With a design prototyped and tested, it may now be time to transition the system into production. In this chapter, we discuss issues related to transition to production and those related to steady-state production.
8.1 Transition to Production
The transition to the production period can often be an exciting yet stressful time for the design engineers, as they await the actual production of their design. Most designers want to see their designs produced, and the successful transition to production of a system can be rewarding from a personal and professional standpoint. In order to make the transition to production successful, there are a number of issues that should be addressed. Even though the design work may be thought to be complete, there are still activities that the designers should be involved in. We now discuss some of the activities and issues that should be dealt with before the system is transitioned into production. We put these in the form of a series of questions, though they could also be placed into a checklist. Along with some of the questions we also provide commentary. In some cases, the designer will have limited input or authority to answer a question, as the responsibility lies with another person or business function. The questions do not need to be answered in the specific order listed, but each should be addressed at some point.
Are the specifications of the elements and the system understood and documented? If the product is going to be sold as an off-the-shelf item, do datasheets for the product exist, or do they need to be made? Who is responsible for generating the specification data? How much design margin has been put into the specifications? Is the product going to be covered by a warranty? If so, what is it, and how was it arrived at? What tests or analyses have been performed to verify the product will perform throughout the warranty period?
Are the drawings for the elements, as well as the upper-level system or assembly complete? Are they up to date? There may have been changes to the design based upon the results of the prototype assembly and testing. These changes need to be included in the production drawings. Have appropriate changes for production been made? If the prototype parts were diamond turned, this may include the addition of a gate flat as well as the need to draft the part. Have cavity IDs or other reference or orientation marks been added to the design? Have they been appropriately located? The use of automated assembly or test equipment may rely upon these marks or features. Does the vendor have and are they working with the latest set of drawings or models?
Online access to SPIE eBooks is limited to subscribing institutions.