26.03.2020What is Product Assurance?
The prime objective of Product Assurance (PA) is to ensure that products and systems being developed work correctly, first time, every time. That they accomplish their defined objectives in a safe, available and reliable way; minimising wastage, re-design and re-manufacture.
Why is there a need for Product Assurance?
Imagine how complex a detailed engineering product can be, then think of all the things that could go wrong. And don’t forget Murphy’s Law, which says that ‘if anything can go wrong, it will’. Product Assurance exists to try and ensure that it doesn’t happen.
Can you give me a real example of that?
The European Space Agency’s Product Assurance and Safety (PA&S) engineers are responsible for failure-proofing missions by ensuring that the materials, mechanical parts, processes and electrical components used to assemble a spacecraft or launcher shall be fit for purpose over the entire life of a mission.
So, what exactly do Product Assurance professionals do?
They provide support to verify compliance to Product Assurance requirements. They also seek to secure the availability of certified materials, parts, processes and qualified personnel, helping to manage risk and improve delivery confidence.
AEON’s responsibility is to provide the framework and managerial structure required to assure stakeholders that the project will succeed. To accomplish this, we systematically seek out threats which are detrimental to the project. The sorts of threats we look out for vary from one project to the next and are based on project sensitivities.
What factors might a typical Product Assurance Assessment address?
The findings of a typical Product Assurance Assessment are presented in a report which might address the following key aspects of a project:
- Obsolescence planning
- Supply chain sustainability
- Complex interface management
- Design, build and procurement strategy
- Validation and verification planning
- Management of product quality
- Material and manufacturing process suitability for specific applications
- Safety in design, analyses and hazard mitigation strategy
- Lifecycle engineering; Reliability, Availability and Maintainability (RAM) and Level of Repair Analysis (LORA)
- IT equipment security vulnerabilities
- Regulatory and statutory compliance obligations
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Written by Cleon Ang