engineering service provider in product design and analysis for aerospace applications, Can anyone explain me How to define and implement configuration management in this case where there is no manufacturing being done?

Thanks,:agree:
Bhavya
Let me ask the following:

  1. Does your company EVER revise an engineering drawing or other document after the first (or final) draft has been presented to a client?
  2. Do clients sometimes bring in an existing product (to reverse engineer) or drawing, requesting your company to update or improve it?
  3. Has your company set down a written set of rules for the operation of the business and subsequently modified or otherwise changed those rules because of changing conditions (more/fewer personnel, larger/smaller/different computers?)
If any of the above are true, how does the company keep from mixing new with old and inadvertently sending out old instead of new? That is the essence of Configuration Management - preventing confusion.

When a document or a product gets modified even a little, there are often ramifications which go far beyond changing a pencil or ink stroke on a document.

I've written a little about Configuration Management in the past. I recognize that your organization does not do the actual manufacture, but someone [presumably] does manufacture product or provide a service based on your company's design or analysis. However, this brief memo may help you think through the ramifications as documents are modified.
The basis of Configuration Management is to do the following, more or less simultaneously:
  1. go through a formal process of revision and approval when you change any aspect of the part or document
  2. make a determination about the compatibility of the changed part or document with all the other Associated Documents (a specific term)
  3. determine if any of the Associated Documents must be revised to be compatible in form, fit, or function with the original changed document
  4. notify all parties who may be concerned about the change and get acknowledgment that change is implemented and obsolete documents or processes are withdrawn
  5. monitor the process to ensure all the changes work together
That may seem overly complicated. Let's explore a very simple change and see how the steps above would fit in.

One of my favorite examples I frequently use (to carry a premise of saving on assembly cost) is switching from Phillips Head fasteners to Torx drive or square drive fasteners for more efficient assembly. (Form and Fit of thread profile and length are the same, fastener Function remains - service personnel may need notice to add Torx driver to kit, but can replace with current stock of Phillips head)

On the surface, this is a simple change, but consider:
  1. organization needs to make a formal document change on the part, checking and approving the change.
  2. We check the compatibility with the mating parts, but we also have to
  3. change work instruction, assembly tools, inventory (use up old inventory first?), purchasing (same or different supplier? same or different price?), repair instructions sent to field personnel, pricing on the final product, advertising, etc.
  4. notify all parties - quality inspectors, assembly workers, quality inspectors at customer, suppliers, inventory clerks, repair stations, decide whether repair stations can continue to repair with Phillips head in inventory or must implement new Torx, decide whether recall is necessary to change out old parts,
  5. continue to monitor how all parties adapt to and implement change and decide whether further modification of any of the steps is necessary
All of us go through these steps consciously or unconsciously. The key is to do the steps purposefully and consistently and to record the steps as they are completed to assure optimum efficiency. (It would be foolish to scrap or sell off all the old Phillips head fasteners and order in all new Torx ones, only to discover no one had thought to order new Torx drivers.)
 

somashekar

Staff member
Super Moderator
#6
Dear all,

Our organization is a Engineering service provider in product design and analysis for aerospace applications, Can anyone explain me How to define and implement configuration management in this case where there is no manufacturing being done?

Thanks,:agree:
Bhavya
Hello Bhavya.
It is all about how you want your outputs to be planned to deliver such that both you and your customer begin to talk common language, during the project and after the project. This can be based on your QMS or can be aligned with your customer QMS if they so desire.
What are your outputs that you need configuration ...
This configuration management kind of thing also driven by good engineering practices.
sagai said it here very well. It needs application, sense and simplicity.
 
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