Manual engineering change control hazards

Many small- to mid-sized organizations follow the same engineering change process: an engineering change notice (ECN) is manually created using a Microsoft Word template, the BOM is an Excel spreadsheet, copies of the documents are attached, and the whole package is either routed through office mail or hand-carried from one reviewer to the next. This process hasn't really changed much in 30 years.

Change forms often reference wrong part numbers, attachments are lost, the entire package can be misrouted or sit on a vacationing engineer's desk... the workflow is expensive and inefficient.

Then there are the productivity-stealing variations: a deviation or waiver process that provides insufficient detail or inadequate review; engineering change proposals that are never acted upon, and therefore represent wasted effort; change orders that don't follow your company's documented process.

The solution is PLM software

A change form can be an effective vehicle for describing proposed or actual modifications to affected items. At a minimum, change forms identify the affected parts and documents, the justification or rationale for the change, the instructions for how to implement the change, and the people who review the change.

PDXpert PLM offers a host of features that simplify your engineering change process:

  • Create an unlimited number of different change forms, such as Change Request, Change Order, Deviation, Waiver, Stop Ship.
  • Specify whether each form releases and/or cancels items (ECO/ECN/ECP), or provides information about an item (such as a change request or stop ship)
  • Design custom review workflow for each change form
  • Easy drag-and-drop of the affected parts and documents onto the change
  • Disposition each released or canceled item including: physical part counts; one-time rework, NRE and tooling expenses; and recurring costs
  • Attach electronic files, such as rework instructions and cost impact assessments; include URLs pointing to vendor web pages

These functions translate directly into verifiable ROI by offering increased sales revenue through faster product releases; lower product costs by using more accurate documentation; and lower administrative overhead by including important supporting information (such as rework instruction files) to your engineering change forms.

Learn more about PDXpert PLM

PDXpert PLM has been specifically designed for growing companies that are making the transition to computerized change management. Our original concept, and on-going objective, has been to make PDXpert PLM simple, so you don't have to invest in an expensive IT infrastructure. And, we've made PDXpert PLM affordable, so you don't have to settle for your current manual document control system.

Download PDXpert PLM software to see the full benefits of a simple, flexible, and secure PLM solution.

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