Configuration Management: Deviations and Change Requests
by Jon M. Quigley and Kim L. Robertson
Words have specific meanings across all industries sectors which allow us to decode what is said by another and come to some understanding. This is a very important activity, as without effective communication not much will happen in a collaborative setting.
Waiver: After it is manufactured it is found that the product does not conform to specifications or requirements. A waiver is sought for a limited number of production units to deviate from the requirements until either the design can be corrected or the requirement changed. Request for waivers originate from the supplying organization. Requests may have to be flowed to the customer if they vary from the customer requirements. The temporary relaxing of requirements for a specific number of units generally is accompanied by a reduction in unit price for those items.
Deviation: Before a part is manufactured it is found that the product does not conform to specifications or requirements. A deviation is sought for a limited number of production units to deviate from the requirements until either the design can be corrected or the requirement changed Request for deviations originate from the supplying organization. The temporary relaxing of requirements for a specific number of units generally is accompanied by a reduction in unit price for those items.
Variences: The lumping together of Waivers and Deviations by ISO and other standards.
Engineering Change Request (ECR): is the formal mechanism used internally for making alterations to the product design. ECRs go through some process of review to either accept or reject the proposed change.
Request for Change (RFC) aka Request for change Proposal (RFP): A request flowed from a customer to the vendor. Deviations, Waivers and variances may indicate the need for a change request as recurring relaxing of requirements are not allowed. RFCs and RFPs result in a change proposal that goes back to the customer for approval. Sub-tier vendors may be required to submit a proposal that is incorporated in the prime vendor’s proposal to the customer.
These are important and very different things and have different process associated with them.
We start with the definition, to lay the groundwork for a work for a recently observed situation. Drawings and requirements specifications are released and sent to a vendor. A prototype part is developed and will be shipped to the customer for test, inspections and evaluations. The notes from those activities may impact the final product specifications and subsequent deliveries from the vendor. However the lead time, the time it takes the supplier to make the part and ship to the customer, is 10 weeks. Requirements issues that are found in this space of 10 weeks will need to be handled, but how?
The next Blog will answer that question.